THE GREAT WAR: Motoring in Britain during 1917, or was it light up time at 1918 Christmas

THE AD TALKS: THE VAUXHALL ONE-PAGE AD ON THE FLANDERS FRONT SHOWS THE #12 SERIES OF VAUXHALL IN HAND-DRAWN PICTURES BY A SOLDIER ARTIST IN THE FIELD DEMONSTRATING THE 25hp MODEL. “THE FINEST CAR  ON ACTIVE SERVICE, SAID THE ADVERTISEMENT.

Stop throwing in the scrap heap!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

UK magazine The Motor, was hopeful for peace and the end of the war by Christmas 1918, it said in December 25, 1917. Surprisingly, there was a lot a full-page advertising for new cars.

Those from Belsize, Napier, Vauxhall, Sizaire-Berwick, Crossley, Arrol-Johnson, Autocrat, Austin, Vauxhall Phoenix, Swift, Cole and Ford were the leading bunch. Trucks and tractors were also advertised, but if you checked the small print it read like the 1916 advertising.

Such as “Enter your name on a post-war waiting list’ or “Actively engaged on government service” or ‘Write for waiting list particulars’ etc, etc, the list goes on.

The parts industry was promoting tyres, wheels, spark plugs, brake linings and springs; and the nation was in full production, keeping the ageing car fleet on the road. With the shortage of fuel, coal-based town gas was promoted with specially designed carburettors, vaporisers and other products to help make the use of gas and kerosene more palatable to vehicles of the day.

PARIS FOR LUNCH

The coal gas containers were huge balloon bags fitted to the rooftops racks that sank into a box as the gas was used up. This was idea for delivery vans as they had a good platform base.

One story that took our interest was a 10 year prediction for the year1927. It was told in the Jules Verne style of writing where the author described an aerocar, a conversion that took only minutes; one that was to leave England, cross the Channel, land on a French highway and driving into Paris for lunch.

Also another 1927 story told of a dream to fly from London to California, an air-express weekly service of 40 hours travel time.

Light up time in London at Christmas 1917 was 4.29pm, half-an-hour after sunset.

Also, in the news was a German report of the production of synthetic rubber. Another report announced new clutch and brake lining made of asbestos.

As always, there was a large classified section at the rear of journal in which it stated only 3 Rolls-Royces were for sale, 3 Mercedes, l3 Scripps-Booths, 7 Buicks, 11 Fords, 2 Delages and 9 Darracqs. It was stated that many cars had not been used in the past two years.

<< Motoring in Britain during WWI 1917; Restored Cars, Jan-Feb, 2017.

Pictures:  Day out. A British Napier …rugged. Always there. Where ever there was a war you’d find Ford.


IRON PILOT: CHARLES NUNGESSER GETS READY FOR ANOTHER MISSION. A RENOUNED ACE, NUNGESSER WAS HONOURED WITH 9 AWARDS.

THE GREAT WAR: FIGHTING WAS FURIOUS … HE DISAPPEARED IN 1927

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Like Eddie Rickenbacker, there was none better the Charles Nungesser. Like Richerbacker, he was a race-car driver turner fighter pilot. He raced in South America and it was on that continent that he learned to fly.

He joined the French army in 1914 and was transferred to the French Flying Service the following year. He started out as a reconnaissance pilot, but an armed and aggressive one. In November 1915, he was transferred to a fighter squadron.

By the war’s end he had scored 45 victories, which put him third on the list of French pilots.

He flew Nieuport planes and struck terror in the hearts of his enemies by painting skull-and-crossbones designs on his aircraft. He was wounded many times during the war, both by gunfire and crashes.

DUEL CHALLENGE

One crash in 1916 broke his two legs, but he was back in the cockpit two months later.

Also, in l916, a message was dropped on Nungesser’s aerodrome challenging him to a duel; but when he flew to the assigned place at the assigned time he was ambushed by six German planes. Furious, he shot down two of the German planes, causing the other four to flee.

By August 1917, he was so banged up and exhausted that he sometimes had to be carried to his plane so he could fly his next mission.

Nungesser disappeared in 1927 while attempting a flight from France to the United States.

<< Guide to Warplanes; by Lanson and Benson; 2004; Alpha Book, New York, USA.

Picture. Stand to attention. Lieutenant Charles Nungesser.


ONE NIGHT: IN SEPTEMBER 1918, ON THE MEUSE-ARGONNE FRONT, CAPTAIN HARRY TRUMAN INCHED FORWARD. SCANNING THE GERMAN LINES WITH FIELD GLASSES, HE SAW THE GERMAN FORCES MOVING AROUND THE AMERICAN FLANKS FOR A SURPRISE ATTACK. COMING: CAPTAIN HARRY TRUMAN SAVES THE DAY.

THE GREAT WAR: FINAL! CAPTAIN HARRY TRUMAN OF BATTERY D – THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC PATRIOT OF ALL!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

It was September 6 before the 129th CO men saw any action. They had been assigned to a faIrly quiet sector in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace. On this night there occurred what became known to Dizzy D as “The Battle of Who Run”.

The “battle” began with a 500-round barrage fired at the German lines by Battery D. For a while after the barrage, things were quiet; then, suddenly, the Germans retaliated in kind. With the first few shells to land near Battery D, which had never been under fire before, somebody panicked and, suddenly, almost every member of the unit was racing for his life.

Captain Truman tried to rally his men, but to no avail.

Then, livid with anger, Harry decided on one final attempt at turning the tide. Recalling the language of the gandy dancers on the railroad back in Missouri, Captain Truman began to curse. As his men streamed toward the rear, he stood amid the bursting German shells and screamed every blistering oath at them that he had ever heard.

The regimental chaplain, Father Tiernan, said Harry turned the air blue. “It took the skin of the ears of those boys,” he recalled; later with a grin. “And it turned those boys right around.”

ADMIRATION FOR HARRY

The sight of their mild-mannered CO exploding into a tornado of unparalleled fury and wrath caused the men to stop and stare in wonderment. Then the basic courage of the brawling, fighting Irish overcame their first flashes of panic.

If Captain Truman could do it, so could they. The men returned. At Harry’s commands, they hitched up the guns and withdrew in orderly fashion some few hundred yards to safety.

After “Who Run”, the men of Dizzy D had even greater admiration for their usually quiet-spoken CO. Certainly, no one there was anxious to stir Captain Truman to the volcanic fury they had witnessed in their first action.

Here was a real man. One who would wade in mud and put his shoulder to a caisson wheel along with the rest of them; one who demanded unquestioning obedience to orders but who had personal concern for each of his men.

GERMANS’ RETREATING

This was “Captain Harry.”

Shortly after midnight on September 26, l918, the last great offensive of the war `began on the Meuse-Argonne front and Battery D and the 129th CO men covered themselves with glory.

For mile after muddy mile the troops followed the retreating Germans. It was a wearying, back-breaking grind of unhitching guns, firing several hundred rounds, hitching up, slogging through mud and mire to repeat the same bloody-minded exercise again.

On and on the offensive went, without letup, without respite, through October and into November. Then on November 11, found the 129th CO troops near the gutted city of Verdun. At five o’clock that morning, word was passed that a cease-fire would become effective at eleven.

War was over.

<< People of Destiny: A humanities series; Harry S. Truman. McGraw-Hill Book Company, USA.

Pictures: Ready and able. Harry Truman gets ready for the Presidency of the Unites States after the death of President Roosevelt. Seen a lot. Harry Truman – The end of the Second World War, the fall of the Atom Bomb on Japan and the Berlin Airlift.


MATE, WE’VE GOT A WAR GOING ON HERE NOW …

MORE NEWSPAPERS: STRIKE ME LUCKY, HOW TIME FLIES! A NEWS-VENDOR, CIRCA 1926, IS FULL OF NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES OF ALL DESCRIPTIONS AND KIDS’ COMICS.

What happened to our newspapers and magazines? There’s only one person who knew what took place with our papers and magazines during and after the Great War – it was historian H.M. Green.

Green’s two volumes History of Australian Literature open on the frenetic world of newspapers and the effects or otherwise of the brand of “New Journalism”.

When it was introduced, it changed the heart and soul of some of the press. Whereas those newspapers who didn’t bother to usher in the new practice soon found themselves at war, with the ‘news editors’ on their papers.

“The New Journalism brought about a revolution in the newspaper world, changing its outlook, form and method,” said Green. But in Australia, the full effects “of the revolution” were not felt until a generation later than in the United States and Britain … even then they were felt “only gradually”.

1914-0N THERE WAS GROWTH

“This was marked by the reflection of important social and political events: it opened with a war and a struggle for internal unity, and it ended with a world conflict.

“So far as actual numbers were concerned, the growth of the newspaper was naturally less … but in the transition from babyhood to childhood … there was considerable growth,” Green.

There was decline in numbers during the First World War.

“Except with the metropolitan dailies and with weeklies, almost all of which were published in the capital cities,” said Green.

<< H.M. Green’s History of Australian Literature published in 1960s; Frank Morris.

Coming: The late 1920s! Published in July.

Pictures: Papers, Papers! Some newspapers who didn’t bother to usher in the service of ‘New Journalism’ were beaten to the punch.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 26 May 17

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