Newly discovered magazine pages show US troops in the First World War

Newly discovered magazine pages show US troops training with French soldiers shortly after arriving in Europe to join the First World War

  • Pictures show US troops from the Navy and Army joining the war effort in France 
  • The images were discovered in historical British Magazine The War Illustrated 
  • Over one million US soldiers played a part in the outcome of the First World War

The images were found in British magazine The War Illustrated

Newly unearthed magazine covers from World War One show American soldiers arriving in Europe to fight alongside the Allies.

The US servicemen can be seen travelling to the continent and training in trench warfare in the French countryside.

The pictures, on display at the USS Texas Museum, were discovered at the University of Sheffield Library and show America’s vital contribution to the defeat of Germany.

More than one million American soldiers fought at sea and on the Western Front during the Great War.

The historic images, originally published in British wartime magazine War Illustrated, have been compiled by Dr Jonathan Rayner of the University’s English School.

The collection gives an insight into the involvement of the US Navy in the war effort with photographs of ships such as the American Dreadnought USS New York, taken from Manhattan as she was sailing down the East River on her way to war.

Pictures show US troops training on artillery pieces alongside their battle-hardened French counterparts

American soldiers can also be seen strolling off their ships and making camp in the French countryside

The Dreadnought USS Delaware, hailed at the time as ‘one of the monsters of the Navy’, also appears in the collection.

USS Parker and USS Banham, two of America’s swiftest destroyers, can be seen steaming at full speed on a special military run.

In others, officers are pictured aboard Submarine Chasers, small craft only 40ft long that were essential in the battle against German U-boats which were threatening to starve Britain of vital supplies and into surrender.

American troops can also be seen training for the dangerous trench warfare which awaited them in France.

Men of the 2nd Field Artillery of the New York National Guard practice the daring horsemanship that made them famous across America and marines carry out rifle drills aboard a ship of the US Atlantic Fleet.

Dr Jonathan Rayner said: ‘The collection of images provides a fascinating new perspective into America’s involvement in the First World War.


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Two American soldiers carrying water as the troops around them make camp alongside French troops

Pictures from the magazine also show the ‘typical fighting ships of the Western World’ including several large frigates

‘It features images and illustrations that accompanied reports by journalists who were reporting from the battlefields and seas across Europe for people who were back home in Britain.

‘During the war, the War Illustrated magazine was hugely popular among people in Britain.

‘In its early days it was sensationalist and patriotic in nature, but it became a more reliable and respected source of journalism with personal accounts of the war from its correspondents who were often on the frontline.

‘It also published descriptions and illustrations to report events from the battlefield and ran comment pieces from writers and politicians reflecting on wartime events.’

The images, on display at the USS Texas Museum in Houston, provide a renewed insight into the significant role that the US played in the war, particularly at sea.

Dr Rayner added: ‘Despite having the largest naval force in the world, Britain’s Royal Navy still needed the assistance of its allies to win the war at sea.

US troops from the American Navy depart their ship on the shores of Northern France as they joined the conflict

More than one million American soldiers fought at sea and on the Western Front during the Great War

‘The United States Navy helped defend trade, escort merchant ships and hunt German U-boats.

‘In the First World War, both sides expected battle fleet engagements to decide not only control of the sea, but the entire war.

‘Britain concentrated its battleships in a Grand Fleet based in Scotland to oppose the German High Seas Fleet.

‘Upon America’s entry, Battleship Division 9, composed of the USS Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, New York, Texas and Wyoming, extended the Allied Forces’ superiority in battleship strength.

‘The US Navy’s ships operated alongside British ships for a year without ever getting chance to engage the German fleet.

‘Nonetheless, a close friendship grew between the US and Royal Navies from this co-operation.

‘When King George V visited the fleet in July 1918, he welcomed the opportunity to see ‘the splendid ships of the United States in line with our own’.

‘Additionally the British press gave the public an opportunity to appreciate the US Navy’s ‘monster’ ships in War Illustrated.’

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