US Marine Drill Team and Fat Albert

Today is Veteran’s Day in the US.

The date was originally set aside to commemorate Armistice Day, November 11th, 1918. On that date the guns fell silent and WW1 ended. In the UK and Commonwealth Countries the day is called, “Remembrance Day” in memory of the fallen.

The United States did not enter WW1 until April of 1917 and some of the first units to arrive in France were US Marines. The Marines added to their illustrious history at the Battle of Belleau Wood. The Germans called them “Teufel Hunden” meaning “Devil Dogs.”

June 26, 1918: U.S. Marines take Belleau Wood after 25 days of murderous fighting. “Retreat, Hell! We just got here!” http://ww1ha.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/ww1ha-annual-seminar-6/

June 26, 1918: U.S. Marines take Belleau Wood after 25 days of murderous fighting.
“Retreat, Hell! We just got here!” http://ww1ha.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/ww1ha-annual-seminar-6/

Below is a video of the US Marine Drill Team and “Fat Albert.” Fat Albert is the nickname for a C-130 transport aircraft.

The video was brought to my attention by my good friend John who served as a Navy Corpsman with the Marines in the First Gulf War.

In honor of US veterans in all branches of service please enjoy the US Marine Drill Team and Fat Albert.

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Send Mail_Doughboy to Loved Ones Back Home

Since the inception of email, texting and other forms of instant communications letter and post card writing are disappearing, One would wonder how historians will document the Afghan War when they will not have access to the thousands if not millions of emails that have passed between the service men and women and their families back home.

A hundred years ago during WW1 pen and paper were the primary means of servicemen communicating with their loved ones back home. The postcard industry printed thousands of cards so that a serviceman could quickly send off a note to loved ones for the price of a Two-Cent stamp.

Poems were popular themes. They often communicated propaganda as well as the Doughboys bragging on how they would tame the Kaiser and his “huns.”

Often times the postcards were simply messages designed to boost morale or encourage the people back home “to do their bit” for the boys overseas. That is the case with the postcard below. It’s a poem (perhaps not a very good one) that conveys to the people back home that the one thing the serviceman wants most is mail from home.

Dodughboy poem

The poem is by Private Carl S. Powles. An INET search for the private’s name failed to turn up a link. The term “Dippy Dome” is a bit of a puzzlement. As far as I can tell the phrase does not have any current meaning. In the context of the poem “Dippy Dome” suggests a sad soldier who needs mail. The phrase appears be WW1 slang that has now lost meaning.

The other side of the card is blank except for the title, “Souvenir Post Card” and along one edge the name, David F. Hetzel.

I did a quick INET search for the name and found a David F. Hetzel mentioned as one of the siblings of Henry C. Hetzel of Racine County, WI. Since the postcard was purchased by me in a near-by county it is likely that David was the owner of the postcard. David is also mentioned as a merchant of Racine.

According to Henry Hetzel’s online bio the family came from Germany. This is not at all unusual for SE Wisconsin. Many of the sons of German immigrants fought against their kinsmen in WW1 once America entered the war.

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Halloween WWII Style


I know this is a little late but it’s interesting none-the-less.

Originally posted on pacificparatrooper:


This story is condensed from: EVERY VETERAN HAS A STORY_______

The other morning I woke up and looked out the window and saw pumpkins smashed and some decorations strewn.  “Ah, good,” I said to my daughters, “someone has done their research on the history of Halloween!”
They rolled their eyes and kept reading the comics over their bowls of cereal.  After 13 years of fatherhood, I’d lost the ability to shock them…or they were hoping by their indifference to ward off the inevitable history lecture to follow.  If so — it didn’t work.
Foe much of our history, Halloween wasn’t about trick-or-treating or going around in costumes – it was about vandalism.  Halloween celebrates the dark side, the side we reject and fear – all that we try to deny.  Mischief making has historically been a part of that.  If you look at newspapers 80 or 90 years ago…

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Cossacks and a Zepplin _Stereotypic slide

Down below the first two pics is my latest find from an antique store in Delavan, WI. The stereotypic  image portrays Russian Cossacks shooting down a German Zeppelin. There is no way to date the image but it would have to be either WW1 (1914-1918) or post-war. Although the eastern front in WW1 receives little attention the campaigns fought there were massive.

Russian Cossacks WW1. In 1914 the cavalry of many nations were still armed with lances.

Russian Cossacks WW1. In 1914 the cavalry of many nations were still armed with lances. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/289285976036701407/

A Zeppelin over the SMS Seydlitz, c.1914

A Zeppelin over the SMS Seydlitz, c.1914 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeppelin


The image is stereotypic. The slide fit into a viewer and gave a three-dimension feel to viewing the image. The stereotypic viewer was used as an entertainment device primarily from the 1850s through the 1930s. However, I remember having a children’s version in the 1960s and I’m sure those variety are still used today.

Today you can find the double image slides in antique stores and they are collectible as are the original viewers. I picked this slide up simply because it had a WW1 theme and because it is unusual in what it portrays.

The Cossacks of the Russian Steppes were enlisted by the Czars to serve primarily as cavalry. Some units attained elite status and were considered Guards units. In general, the Cossacks were feared by their enemies and had a reputation for brutality, rape and looting.

The Germans used Zeppelin’s extensively in the First World War usually as bombers but also in a reconnaissance role. The most famous Zeppelin of all was the Hindenburg that crashed in New Jersey in the 1930s.

The slide is an unlikely portrayal. Although Zeppelin’s were vulnerable to fighter aircraft and longer range anti-aircraft fire it is unlikely that one could be brought down by rifle fire especially by mounted cavalry. I’m guessing the slide is more for propaganda purposes than it is for anything else.

Russian Cossacks shooting down a German from Horseback.

it p Russian Cossacks shooting down a German from Horseback.


After I published this post a friend found some information on when and where the slide is based on. Here’s what he found:

I located a number of New Zealand newspapers that report the event. It was reported as taking place near Warsaw. The report carries dateline PEROGRAD, 14th October [1914] with the Zeppelin being captured intact and then taken to Warsaw. No additional details were given on how it was brought down.

There was a brief mention in the 26 October 1914 edition of The Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA) . . . An Italian telegraph agency at Rome Italy reports that the Cossacks have captured a Zeppelin near Warsaw. It is now officially stated that no Zeppelin has been taken to Warsaw, and that no such capture has been made there or elsewhere.

It does make an interesting story.

Thanks Paul for these fascinating details.


The Burning of the White House and the Star Spangled Banner


Great post on the War of 1812, the forgotten war with Great Britain.

Originally posted on War and Security:

On 2 June 1814, 2,500 men from Wellington’s army under the command of Major General Robert Ross, like many of his men a Peninsular War veteran, left Bordeaux, arriving at Bermuda on 25 July. Another battalion of 900 men was then added to Ross’s force.

Ross’s force and its naval escort then proceeded to Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay where it joined a British fleet commanded by Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, who had been appointed to command of the Royal Navy’s North American Station in March. The combined fleet included more than 20 warships, four of them ships of the line, and a large number of transports. Ross’s force was increased to over 4,000 men by the addition of 700 marines.[1]

Cochrane sent frigates up the Potomac and towards Baltimore in order to confuse the Americans before entering the Patuxent. On 19 August Ross’s force made…

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Doughboys Arrive in Great Britain 1917

The US entered World War One in April of 1917 but it would take a year before the doughboys arrived in numbers to make a difference in France. At the start of the war the US Army was tiny but by the end of hostilities on November 11th, 1918 over 4 million men had volunteered or been drafted into US Armed Forces.

The pictures below are from Liberty’s Victorious Conflict a post-war (1919) publication that illustrated the war from its start in 1914 to its end in 1918.

The doughboys were welcomed first in Great Britain and then in France. Both countries were exhausted by three+ years of war and they saw America’s entry into the war as the means to break the dead lock.

The captions below speak for themselves but I like the second one best. It features the doughboys in their distinctive campaign hats marching past an honor guard of British Horse Guards in their ceremonial uniform.




Lundy’s Lane and the Niagara Front in 1814


Great blog!

Originally posted on War and Security:

Major General Jacob Brown, commanding the US Left Division, failed to follow up the US victory at Chippawa on 5 July

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_the_Niagara_Frontier,_1869.jpg The Niagara Front Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_the_Niagara_Frontier,_1869.jpg

1812. He allowed the defeated British, commanded by Major General Phineas Riall, to retreat to Fort George near the mouth of the River Niagara on Lake Ontario.

Brown advanced to Queenston, a few miles south of Fort George, but his force, whose largest guns were 18 pounders, was too weak to assault it. He hoped that 24 pounders might be brought from Sacket’s Harbor, but British control of the lake made this impossible. On 24 July the Americans withdrew behind the River Chippawa in order to re-supply before moving on the Burlington Heights.

Lieutenant General Gordon Drummond, the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, ordered a British force under Lieutenant Colonel John Tucker to advance from Fort Niagara along the east bank…

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