Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

America and the War in 1917

Here is a slide show I gave a few years ago to the Cloverdale, CA, History Society.  Please feel free to borrow these images for any educational programs you might participate in.  MH


  1. Well done, Mike. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Echo the comments above - well done and many thanks

  3. Thanks so much for sharing these - great images. Looking forward to your talk on Saturday.

  4. The convoy system began in the face of considerable opposition in April and May of 1917. Here is an account of an experience in a convoy from a history of The New York Hospital's Base Hospital #9, US Army Medical Corps, on its way to three years of duty in France:

    The 13 day crossing on board the Finland was spent with daily training sessions and nights without lights as its convoy of seven ships sought to avoid the German Navy blockading the French coast. All went well until the last day. Padre (Chaplin Brown) writes:

    “it was a beautiful day. Belle Ile en Mer had just been sighted and everyone gave a sigh of relief after the days of anxiety. The life preserver, which had been our constant companion for days and nights, would soon be discarded. Some even decided that this was the time to go down and bathe and be ready to go ashore. The enchanted land lay before us and troubles behind us. Just as we were peacefully contented, the “abandon ship” whistle began to blow and our port gun began to boom. The ships cut circles and scattered like a flock of frightened sheep. Everyone on board took his position near his lifeboat. The guns of the other ships commenced firing. Our ship would turn so sharply that we would feel her keel over. ….. In the midst of it all, there was a terrific b-o-o-m, and the old ship shuddered and shook. The one thought in every mind was that we had been hit by torpedo. But some had seen a column of solid white water shoot straight up beside the destroyer, and they knew it was the impact from a depth bomb. The fight lasted 40 minutes. Every ship had something to say with its guns and kept up an incessant maneuvering at close quarters. But there was no disorder. All were calm and quiet and manifested the greatest interest in the struggle that was being staged. it was their first experience under fire and was to be the last for a great many of them. As the firing ceased, the French airplanes came out bringing a welcome and the assurance of safety. We were told that our ship was credited with one submarine and the destroyer that the dropped the death bomb got the other. How many there were off Belle Isle that morning nobody knows."

  5. This could be a very handy thing. Thanks so much for sharing.