Too Many Ships, Too Late

A History of the Emergency Fleet Corporation in World War I

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About the Book

The United States’ entry into World War I In April 1917 exposed an American military weakness. Not only did the U.S. have a small army but even after a recruitment drive was expected to swell its ranks, it was obvious that the merchant fleet was not big enough to ferry the nascent American Expeditionary Force across the Atlantic and, once it was there, keep it supplied and fed.
Ten days after the United States entered World War I, the United States Shipping Board (USSB) established the Emergency Fleet Corporation (EFC) to acquire, maintain, and operate merchant ships to meet the needs of national defense and foreign and domestic commerce. While the USSB had altruistic aims conceived in peacetime to restore the American Merchant Marine to its former glory, the EFC was established in wartime with one very distinct goal: to acquire and build a range of merchant ships, and quickly. Aided by detailed drawings of the many types of ships built, this book tells the story of the EFC’s difficult and fascinating efforts to raise a massive merchant fleet capable of serving the United States in a global war.

About the Author(s)

John Henshaw was educated at Wesley College and Melbourne University. In retirement he has pursued his interest in naval history and is the author of seven books. He lives in Australia.

Bibliographic Details

John Henshaw
Bibliographic Info:
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9411-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5165-1
Imprint: McFarland