"Climb Up to the Attack" - a World War II Training Camp photograph, 1942
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This black and white photograph shows an United States eastern seaboard World War II Military training center. The troops are practicing dislodging enemy soldiers entrenched on a section of the coast by climbing up the perpendicular wall of the moat standing between them and the enemy. The photo was taken at the edge of the wall, so that on the right you can see soldiers in waist-high water, while on the left are soldiers climbing the wall and struggling over the edge. There is smoke rising from a smoke screen twenty to thirty feet from the wall. The back has a faded stamp from the International News Photo (A United of King Features Synd, Inc). The stamp lists the corporation’s address and their copyright. Attached beneath is a slip of paper that reads: “U.S.A. 0956724. Watch Your Credit. International News Photo. Slug (climbing up side of moat).” Beneath that headline, it reads: “Climb up to the attack—at an eastern seaboard training center in the U.S. . . Troops of this training center engaged in the military problem of dislodging axis troops entrenched on a section of the coast, climb up the perpendicular wall of the moat which stood between them and the enemy. Smoke screen laid down by the attackers lends reality to the picture. R-9-22-43-II/IOAM.” This photograph corresponds with C. Ward Crampton’s article “Keeping Physically Fit” in Boy’s Life magazine (produced by the Boy Scouts). The International News Photo is a unit o King Features Syndicated, a print syndication company owned by The Hearst Corporation, which today distributes comic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles, and games to nearly five-thousand newspapers worldwide. In November 1942, America finally decided to enter World War II in the western theater by invading Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia to push the German tank corps out of North Africa and secure the south coast of the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Army doctrine, as developed during the prewar and early-war Army expansion, emphasized mobility and combined-arms in both attack and defense. A fundamental doctrinal belief espoused by General McNair was that pooling and standardization in the organization of the combat arms would facilitate the cross-attachment of units into combined-arms teams. Here the realities of wartime experience proved different. It was discovered that the close cooperation required of combined-arms teams required extensive training and combat experience to be effective. Unfortunately, the infantry division training program involved extensive practice in infantry-artillery coordination, but no training in armor-infantry-artillery coordination. In most cases the first armor-infantry-artillery combined arms operation for an infantry division was conducted in combat and not in training. Furthermore, pooling meant that most of the infantry divisions did not have tank or tank destroyer battalions attached until after they had entered combat. The result was predictable; the introduction of "green" infantry divisions into combat often resulted in disaster rather than success. Eventually combat experience and unnecessary casualties forced changes in the emphasis in the training regimen, but problems continued to persist until the end of the war. The edge are worn, but otherwise the photograph is in good condition. The descriptive paper attached to the back has a rip down the right side of its top edge, and appears fragile; On back is written "U.S.A. 0956724. Watch Your Credit. International News Photo; Slug (climbing up side of moat); Climb up to the attack—; At an eastern seaboard training center in the U.S. . . Troops of this training center engaged in the military problem of dislodging axis troops entrenched on a section of the coast, climb up the perpendicular wall of the moat which stood between them and the enemy. Smoke screen laid down by the attackers lends reality to the picture.; R-9-22-43-II/IOAM
|King Features Synd, Inc|
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
|King Features Synd, Inc.,International News Photo|
|World War, 1939-1945|
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