AN ELGIN POCKET WATCH
AFTER RESTORING OVER 200 PERSHING DIALED WATCHES, WE CONCLUDED THAT, THOUGH ELGIN PRODUCED A PERSHING WATCH WITH SPECIFIC CASE, SOON AFTER THE POPULARITY DEFINED THE DIAL AND NOT THE CASE. THUS, THE OFFICIAL ELGIN POCKET WATCH WITH ELGIN PERIOD MOVEMENT, AND ELGIN CASE, WITH THE DIAL MATCHING IT ALL, THIS IS A PERSHING WATCH IN EVERY WAY AND FORM
A POCKET WATCH WITH A PERSHING DIAL A PERFECTLY MATCHED POCKET WATCH A GIFT TO A MAJOR IN THE US ARMY AIR CORPS 1916 THROUGH 1922. IT HAS A TWO PIECE 1918 DIAL WITH SUNK SUB SECONDS REGISTER. NOTE THE SUB SECOND REGISTER IS IN A WELL. IS THIS A PERSHING???? YES, YES, YES, YES
DURING WWI, ELGIN CREATED A WATCH WITH A UNLQUE BLACK “AMERICAN MILITARY DIAL. WITH 48 STARS FOR THE STATES, A SHELD AND EAGLE, WITH USA AND ELGIN. THEY WERE AWESOME. THE DIAL WAS CASED IN CUSHION CASES IN SILVER, GOLD FILLED AND NICKLE – SIMILAR TO THE 1918 GERMAN ALPINA BELOW. IT DID NOT SELL WELL. AND ELGIN HAD A FORTUNE TIED UP SO THEY CAME UP WITH AN IDEA… USE GENERAL PERSHINGS NAME…..
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I CHOSE THE 44TH ENGINEERS DUE TO THERE MOTTO
[ALSO THE LIEUTENENTS BAR TO LOCK THE STRAP TO CUFF]
WHILE ELGIN MADE WATCHES WITH POPULAR PERSONA NAMES. UNLESS IT IS A FRENCH FOCH OR ENGLISH KITCHENER, ANY WATCH WITH THIS DIAL IS CALLED A PERSHING. PERIOD. NOT AS THE BRAND NAME OF ONE DESIGN OR STYLE, BUT SIMPLY ANY WATCH WITH THIS DIAL BY ELGIN!!
WHILE THERE ARE CUSHION CASED WATCHES WITH THIS DIAL, THERE ARE POCKETS AND TRENCHES ALSO WITH THIS DIAL. BECAUSE PERSHING WAS CHOSEN FOR THE FIRST NAMED WATCH WITH THIS DIAL, IT MADE THE DIAL A PERSHING.. DUH.. [JUST FOR THOSE KIA FOR KNOW IT ALL’S.
[EVENTUALLY THEY WOULD PRODUCE SOME WITH WHITE DIALS,]
THE ELGIN PERSHING
REMEMBER, THEY WERE AN EXPENSIVE DUD. SALES WERE NOT IN LINE WITH COSTS. BUT ALL IN ALL THEY NEEDED A PROPER NAMES. INTRODUCE GENERAL JOHN J “BLACK JACK” PERSHING. THEY NAMED THE WATCH AFTER THE NOW FAMOUS GENERAL. THUS THE WATCH COMPLETE WAS CALLED THE PERSHING. ADVEERTISE AS JONN J BLACK JACK PERSHING. THE POPULARITY OF PERSHING MEANT THE WATCHES BEGAN FLYING OFF THE SELVES.
THE ELGIN KITCHENER
WITH THE CREATION OF THE 1ST ID [BIG RED ONE!] BY PERSHING AND IT’S JUMP POINT TO MAINLAND EUROPE BEING THE UNITED KINGDOM, ELGIN, WHOM WERE SUPPLIERS OF TIMING DEVISES TO THE US AND ENGLAND [BOTH WARS] , DISCOVERED THERE WAS AN ENGLISH VERSION OF “BLACK JACK” BY THE NAME OF [LORD] KITCHENER. KITCHENER LOVED BY ALL .. INCLUDING THOSE WHOM WANTED TO PROFIT —NOTE THOUSANDS OF LEATHER TRENCH WATCH STRAPS BEING SOLD AS “KITCHENER MILITARY STRAPS”.
THE POPULARITY OF THE UNIQUE PERSHING DIAL
NOTE THE POCKET STYLED / CASED PERSHING ABOVE. WE STILL DISCOVER SPECIAL “PERSHING DIALED” WATCHES IN MANY FORMS
IT SEEMS THAT MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, SOMEONE, USUALLY FROM A WATCH FORUM,
IN THIS “CASE” IT WAS STATED THE DIAL IS NOT A “PERSHING “, THAT ELGIN MADE A ONLY A SPECIFIC CUSHION CASED WATCH WITH THIS DIAL CALLED THE PERSHING. THAT IT IS THE WATCH AND NOT THE DIAL. WELL, IN THE US IT WAS A PERSHING DIAL.
YOU SEE, ELGIN PRIDED ITSELF AS THE AVERAGE MAN’S WATCH COMPANY
BUT SILVER AND GOLD FILLED CUSHION CASES THEY WERE COSTLY AND IN THE USA, THERE WERE MORE EX 1ST ID VETERANS THAN ANY
.STORE IN ENGLAND
SALES AND DEMAND MEANT USING THIS DIAL IN DIFFERENT CASES AND CALLING ANY WATCH WITH THIS DIAL “A PERSHING” . WHILE I CANNOT SAY THAT THE KITCHENER/FOCH VERSIONS BECAME THAT POPULAR, SO MANY WERE SOLD IN THE USA THAT EVEN TODAY BRAND NEW OLD STOCK CAN BE FOUND. YES AN AMPLE
AND, WHEN ORDERING A DIAL, A WATCH MAKER WOULD ASK FOR A “PERSHING DIAL.
MORE WATCHES IN “ORD” STYLE MILITARY CASES EXIST WITH PERSHING DIALS THEN CUSHION CASED “PERSHING DIALED” CASES..
THEY SIMPLY WERE THE RAGE. AND WHILE OFFICERS SERVED, IT WAS THE INFANTRY THAT DOMINATED THE FIELD. 1ST ID [LATER WWII BIG RED ONE] INFANTRY DIVISION SURVIVORS PURCHASED PERSHING DIALED WATCHES AS WELL AS THE PUBLIC.
THE “ELGIN KETCHENER CUSHION CASE WAS BORN.
THE ELGIN FOCH
NOW, ELGIN DID NOT STOP HERE, AFTER ALL THE FRENCH HAD TO HAVE A SALEMAN.. ONE WHOSE NAME WOULD SELL WATCHES! .STEP UP FEILD MARSHAL FOCH! FOCH WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR HALTING THE ADVANCE OF THE GERMANS DURING THE GREAT PUSH IN THE SPRING OF 1918 AND THEN LEADING A COUNTER ATTACK THAT HELPED TURN THE TIDES OF THE WAR…
WHY? THEY WERE USED TO MAKE WATCHES UP TILL THE 1930’S. AND THERE WERE MORE CASED NOT IN CUSHION CASES, BUT ALL SORTS OF CASES. WHY? THEY WERE STILL CAALLED BY THE DIALS NAME AND NOT THE NAME OF THE FIRST WTCHES WITH CUSHION CASES. IN FACT THERE ARE MORE RE-CASED PERSHINGS THEN THE ORIGINAL PERSHING. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE ARE PLENTY OF CASES.
WWI UNIT INSIGNIA OF THE
As the Central Powers continued a series of devistating offensives, Pershing was hard pressed to create an action plan to both improve the moral of his men and to counter victories of the Germans; who were desperate to win before the US could send more troops and supplies.
The action plan that Pershing would create would be an attack plan, a means to get his soldiers up and out of those slits of mud and blood, those mind numbing trenches. Pershing would improve upon the use of artillery and marksmanship. He devised a battle plane for precise rolling artillery barrages followed up by waves of infantry; the goal was to break through and behind German entrenchment’s and capture German artillery positions and, ultimately, supply lines. Positioning, Training, Supplying and Planning took nearly 8 months. In the spring of 1918, 1st ID forces were prepared for their first attack.
April/May 1918. Spring time 1918 was anything but joyous. The Germans had launched a series successful offensives. Within 40 miles of Paris, the Germans began massing troops with the plan to break through and seize Paris herself… a fact that had the Allied Powers seeing red. And it was at the place where the first Americans of the war would lose their lives …
PATENTED SHRAPNEL GUARDS
It was at the German Occupied French village of Cantigny that events would play their course. Cantigny had proven to be a hard place for the French to reclaim and even harder to keep when they got it. In order to turn the tables on the Germans,they had to win it back. It was not a war winning fact, but it was necessary to improve the morale of all allied troops.
With German artillery and machine guns guarding the approaches to Cantigny, 4,000 1st ID soldiers of the division’s 2nd Infantry Brigade, 28th Infantry Regiment, relieve an exhausted French First Army forces that manned trenches 600 yards from the village. Under Pershings plan, an Allied artillery bombardment began just before 6 a.m. May 28 and the 1st ID forces moved in and took the village in an hour.
The Germans replied with artillery while hidden German soldiers emerged to battle close quarters with the 1st ID Forces and lost. The 1st ID Forces would repulsed three German counter attacks.
Cantigny stands as the definition of 1st ID and the eventual reputation of the Big Red One as well and the proof that the US could more than stand toe to toe with any force.
American forces numbering one million in 29 divisions by the summer of 1918, did more than help route the Germans in the fall of 1918.
In 17 months under Gen Pershing, the 1st ID went from a a small,loose group of rapidly trained ground troops, to a concise, well trained and courageous unit that helped defeat the most powerful army in the world’
Over 22,320 1st ID troops perished in the Great War, 1ST ID helped clear St. Mihiel salient , fought in the Meuse-Argonne Forest advancing seven kilometers and defeating eight German divisions, completed the farthest American penetration of the war, was first to cross the Rhine into occupied Germany. Five Medals of Honor were awarded. The 1st ID colors carry campaign streamers for (1) Lorraine, 1917; (2) Lorraine, 1918; (3) Picardy, 1918; (4) Montdidier-Noyon; (5) Aisne-Marne; (6) St. Hihiel; and (7) Meuse- Argonne.
America’s military stepped into the 20th century on the backs of those troopers of the 1st ID . And two decades later the 1st ID would once again place the U.S. Army at the forefront of the Western world.
NOTE: THE NAME BLACK RATTLERS CHANGED TO HARLEM HELL FIGHTERS AFTER THE GERMANS BEGAN CALLING THE SOLDIERS OF THE 369TH “FIGHTERS FROM HELL”.
While many African Americans eagerly volunteered to join the Allied cause following America’s entry into WWI, the U.S. armed forces remained segregated throughout the WarI. Over 350,000 African Americans would serve with the American Expeditionary Force on the Western Frontw by the time of the armistice with Germany on November 1918.
While many African American units were relegated to support roles, the HARLEM HELL FIGHTERS of the 369th Infantry Regiment would become one of America’ most honored, medaled and experienced combat regiments.
General John “Black Jack” Pershing assigned the 369th to the 16th Division of the French Army.
With the French, the Harlem Hellfighters fought at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood; they helped to repel the German offensive and launched a counteroffensive.
The 369th would spend 191 days in combat on the front lines – longer than any other American unit in the war.
The 369th was the first Allied unit to reach the Rhine.
“My men never retire, they go forward or they die,” said Colonel Hayward.
171 members of the 369th were awarded the French Legion of Merit.
And six were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in World War I.
The extraordinary valor of the 369th earned them fame in Europe and America and opened the door for many African Americans to enjoy freedom and adoration when they went overseas throughout the 1940′ to the 1960′.
Newspapers headlined the feats of Corporal Henry Johnson and Private Needham Roberts. In May 1918 they were defending an isolated lookout post on the Western Front, when they were attacked by a German unit. Though wounded, they refused to surrender, fighting on with whatever weapons were at hand. They were the first Americans awarded the Croix de Guerre, and they were not the only Harlem Hellfighters to win awards; 171 of its officers and men received individual medals and the unit received a Croix de Guerre for taking Sechault.
In December 1917, when Colonel Hayward’s men had departed from New York City, they had not been permitted to participate in the farewell parade of New York’s National Guard, the so-called Rainbow division. The reason Hayward was given was that “black is not a color in the Rainbow.”
When they returned home in February of 1919, Colonel Hayward pulled every political string he could to assure his men would be rewarded with a victory parade.
Crowds thronged New York City’s Fifth Avenue as the 369th marched to the music of their now-famous regimental jazz band leader, James Reese Europe. After the parade, city officials honored the troops at a special dinner.
World War I initiated changes on the home front that permanently affected the lives of Americans, black and white. While defense production was up, the war had cut off the flow of immigrant labor. Workers were needed in the North, and African Americans seized the opportunity.
African Americans left the rural South & Jim Crow, lynchings, and oppressive economic conditions.
The Great Migration — the most massive internal migration in American history — brought several million African Americans North before the Depression stemmed its flow.
With the migrants, black culture entered the American mainstream, changing it forever. Musical styles never heard before outside the South became “hot.”
The Jazz Age and a Harlem Renaissance blossomed into one of the nation’s greatest artistic outpourings
On the political front, participation in World War I did little to directly advance the equal rights of African Americans.
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