Firing from the Rails (Sea Power Magazine, 1918)
Illustrated with six photographs, this 1918 article is one of the first pieces of journalism to document the planning, construction, testing and deployment of the Railway Batteries that were manned by the U.S. Navy in W.W. I France.
"They dreamed a dream wherein a squadron of colossal trains, sheltered in armor plate, cruised constantly on dry land behind the battle lines. On each train a hundred bluejackets and their officers lived, ate, slept and worked the giant guns that rested upon mechanically perfect mounts and hurled explosive shells to the limit of their extreme ranges. In short, they dreamed the United States Naval Railway Batteries just as complete to the firing lines a few months later."
A Wartime Footing for the USMC(Sea Power Magazine, 1918)
The ranks of the United States Marine Corps began to swell in the early March of 1917, shortly after the Kaiser launched his campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare. When Congress declared war the following April, the expansion began is earnest:
"The Act of Congress making naval appropriations for the present fiscal year carries a proviso increasing the Marine Corps from its permanent legal enlisted strength of seventeen thousand and four hundred to a temporary war strength of seventy-five thousand and five hundred with a proportional increase in commissioned and warrant officers and the addition of two major generals and six brigadier generals."
This article is illustrated with 12 photographs.
Click here to read about the African-American soldiers who served in France.
American Naval Mines of W.W. I (Sea Power Magazine, 1919)
"Being the story of the second of the three splendid achievements of the United States Navy in the World War: the laying of the greatest submarine mine barrier in all history, which effectually prevented the Kaiser's U-boats from leaving their secret bases for the steamer lanes of the Atlantic."
'Over There' by Albert Sterner (Sea Power Magazine, 1918)
"An American sailor in white uniform stands in the center bearing the Stars and Stripes, and at his side stands Columbia, in shining armor and with a drawn sword, pointing across the sea to direct the gaze of the sailor "over there" to the battlefield of the nations, where he must carry his flag to victory for the sake of the free country whose uniform he wears. In the background beneath the flag is shown the battle fleet steaming out to sea."
- so wrote the editors of SEA POWER MAGAZINE who were so moved by the W.W. I U.S. Navy recruiting poster "Over There" by Albert Sterner (1863 - 1946) that all they could do was describe it's powerful lines and overall design.
Equally dumbstruck was a grizzled old Boatswain's Mate who stared in awe at the poster for some time before remarking:
"That's the sort of thing that makes a man think"
The Navy Call to Arms (Sea Power Magazine, 1918)
Attached are a few words on the W.W. I naval recruiting poster To Arms by illustrator Milton Bancroft.
The article primarily describes what the duties of a ship's bugler are, what this position represents and why this was such an suitable graphic image for recruiting sailors for the war.
Naval Camouflage of W.W. I (Sea Power Magazine, 1919)
It was Lt. Commander Norman Wilkinson (1878 - 1971) of the Royal Navy who deduced that white (reflecting blue at night) was a suitable base color for naval camouflage. Wilkinson based his reasoning on the snow-capped iceberg that made such quick work of TITANIC, remembering all the while that seagulls are white, as are pelicans and the Antarctic Petrels. When the war broke out, his findings were presented to the Admiralty and it was concluded that elements of the North Atlantic fleet should be so painted. They added the black in order that the ships appear gray on the horizon. As for the designs:
"The so-called 'dazzle' system of camouflage - the piebald effect - makes a vessel 'unhittable' rather than invisible. The early British 'dazzle' scheme was based frankly upon the assumption that 'invisibility at sea being unattainable, some protection may be offered by painting the ships in such a way as to confuse the enemy by causing some doubt as to course, speed and distance, thus delaying the discharge of the torpedo.'"
There was only one surviving log entry in which a U-boat captain confessed to being confused by the dazzle camouflage. However, by September of 1918 a committee of inquiry convened by the Admiralty had decided that aside from lifting the morale of both officers and men on board these ships, the camouflage made no difference.
Records have shown there were 1,256 American merchant vessels that were camouflaged and fewer than one percent of them were ever torpedoed.
The 'Christy Girl' at War (Sea Power Magazine, 1918)
When the songwriter Irving Berlin sat down in 1915 to write his well-loved ditty "I love the Girl on the Magazine Cover", we have no doubt that it was the Christy Girl who inspired him. The Christy-Girl, so-called, was the creation of the American commercial illustrator Howard Chandler Christy (1873 – 1952) who placed her famous mug on thousands of magazine covers, newspaper ads and billboards.
The attached file consists of two articles, both pertaining to recruiting posters; one for the U.S. Navy and the other for the Marines. In the interest of national security, the Christy-Girl is depicted as a cross-dressing patriot in both of them, and the sailors loved it; they preferred to call her "Honey Girl", and as far as they were concerned, that name fit her just fine.
''Tell That To The Marines'' (Sea Power Magazine, 1918)
The W.W. I poster campaign was a vast undertaking that was new in the annals of warfare. Never before had government locked arms with the newly created forces of mass-media (such as it was) in an effort to instill some sense of patriotism in the hearts of so many. The old salts who edited SEA POWER MAGAZINE recognized this and so they documented as many of the posters dealing with the US. Navy as they could find.
The attached single page article explains the origins and development of the famed Tell That To The Marines poster that was painted by James Montgomery Flagg in 1918.