Archive for the 'World War I' Category

Dec 13

Good Cheer Bag

Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:01 AM

By

Good Cheer Bag (Smithsonian National Museum of American History)

Lt Commander Theodorus Bailey Myers Mason, best known as the founder of the Office of Naval Intelligence, no doubt led a fascinating life. He was born to a prominent 5th Avenue family in New York City, where his childhood was spent riding a small white pony daily. He decided by the age of 16 he would join the Navy, and impressed his father by saving up the money for a commission himself. He called upon the Secretary of the Navy at 16 to ask him personally to secure a commission. The plan worked, and he entered the Naval Academy in… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 4

Innovation In Difficult Times

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 12:01 AM

By

Japanese Bombard Wanping ca. 1937

In 1868, the Meiji Restoration in Japan began a fundamental shift in Japan’s conception of its place in the world.[i] This shift was catalyzed by the “gunboat diplomacy” of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who demonstrated the power of the U.S. Navy to secure expanded trading rights between the United States and Japan.[ii] The Meiji Restoration was characterized by an effort to modernize and globalize Japan economically and militarily in order to ensure that Japan would not be subjugated by a foreign power.[iii] Shimazu Nariakira, a powerful feudal lord during the period, stated that “if we take the initiative, we can… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 1

100 Years Ago In USN LTA

Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:01 AM

By

North Sea LTA (U.S. Naval Institute Archive)

The following is reprinted with permissions from The Noon Balloon. The late LTAS guru Dr. Dale Topping lamented that in any given book or publication about LTA, at least one photo will always be mis-identified. We often offer gently worded guidance to well meaning LTA-inclusive media to help over previous hiccups, but we are respectful, since we too have to recruit from the human race, and allow too many typos to count. While we LTA nuts realize the photo contains neither a seat nor a depth charge, we held off telling the U.S. Naval Institute it is a North Sea,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

How One Man Started a World War 104 Years Ago Today

Thursday, June 28, 2018 3:17 PM

By

(Photo: Smithsonian Magazine)

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in the streets of Sarajevo, which loosed the forces that created World War I. Here are the elements that led to this catastrophic event:   AN ANNEXATION CAUSES TROUBLE IN BOSNIA   Following the Crimean War and various conflicts in Eastern Europe, the Congress of Berlin proposed a treaty that granted independence to the smaller nation-states of Romania, Montenegro, and Serbia. While Austria and Russia initially promised to leave these new countries to their own devices, Austria’s sudden annexation of Bosnia in 1908 generated intense… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 14

USS Cyclops – The Deadliest Unsolved Mystery in the Navy

Thursday, June 14, 2018 12:01 AM

By

USS Cyclops circa 1913. Copied from the album of Francis Sargent, courtesy of Commander John Condon, 1986. (Photo: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command taken by Sargent.)

One hundred years later, the mystery of the USS Cyclops, the greatest non-combat loss of life the Navy ever experienced, remains unsolved. What happened to it? Where did it go? The USS Cyclops was built in Philadelphia; it was 54o feet long and 65 feet wide. The ship was a Proteus class collier and could carry 12,500 tons of coal while making 15 knots with its twin screws. When the United States declared war on Germany and its allies in April 1917, support ships like the USS Cyclops fell under the command of the Navy. The administrative change greatly affected… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 12

The Sinking of the USS President Lincoln, 31 May 1918

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 12:01 AM

By

Painting by Fred Dana Marsh, 1920, depicting the ship sinking after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-90 on 31 May 1918

May 31st marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the troop transport USS President Lincoln. Formerly a German ocean liner of the Hamburg-America Line, the Navy had commissioned her in 1917 to ferry young men and equipment over to the Western Front. In 1918, her luck ran out when she was torpedoed by the German submarine SM U-90.  In 1922, her commanding officer at the time of the sinking, Commander P. W. Foote, USN, wrote his remembrances of the fateful day for Proceedings. It is excerpted and illustrated here.

 
Jun 8

Frankenships: HMS Zubian and USS Wisconsin

Friday, June 8, 2018 9:14 AM

By

HMS Zulu + HMS Nubian = HMS Zubian

When the Royal Navy commissioned the thirteenth Tribal-class destroyer in on 7 June 1917, it unleashed a floating Frankenstein’s monster. HMS Zubian was actually stitched together from the best parts of the class’s tenth and twelfth destroyers after both had suffered heavy damage while serving as part of the Dover Patrol to prevent German vessels from entering the English Channel. HMS Nubian was torpedoed during the Battle of Dover Straight in October 1916 but had remained mostly intact and suffered no casualties. As she was being towed back to port, heavy winds caused her to breakaway and run aground on… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 6

The Battle of Belleau Wood: a Devilish Overview

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 2:00 PM

By

(Photo: Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

June 6th, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood. This three week long engagement between German infantry forces and the 4th Marine Brigade helped forge the culture of the Corps over the past century. Perhaps most significantly, the Germans gifted the Marines with one of their favorite nicknames: the Devil Dogs, but that is not even close to the most interesting part of the battle. Let’s take a closer look at what Belleau Wood was when it was fought and what it left in its wake.   If the Marines did not win the Battle, the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
« Older Entries