World War I was considered the war to end all wars. It wasn’t a war of nations, but of mankind fighting for peace. It became an unprecedented catastrophe that affected Sioux Falls and shaped the modern world.
Outside the war zone, the home front proved to be a vital artery in the war effort through its sacrifices and undying support of patriotism.
The Yankee Boy Cannon was manufactured in Sioux Falls by the N.O. Fawick Manufacturing Company. Adding to the popularity of the toy was the “target” of German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Aggression during WWI made the Kaiser a symbol of all that was feared and despised about the war.
Propaganda posters helped drive the war movement and called men, women and children to volunteer their time and money for the war. Posters helped convey to citizens that the war was not only fought and won on the battlefield, but also at home.
Life on the front line meant boredom with bouts of terror. Artillery shells fell constantly, and an attack could come at any time.
Machine guns came to dominate the battlefield and Germany embraced the use of the weapons. The Machinegewehr 08 was the standard machine gun of the German Army as a crew of four men were required to operate and carry the 140-pound gun.
Trench warfare dominated combat on the Western Front. While trenches existed in previous wars, it was believed large infantry offensives would be the key to a quick war.
Service Day Parade in downtown Sioux Falls: “Never will the picture of the great parade, which took place at 2:30, be forgotten as it passed under the beautiful victory arch with its top flying allied colors, and before the reviewing stand with the military, state and city executives. It was miles in length and embraced all the returning soldiers including the 147th.”