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Today's trivia (November 3)

During World War I, James Harbord was Gen. John J. Pershing's right-hand man.

He led troops into some of the fiercest and most controversial battles of the war. Afterward, he became president of Radio Corporation of America, better known as RCA.

Harbord was born March 21, 1866, in Bloomington, Ill., but was raised in Bushong, a Lyon County town north of Emporia.

In 1886, Harbord graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College in Manhattan. He then taught two years at the college before enlisting in the Army. In 1891, he received a commission.

In the Spanish-American War, Harbord served as assistant chief of the Philippines Constabulary from 1903 to 1909 and again from 1910 to 1913.

It was there he became friends with Pershing, and in 1916 was with Pershing on the Mexican border while American troops tried unsuccessfully to capture Pancho Villa.

In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, Harbord was promoted to brigadier general.

He commanded the 4th Marine Brigade and the Army 2nd Infantry Division during the battles of Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood. The battles were full of casualties.

Through much of the summer of 1918, the 2nd Division played a deadly tug-of-war with German forces. Nearly 10,000 U.S. soldiers were wounded and 1,811 died.

Harbord assigned the troops to take the woods, which involved sending the men over an open wheat field, continually swept by German machine gunfire.

Question: Following the war, Harbord was criticized for his actions at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood. The criticism was that troops lacked something. What was it?


Answer to Wednesday’s question: All told, Thurlow Lieurance wrote more than 300 compositions.

Check back at Kansas.com on Friday for the answer to today’s question.