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America's Sailors in the Great War

Seas, Skies, and Submarines

Lisle A. Rose

When the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917, America’s sailors were immediately forced to engage in the utterly new realm of anti-submarine warfare waged on, below and above the seas by a variety of small ships and the new technology of airpower. The U.S. Navy substantially contributed to the safe trans-Atlantic passage of a two million man Army that decisively turned the tide of battle on the Western Front even as its battleship division helped the Royal Navy dominate the North Sea. Thoroughly professionalized, the Navy of 1917–18 laid the foundations for victory at sea twenty-five years later.

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America's U-Boats

Terror Trophies of World War I

Chris Dubbs

The submarine was one of the most revolutionary weapons of World War I, inciting both terror and fascination for militaries and civilians alike. During the war, after U-boats sank the Lusitania and began daring attacks on shipping vessels off the East Coast, the American press dubbed these weapons “Hun Devil Boats,” “Sea Thugs,” and “Baby Killers.” But at the conflict’s conclusion, the U.S. Navy acquired six U-boats to study and to serve as war souvenirs. Until their destruction under armistice terms in 1921, these six U-boats served as U.S. Navy ships, manned by American crews. The ships visited eighty American cities to promote the sale of victory bonds and to recruit sailors, allowing hundreds of thousands of Americans to see up close the weapon that had so captured the public’s imagination.

In America’s U-Boats Chris Dubbs examines the legacy of submarine warfare in the American imagination. Combining nautical adventure, military history, and underwater archaeology, Dubbs shares the previously untold story of German submarines and their impact on American culture and reveals their legacy and Americans’ attitudes toward this new wonder weapon.

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American Airpower Strategy in World War II

Bombs, Cities, Civilians, and Oil

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American Girls, Beer, and Glenn Miller

GI Morale in World War II

James J. Cooke

 "Cooke's examination of the Special Services and PX System during World War II, a subject previously overlooked by scholars, shows that these goods and services kept the armed forces' spirits up under the alienating conditions of global war."—Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century 

 

 

As World War II dawned in Europe, General George C. Marshall, the new Army Chief of Staff, had to acknowledge that American society—and the citizens who would soon become soldiers—had drastically changed in the previous few decades. Almost every home had a radio, movies could talk, and driving in an automobile to the neighborhood soda fountain was part of everyday life. A product of newly created mass consumerism, the soldier of 1940 had expectations of material comfort, even while at war. Historian James J. Cooke presents the first comprehensive look at how Marshall’s efforts to cheer soldiers far from home resulted in the enduring morale services that the Army provides still today.

 

 
Marshall understood that civilian soldiers provided particular challenges and wanted to improve the subpar morale services that had been provided to Great War doughboys. Frederick Osborn, a civilian intellectual, was called to head the newly formed morale branch, which quickly became the Special Services Division. Hundreds of on-post movie theaters showing first-run movies at reduced prices, service clubs where GIs could relax, and inexpensive cafeterias were constructed. The Army Exchange System took direction under Brigadier General Joseph Byron, offering comfort items at low prices; the PX sold everything from cigarettes and razor blades to low-alcohol beer in very popular beer halls.

 

 
The great civic organizations—the YMCA, the Salvation Army, the Jewish Welfare Board, and others—were brought together to form the United Service Organizations (USO). At USO Camp Shows, admired entertainers like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Frances Langford brought home-style entertainment to soldiers within the war zones. As the war heightened in intensity, the Special Service Companies grew to over forty in number, each containing more than one hundred enlisted men. Trained in infantry skills, soldiers in the companies at times would have to stop showing movies, pick up their rifles, and fight.

 

The Special Services Division, PX, and USO were crucial elements in maintaining GI morale, and Cooke’s work makes clear the lasting legacy of these efforts to boost the average soldier’s spirits almost a century ago. The idea that as American soldiers serve abroad, they should have access to at least some of the comforts of home has become a cultural standard.

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An American Heroine in the French Resistance

The Diary and Memoir of Virginia D'Albert-Lake

Judy Barrett Litoff

This fascinating book tells the remarkable story of an ordinary American woman's heroism in the French Resistance. Virginia Roush fell in love with Philippe d'Albert-Lake during a visit to France in 1936; they married soon after. In 1943, they both joined the Resistance, where Virginia put her life in jeopardy as she sheltered downed airmen and later survived a Nazi prison camp. After the war, she stayed in France with Philippe, and was awarded the Lgion d'Honneur and the Medal of Honor. She died in 1997.Judy Barrett Litoff brings together two rare documents-Virginia's diary of wartime France until her capture in 1944 and her prison memoir written immediately after the war. Masterfully edited, they convey the compassion and toughness of a nearly forgotten heroine as they provide an invaluable record of the workings of the Resistance by one of the very few American women who participated in it.An indelible portrait of extraordinary strength of character . . . [D'Albert-Lake] is sombre, reflective, and attentive to every detail.-The New Yorker A sharply etched and moving story of love, companionship, commitment, and sacrifice. . . . This beautifully edited diary and memoir throw an original light on the French Resistance.-Robert Gildea, author of Marianne in Chains: In Search of the German Occupation, 1940-1945 At once a stunning self-portrait and dramatic narrative of a valorous young American woman . . . an exciting and gripping story, one of the best of the many wartime tales.-Walter CronkiteAn enthralling tale which brims with brave airmen and plucky heroines.-David Kirby, St. Petersburg Times

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American Journalists in the Great War

Rewriting the Rules of Reporting

Chris Dubbs

When war erupted in Europe in 1914, American journalists hurried across the Atlantic ready to cover it the same way they had covered so many other wars. However, very little about this war was like any other. Its scale, brutality, and duration forced journalists to write their own rules for reporting and keeping the American public informed.

American Journalists in the Great War tells the dramatic stories of the journalists who covered World War I for the American public. Chris Dubbs draws on personal accounts from contemporary newspaper and magazine articles and books to convey the experiences of the journalists of World War I, from the western front to the Balkans to the Paris Peace Conference. Their accounts reveal the challenges of finding the war news, transmitting a story, and getting it past the censors. Over the course of the war, reporters found that getting their scoop increasingly meant breaking the rules or redefining the very meaning of war news. Dubbs shares the courageous, harrowing, and sometimes humorous stories of the American reporters who risked their lives in war zones to record their experiences and send the news to the people back home. 
 

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The American Military Frontiers

The United States Army in the West, 1783-1900

Robert Wooster

As the fledgling nation looked west to the land beyond the Appalachian Mountains, it turned to the army to advance and defend its national interests. Clashing with Spain, Britain, France, Mexico, the Confederacy, and Indians in this pursuit of expansion, the army's failures and successes alternately delayed and hastened western migration. Roads, river improvements, and railroads, often constructed or facilitated by the army, further solidified the nation's presence as it reached the Pacific Ocean and expanded north and south to the borders of Canada and Mexico. Western military experiences thus illustrate the dual role played by the United States Army in insuring national security and fostering national development.

Robert Wooster's study examines the fundamental importance of military affairs to social, economic, and political life throughout the borderlands and western frontiers. Integrating the work of other military historians as well as tapping into a broad array of primary materials, Wooster offers a multifaceted narrative that will shape our understanding of the frontier military experience, its relationship with broader concerns of national politics, and its connection to major themes and events in American history.

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American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume 3

Flintlock Alterations and Muzzleloading Percussion Shoulder Arms, 1840-1865

George D. Moller

This third volume in Moller’s authoritative reference work describes muzzleloading percussion shoulder arms procured by the U.S. government for issue to federal and state armed forces in the period that includes the Civil War.

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American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume I

Colonial and Revolutionary War Arms

George D. Moller

American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume I: Colonial and Revolutionary War Arms focuses on the arms used from the early exploratory period throughout the colonial period and the American Revolution. Arranged chronologically, it contains definitive descriptions of the pre-flintlock and flintlock shoulder arms used in North America and detailed accounts of the development and progression of military regulation shoulder arms of the major colonial powers from the early eighteenth century through the Revolutionary War.

Lavishly illustrated with more than four hundred vivid photographs of muskets, rifles, carbines, and other arms, this book offers an intelligent analysis of the shoulder arms procured and used by the colonists, colonial and state governments, and the Continental Congress.

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American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume II

From the 1790s to the End of the Flintlock Period

George D. Moller

American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume II, contains more than three hundred photographs. As with the previous volume, Volume II is written primarily for students of arms, but also contains material of interest to historians, museum specialists, collectors, and dealers of antique arms.

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