These women were denied veteran status for decades. Congress can’t overlook them again.Roundup
tags: veterans, military history, womens history, World War 1
Elizabeth Cobbs, a history professor at Texas A&M and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, is the author of “The Hello Girls.”
Women were among the last U.S. soldiers to return home from World War I. They will also be among the last honored if an overdue but welcome bipartisan bill pending in the Senate passes.
Three years into World War I, the United States rushed to make up for its tardiness in joining the Allied effort by recruiting, equipping, training, shipping and deploying 2 million doughboys to France. America’s contribution to the Allied victory was inestimably aided by the more than 200 women of the U.S. Signal Corps who operated telephone lifelines that connected combat soldiers with their commanders.
Radios did not yet carry voices, only Morse code, and their wireless signals were notoriously vulnerable to enemy interception. It took three mules to haul a heavy radio field station to the front. By contrast, officers could deliver orders over telephones simply by talking, and the lines were difficult to tap without detection. A single soldier carrying a lightweight spindle could run communication lines into trenches, across battlefields and to captured enemy positions.
The telephone lines transmitted commands to begin bombardments, to launch attacks and to retreat. Infantry officers used telephones to request artillery backup as troops advanced — and sometimes to call off friendly fire when it arrived. Telephones also facilitated military logistics, maintaining supply lines by which wars can be won or lost.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Exhibit Lauded Freedom of Expression. It Was Silenced.
- What 1860 and 1968 can teach America about the 2020 presidential election
- Nevada Sen. Cortez Masto introduces bill to honor women’s suffrage with series of new quarters
- Hillary and Chelsea Clinton are writing their first book together about 'gutsy' women through history
- The Hotel Historian Is at Your Service
- 2 New Podcast Episodes Discuss How the Republican Party became the Party of Trump and CIA "Black Sites"
- ‘Karl Marx: Philosophy and Revolution’ Review: On the Marxist Question
- Tony Platt Reviews Simon Schama’s The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age
- Professor Breaks Down U.S. Racism, Trump’s ‘Ugliness’ In 3 Powerful Minutes
- ‘Charles I's Killers in America’ Review: Regicides on the Run