Three notices appeared in the fall of 1918 announcing changes in design for three items issued to American troops: the 1918 combat knife, a.k.a. 'the Knuckle-Duster", the mess kit and the canteen. Interestingly, the notice pertaining to the canteen states that Doughboys had been carrying both French canteens and American canteens by the end of the war.
>Click here to read magazine articles from the Second World War.
This is a swell read, written in that patois so reminiscent of those fast talking guys in 1930s Hollywood movies. One of the many reasons I find this era so interesting has to do with the fact that the war coincided with that mass-media phenomenon called advertising - and this article pertains exactly to that coincidence. This column was printed shortly after the war in order to let the Doughboys in on the existence of a particular group within the A.E.F. that was charged with the task of dumping propaganda leaflets all over the German trench lines:
"Propaganda is nothing but a fancy war name for publicity and who knows the publicity game better than the Yanks?"
By the time April of 1919 rolled around, it seemed to the Doughboys who were waiting for that boat to take them "back to the good ol' U.S. of A" that their French allies had a short term memory and were terribly ungrateful for American sacrifices made on their behalf. Many post-Armistice letters written by the Doughboys were filled with snide comments about the high prices they were asked to pay for everyday merchandise, prices that seemed to be chosen just for them. Wisely, the Stars and Stripes editors chose not to take sides in this debate but ran this nifty little piece about the manner in which the Americans of 1782 treated their French allies during the American Revolution.
Click here to read about the foreign-born soldiers who served in the American Army of the First World War.
A cartoon by C. LeRoy Baldridge (1889 – 1977) which depicted the streets of Paris in a way that only the A.E.F. could have witnessed it. A Yank-heavy Place de l'Opera is overwhelmed by sight-seeing Doughboys (note the Y.M.C.A. patch on the tour guide) and loitering officers lounging about over-priced cafes. In the foreground stands a bewildered Doughboy, dumb-struck by the passing gaze of an appreciative Parisienne while a few steps away a four-gold-chevroned private gets reamed for failing to salute the single-chevron looey. The stage is shared by bickering cabees, melancholy widows, wandering sailors, unforgiving MPs and a hard-charging, over-weight uniformed woman.
Click here to read about W.W. I art.
Click here to read the observations of U.S. Army lieutenant Louis L'Amour concerning 1946 Paris.
The following article must have been penned as a result of some sort of creative writing project for one of the many bored World War One Doughboys waiting for the boat home. The article spells out how the necessities of modern war demanded that the wrist watch no longer be thought of as a piece of jewelery adorned only by fops and fems and evolved into a useful tool for soldiers on the field. The column makes clear that prior the Great War, any man who dared to accessorize themselves with a watch was immediately suspect and likely to have their noses broken.
The T-shirt also had a military origin. Click here to read the article
•Read an article about the history of Brooks Brothers•
Coffee has the ability to remedy some physical ailments, however this small article told the story of one U.S. Army Colonel who felt so helpless upon seeing so many sick army men come ashore in France suffering from such a terrible illness as influenza, and was moved to do the only thing that he could in his power to offer comfort: unlimited cups of hot coffee. How real was coffee as a preventative measure in the face of influenza? The good colonel was on to something - it wasn't the java bean that made an impact, it was the heat: viruses die when exposed to high temperatures.
A more thorough article about Influenza can be read here.
Click here to read about the earliest use of face masks to combat airborne disease.