Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 405



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 405

was found to be the first ship in a convoy of sixteen other ships with thirty thousand United States troops on board.

It was a veritable Armada that steamed out of lower New York harbor on that early August morning, headed straight into the rising sun. But it was a voyage of unpleasant war reminders, with life-savers carried every moment of the day, with every light out at night, with every window and door as if hermetically sealed so that the stuffy cabins deprived of sleep those accustomed to fresh air, with over sixty army men and civilians on watch at night, with life-drills each day, with lessons as to behavior in life-boats; and with a fleet of eighteen British destroyers meeting the convoy upon its approach to the Irish Coast after a thirteen days’ voyage of constant anxiety. No one could say he travelled across the Atlantic Ocean in war days for pleasure, and no one did.

Once ashore, the party began a series of inspections of munition plants, ship-yards, aeroplane factories and of meetings with the different members of the English War Cabinet. Luncheons and dinners were the order of each day until broken by a journey to Edinburgh to see the amazing Great Fleet, with the addition of six of the foremost fighting machines of the United States Navy, all straining like dogs at leash, awaiting an expected dash from the bottled-up German fleet. It was a formidable sight, perhaps never equalled: those lines of huge, menacing, and yet protecting fighting machines stretching down the river for miles, all conveying the single thought of the power and extent of the British Navy and its formidable character as a fighting unit.


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