Friday, January 21, 2011

A Great Book of Combat Art From the Great War

Today I was clued in by a friend of mine (Mike Fay) to this great book of combat art made by an American "Doughboy" in France named C. Leroy Baldridge. It's in the public domain, and free for downloading here. What a great source of authentic, well-crafted art-- and as a bonus, along with the great art, there are many war poems by a soldier named Hilmar R. Baukhage.

PVT. A. E. F.

PVT. A. E. F.

Here are some excerpts from the book:

z-z-z-z-z-z-Z-Z-Z-Z-e-e-e-e-E-E-------------b Boom!
There's another!
God, this pack is heavy.
Glad I pinched the extra willy,
Guess I'll need it.
And the sweater, too,
out there.
-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-Z-Z-Z-Z-E-E-E-EEEEEE- - b Boom!
There's another!
Jesse! that was a close one.
Wonder if......good Christ! Where's Charlie?
Got him clean. God curse those Jerries!
I'll get even,—p'raps—
out there.
z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-Z-Z-Z-E-E-E-E-e-e----------b Boom!
There's another!
Well, if one has my name on it
Then the guv'ment pays ten thousand.
What's the use? I couldn't spend it.
Leastways not—
out there.
z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-Z-Z-Z-Z-e-e-e-e-e-E-E-E-E----b Boom!
There's another.
Where'd I put that plug of Climax?
Oh, I s'pose somebody swiped it.
Gee, I never thought that Charlie...
Glad I ain't out on the wire.
This damn trench is dark—ouch! Damn it,
Wait a minute.... Hell, I'm coming,
I can't run in this equipment.
What the hell's the rush to get—
out there?


Form a line!
Get in line!
From the time that I enlisted
And since Jerry armististed
I've been standing, kidding, cussing,
I've been waiting, fuming, fussing,
In a line.
I have stood in line in mud and slime and sleet,
With the dirty water oozing from my feet,
I have soaked and slid and slipped,
While my tacky slicker dripped,
And I wondered what they'd hand me out to eat.
Get in line!
For supplies and for inspections,
With the dust in four directions,
For a chance to scrub the dirt off,
In the winter with my shirt off,
In a line.
I have sweated in an August training camp,
That would make a prohibition town look damp,
Underneath my dinky cap
While the sun burned off my map
And I waited for some gold-fish (and a cramp!).
Get in line!
For rice, pay-day, pills, and ration,
For corned-willy, army fashion,
In Hoboken, in the trenches,
In a station with the Frenchies,
In a line.
I've been standing, freezing, sweating,
Pushing, shoving, wheezing, fretting,
And I won't be soon forgetting
Though I don't say I'm regretting
That I stood there, with my buddies,
In a line.

(Here is a classic drawing which anybody whose ever been in the Service can relate to!):

The job that's never ended—Cleaning up for inspection

1 comment:

The Page said...

Thanks for posts. Found you from the NYT article a while back. Not in the service but this civilian student of art really appreciates the artwork and your perspective.