Besides publishing our quarterly journal, Relevance, The Great War Society has adopted the personal blog of our editor Mike Hanlon, the St. Mihiel Trip-Wire, as its official newsletter. It is available only on-line and all TGWS members will automatically receive email notices that the latest monthly issue is available. However, anyone, including non-members, may subscribe to the Trip-Wire for free.
Just fill out and submit the form below. All fields marked * are required.
Mike has also led tours of WWI battlefields since 1991, in the process developing an international network of First World War researchers, historians and enthusiasts who send him vast amounts of photos, news items, book and film reviews, interesting facts and forgotten stories about the war. The Trip-Wire combines a wide range of these selections with the latest news from the World War I community, including our sister organizations like the Western Front Association and League of World War I Aviation Historians.
Mike is frequently asked how he came up with the title St. Mihiel Trip-Wire. St. Mihiel is a town in eastern France that gave its name to a salient that proved to be strategically important for the entire war. From 1914 to early 1918 the St. Mihiel salient was the site of grim attritional warfare between German and French forces. In 1918 the American Expeditionary Force moved into the sector and was eventually given the mission of eliminating the salient, which the U.S. First Army accomplished in September 1918. A “trip-wire” was originally a type of trench warfare warning device: troops who advanced stealthily near the enemy line often had to cut their way through protective barbed-wire barricades. The defenders in turn would string some of the wires to set off a trap or an alarm to avoid being surprised. The name for this device, a “trip-wire,” quickly gained broader usage — and is still popular — as a term for anything that might catch someone or trigger a response. Mike merged the two expressions in the spirit of, say, the Boston Herald, to provide a suitable title for a World War I periodical.