At the beginning of the US Declaration of war, people on both sides of the Potomac River had different views on how much the United States should contribute to defeating Germany.
The general idea is that the United States will provide financial and material assistance to the allies, and may also send a small naval force.
No one expected that in the following year and a half, the total number of US troops would increase to more than 4 million, of which about half were sent to France, and the daily life of the American people would be covered with such a strong wartime color.
At that time, President Wilson established a large number of institutions under the proposal of the National Defense Commission.
Each institution was in charge of a certain economic sector, and its power was unmatched by any previous federal agency.
The military industry administration manages all factories producing military materials and organizes new sources of supply, which is the most important of all federal agencies.
The MIB is led by Bernard Baruch, a Wall Street speculator, who has effectively become the supreme emperor of the national economy in two years.
In order to save steel and coal, there are regulations on how much metal should be used to make women’s brassieres and how many floors the elevator can stop.
The food agency, led by Herbert Hoover, a former engineer and participant in the relief work for the hungry in Belgium, has made the American public more deeply aware of the reality of war than any other government agency: Monday is stipulated as “Wheat Free Day”, Tuesday is “meat free day” and Thursday is “pork Free Day”, because pork is an important food of the allies.
At the same time, the fuel bureau set daylight saving time, raised the price of coal in order to resume production in small coal mines, and set Monday as “fuel Free Day”.
From 1917 to 1918, the United States exported more than 12.
3 million tons of grain.
From 1918 to 1919, this figure increased to more than 18.
6 million tons.
In the three years before the war, the average annual output was only more than 6.
9 million tons.
This achievement is of course the result of the American people tightening their belts in the days of “lack of meat and food”.
However, compared with the above hardships and tribulations, the continuous bad news from the allies is even more worrying to the Americans.
Since February 1917, with a fleet of 133 submarines, the German Navy has set off a second wave of unrestricted ship attack.
The German Admiralty had speculated that if 600000 tons of ships were sunk every month, Britain would succumb within six months.
Sure enough, in just a few months, German submarines destroyed a total of more than 6.
5 million tons of ships bound for Britain, while in the same period, all shipyards of the United States, allies and neutral countries built only 2.
7 million tons, so there was no time to supplement and replace them.
Britain’s food reserves can only last for three weeks, and the threat of hunger is imminent, followed by a bow and surrender.
Therefore, when the news of the US Declaration of War reached London, British Prime Minister Lloyd George shouted to a group of Americans in London: “to ensure the victory of the war, first, there must be a ship, second, there must be a ship, and third, there must be a ship!” All of you were moved by this situation.
Rear Admiral William Sims, who was then the United States liaison officer in London, happened to be there.
After listening to the prime minister’s words, he “had a different taste in his heart”.
The general was no one else, but the young man who wrote an article against Mahan and at the order of President Theodore.
Over the past ten years, he has served successively as the president’s adjutant to the Navy, Captain and President of the Naval Military Academy.
Before the United States entered the war, he was sent to London to be responsible for contacting Britain.
Sims came to London under a false name and brought an assistant with him.
During the trip, his ship hit a thunder in the sea of Liverpool, and he and other passengers were rescued ashore by the yacht.
As soon as Sims arrived in London, he hurried to the British Admiralty to consult with the Secretary of the Navy and his old acquaintance, Admiral Sir John Jericho.
Without a few words of conversation, Jericho handed Sims a memorandum, which revealed the huge losses caused by the German submarine war to the Allies: in the first three months of 1917, 1.
3 million tons of ships were sunk, accounting for about 6% of all the transport ships in voyages of the allies and neutral countries.
It is expected to reach 900000 tons in April.
If such destruction cannot be stopped by October, Britain’s maritime lifeline will be interrupted.
“It seems that Germany will win the war?” Simms said in horror.
“Well,” replied Jericho, “unless we can stop the loss, and stop it immediately.
” “Is there no other solution?” “As far as I know, absolutely not.
” Jericho replied in despair.
Sims spent a few days doing some research before reporting the amazing news.
He found that Britain no longer sent ships to escort in the Western Corridor and the North Sea, and was a merchant ship to venture.
It turned out that senior officers of the British Admiralty had quite a dispute over the escort issue.
Some people believe that the escort ship is only a defensive force, and the offensive force must be used against the submarine: either send destroyers to search, or use armed merchant ships, water mines and other methods to block the access to the German submarine base.
They believe that the huge escort formation has many disadvantages, because the escort requires all ships to obey the unified dispatching and have the same speed, while the merchant ships are often disorderly and have different speeds, and sometimes collide with each other at night.
In this way, the slow-moving ships that fell behind became the prey of German submarines.
The destroyer of the escort team takes care of one thing and loses the other, and can’t spare his hand to cover all the ships, so the purpose of escort is difficult to achieve.
Based on the above situation, Sims decided to use a two pronged approach to solve the escort problem.
On the one hand, on April 28, 1917, he suggested that his country send all available destroyers to escort in European waters (however, he told the British that it would take time and the number could not be very large).
At the same time, he obtained the help of British Prime Minister Lloyd George and junior officers of the British navy to persuade the Admiralty to conduct an escort test.
In May, the experimental convoy assembled at Gibraltar and Hampton anchorages and headed for British ports.
The test results were very good.
Only one lost ship was lost.
This convinced the British Admiralty that the method of escort was indeed effective.
Although Sims is highly regarded in London, his American superiors treat him coldly.
Those officers who were far away in America did not believe in the urgency of this escort mission and thought Sims was too Pro British.
Navy operations Secretary Benson has a clear distrust of Britain.
When Sims went to England, Admiral Benson shook a finger to warn himThis war.
” It is true.
The US Navy has made great efforts to deal with the chilling German submarine war.
The construction of battleships planned to be built in 1916 was temporarily suspended, and a plan for the construction of 273 destroyers was formulated.
These Destroyers have a displacement of 1200 tons, four chimneys and a design speed of 35 knots.
They are equipped with four 4-inch guns, one 3-inch anti-aircraft gun, 12 21 inch torpedo tubes and two deep-water bomb launchers.
After these destroyers were finalized, they were produced in large quantities and made rapid progress.
One of them was launched 17 days after the keel was installed.
However, the vast majority of these warships failed to catch up with World War I.
Some of them served throughout the Second World War and played a role.
During the construction of the destroyer, the U.S. Navy also equipped a 110 foot long wooden shell hunting submarine with a displacement of only 77 tons.
The main engine is a gasoline engine with a speed of 15 knots.
The bow of the boat is equipped with a 3-inch gun and a bomb rack for launching deep-water bombs, and there are also deep-water bomb racks at the stern of the boat.
Submarine hunting is usually led by a second lieutenant, with 25 officers and soldiers, almost all of whom are reservists and volunteers.
There was a helmsman and sergeant on a boat.
He liked to read the original Greek tragedy.
One sailor can speak fluent Arabic and other four languages.
There was a cook who used to sell lemons in the arena.
There is a chief engineer who has never been to the sea.
There are all kinds of strange things.
But without exception, they share a common belief: fighting for the honor of the Navy.
When the first submarine hunting formation arrived at Plymouth under the leadership of commander Lyman coton, Sims was surprised.
He said to coton, “how did these children drive the boat across the Atlantic?” Cotton replied, “maybe not, but they’re here!” Then he pointed to the 36 “gadgets” floating up and down Plymouth Bay to show Simms, and they both laughed.
During the war, the United States built nearly 400 such hunting submarines, which operated effectively in the vast waters from Murmansk to the Mediterranean.
There, these hunting submarines became an integral part of the barrier to block enemy submarines.
This anti submarine barrier crossed the Strait of Otranto and became an insurmountable obstacle for German and Austrian submarines to enter and leave the Adriatic Sea.
In order to detect the whereabouts of enemy submarines, hunting submarines are equipped with hydrophones.
This is an original underwater listening device.
The method is that three hunting submarines are arranged into a triangular array.
As soon as they hear a suspicious sound underwater, they will contact each other with a password, determine the position of the submarine by triangulation, and then attack with a deep-water bomb.
At first, not only the enemy but also the British were puzzled by this method.
But later practice proved that this method is difficult to work in most cases.
Because once the enemy submarine finds that its opponent is capturing the sound of its engine, it will shut down the machine and remain silent until the hunting submarine is tired and has to give up its hunting target.
Escorting and searching submarines in the North Atlantic is really a hard job.
There was very little good weather there, and strong winds and waves often made the destroyer lean forward and backward.
The crew could not stand stably and bumped into the bulkhead.
In most cases, the sea water always covers the deck and sometimes seeps into the living quarters through the lifting port.
Hot food is hard to eat, except cold food.
It is impossible for people to be quiet for a while.
From time to time, something breaks or breaks.
When sailing at night, there will also be terrible events of self collision, and the consequences are no less than being attacked by enemy submarines.
It was in the Strait of Gibraltar that the Changxi sank after colliding with a British ship, killing 21 people.
For this hard life, Tausig, the first naval commander to aid Britain, recalled: “Patrol life is very monotonous.
When we look around and can’t see the enemy, we can’t help feeling terrible.
Who knows if the German submarine is approaching me.
The roaring sea for many days has brought us great torture.
The excessive turbulence makes it difficult for us not only to eat at the table, but also to go to bed.
It keeps going between the sails The wind of screaming made people’s nerves nervous all the time.
Many of us sleep in our clothes and never change our clothes during the mission.
“Due to the lack of sufficient escort ships, the US Navy is unable to provide escort for all fleets.
The solution to this contradiction is to give priority to ensuring the troop transport ships sailing abroad and provide escort to the troop transport fleet from beginning to end.
Other water troops were not escorted when crossing the Atlantic Ocean, but only when they finally sailed to a dangerous area 200 nautical miles off the British coast.
In order to achieve this, there must be precise arrangements for the assembly, ferry and arrival time of various fleets.
As the “central nervous system” of all fleets, the escort command of the Admiralty in London.
There, there was a large plotting board, which marked the positions of all the maritime fleets and the known activity positions of German submarines.
Fleet commanders are often retired admirals or captains.
Most of their command ships are located on passenger ships with better equipment.
In terms of command relationship, each fleet has to obey the commander of the escort fleet, because only he can contact the naval command directly.
Later, each fleet had its own fixed schedule: the fleet from New York (30 ships in a team) came every 16 days and from Hampton anchorage every 8 days.
Others from Halifax, Dakar and Gibraltar also have their own fixed shifts.
The fleets crossed the Atlantic through the “Z” route and gathered at the edge of the dangerous area.
They must meet an escort fleet.
The convoy escorted a fleet bound for a foreign country, and then the ships bound for a foreign country and the ships coming from abroad just said goodbye to each other.
The time must be so accurate, because the escort fleet cannot stay for a long time to wait for the late fleet.
If it stays for a long time, the fuel of the escort fleet will not be enough.
When passing through the danger zone, ships and ships have to be arranged in a certain sequence.
Usually, the fleet quickly forms several columns, destroyers are arranged on both sides, and finally a warship is left as the guard of the whole formation.
The whole escort formation must advance at the best speed possible.
In front of such an escort formation, the German submarine dare not act rashly.
It can only risk attacking one or two of them at mostThe air force has only 43 qualified pilots (five of whom are Marines), 239 enlisted soldiers and 54 aircraft (most of which cannot be used in combat).
19 months later, at the end of the war, 6716 officers wearing gold machine signs and green uniforms emerged.
The number of soldiers who joined the naval air force reached 30693 and the number of aircraft reached 2107 (most of which were made in Britain and the legal system).
The Navy also has large seaplanes designed and manufactured by the United States and equipped with engines produced by the United States.
The Marine Corps Air Force was also formed, with 282 officers and 1180 soldiers.
Naval aircraft, small soft airships and balloons taking off from 27 bases in France, Britain, Ireland and Italy patrol the active waters of enemy submarines, carry out reconnaissance missions and protect passing fleets.
According to statistics, the plane sank at least one German submarine and injured several.
In the last 10 months of the war, none of the fleet escorted by aircraft was damaged.
These aircraft have carried out anti submarine bombing missions along the Belgian coast, and conducted special surveillance on canals, railways, supply depots, airports and submarine bases.
On August 21, 1918, two bombers and three fighters, led by Lieutenant George Ludlow, were distributing propaganda over Bora when they were suddenly attacked by seven enemy planes.
In a scuffle, Ludlow shot down an Austrian plane and his own plane was shot and caught fire.
He put out the flame by means of rotary impulse, but the engine went out, which forced him to land on the sea five nautical miles away from the Austrian base.
Seeing this, Lieutenant George Hyman immediately landed in the sea near ledero.
It was easy to rescue ledero from the water, fasten him to the pillar between the wings of his plane, and then fly back to his base safely.
In recognition of Hyman’s bravery, the United States Congress awarded him the highest medal of honor.
He was the first naval pilot to receive such a medal.
Later, marine captain Ralph thar and his two Gunners also received the medal of honor because they fought with 12 German planes alone on October 8, 1918, shot down two of them, and then returned safely across the German trench at an altitude of 50 meters.
The 19-year-old captain David Ingalls was the most successful in air combat.
He was an ace pilot in World War I and shot down five German planes in a few weeks.
The strength of the US Navy is shown not only at sea and in the air, but also on land.
When the German military long-range guns bombarded the military areas and supply depots behind the Allied front, the allied army was unable to fight back, and the Navy supported them with naval guns.
They loaded five 14 inch rifled guns on a special train and sent them to France with gunners.
The train is equipped with mobile workshops, ammunition vehicles, camping vehicles and other equipment.
The naval artillery unit went into battle on September 6, 1918 and fired a total of 782 shells in two months.
They moved to the western front and drove wherever they needed.
Sometimes, aircraft determine the impact point for them, which will cause great damage and threat to the enemy.
At the end of the war, the US Navy had more than 2000 ships and 533000 officers and soldiers in service, with unprecedented scale and combat effectiveness.
Because they firmly advocated the escort system, the strategists of the US Navy made important contributions to ensuring the maritime victory of the allies and the United States.
By putting its destroyers into anti submarine warfare, the US Navy reversed the situation of anti submarine warfare in the first Atlantic war.
Moreover, as nearly half of the expeditionary forces and almost all military goods were transported to France, the US Navy advanced the plan originally formulated by the leaders of the allies to defeat Germany in 1920 to 1918.