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Allied Aviation Of World War I by Hugh Cowin, Hugh W. Cowin

By Hugh Cowin, Hugh W. Cowin

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The U-boat gauntlet had been run successfully, seasick stomachs could begin to recover, and the food on shore was bound to be better! Optimistic, enthusiastic young Americans were gladly trading the ship for the shore. Most men felt personally invulnerable, unwilling to consider the dangers that might lie ahead. The Navy saw the situation from a different perspective. William Halsey, who would win fame in the Pacific during World War II, was a captain of one of the escort destroyers. Halsey wrote in his diary, “You look at them [the troops], and pity them having to go to the trenches.

Allocating ships became a question of priority, and, almost inevitably, disputes arose. The British, for example, relied on cargo ships for their very survival and were reluctant to allocate shipping to America. At the same time, the British insisted that the Yanks increase the flow of troops to Europe. The Americans, in turn, argued that if the British wanted more troops to sail, they should be willing to provide more shipping space. Winston Churchill agreed. Churchill, a lifelong advocate of Anglo-American cooperation, 10277-America in WWI 11/12/03 3:30 PM Page 49 4-21 Mine layer USS Baltimore.

The War at Sea 33 10277-America in WWI 11/12/03 3:29 PM Page 34 firepower. This was the highly publicized HMS Dreadnought [3-16]. Eventually the term “dreadnought” came into general usage, applied to all the mighty class of battleships coming into the German and British fleets. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm, however, who fancied himself as something of a naval figure [3-17], was also determined to have a powerful fleet, even declaring he wanted his German Navy to become as potent a force as the German Army.

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