‘THE UGLY DUCKILINGS’
The American struggle to get enough men and material to the front lines of World War II would have been impossible without the ships of the LIBERTY CONVOY.
Merchant sailors and their ships are the unsung heroes of World War Two.
Relatively unnoticed, but uniquely competent, these men and their ships sailed directly into combat zones and right “into harm’s way” to make certain that the American and allied fighting machine was well supplied with everything it needed to defeat the Axis powers.
Their ships were the primary weapons in the Battle of the Atlantic.
But they weren’t fighting ships.
They were freighters, produced “by the mile and chopped off by the yard” in such numbers that they overwhelmed the forces trying to stop them.
These ships were not pretty – or fast.
However, they were reliable and they had been designed to be easily and quickly manufactured.
Franklin Roosevelt called them his ‘ugly ducklings ‘and they waddled in lines across the Atlantic to deliver the critical war supplies that allowed the Allies to triumph over Hitler.
Using period footage, dramatic re-enactments and interviews with the men who manned the vessels, these documentaries tell the story of the development and deployment of these humble freighters and how they formed a floating “bridge of liberty” across the Atlantic and delivered the weapons of American victory to the American soldiers fighting in Europe.
“When the United States entered World War II at the end of 1941, it had the beginnings of a great merchant fleet. But the lethal U-Boats, submarines of the German Navy, prowled the shipping lanes hunting American merchant ships.
LIBERTY SHIPS proved to be ‘too slow and too small’ to carry the tons of supplies the United States and her Allies would need to win the war.
Therefore, in 1943, the United States began a new ship-building program – the VICTORY SHIPS.
These new ships would be faster, larger, and able to carry cargo long after the war was finished. These were the VICTORY ships.
The LIBERTY SHIPS and VICTORY SHIPS fulfilled President Roosevelt’s prophetic words, serving the nation well in war and peace.
Today, of the thousands of VICTORY and LIBERTY ships that were built during World War II, only a handful remain.”.
– NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
How to successfully complete assignment #1.
- View these THREE short documentaries below.
- Now use your notes, or review the documentaries, to create one 15-question quiz based on the info in these three documentaries – together.
- That means you write ONE QUIZ using the information offered within all THREE documentaries – together.
- Make sure that your quiz questions require thought to answer.
- Your questions should begin with ‘Why…? or “How does … etc.
- The questions must be submitted in full-sentence form.
- You must include the answers with the quiz that you submit.
- The answers must be full sentences as well.
- Your quiz questions should be worded in such a way that the answer would demonstrate that the person successfully completing and passing your quiz has viewed and understood the basic premises of the documentary.
1940 BRITISH SHIP BUILDERS (15 minutes)
INTRODUCTORY LIBERTY SHIP DOCUMENTARY (7.20 minutes)
LIBERTY SHIP INTRODUCTORY DOCUMENTARY (2.56 minutes)
How to successfully complete assignment #2.
- Watch this documentary below.
- In 750 words or more, discuss the historical significance and the importance of this era of the LIBERTY SHIPS. Use examples from THIS documentary ONLY.
- Explain how these massive vessels affected the military, economic and even social history of the United States, and discuss the future of this type of compartmental building program. Are ships still made this way?
- Explain your answers using examples gleaned from THIS documentary.
HISTORY CHANNEL: LIBERTY CONVOY
How to successfully complete assignment #3.
- Watch the entire Hollywood movie GREYHOUND (Tom Hanks) on APPLE+ (or wherever).
- Create a quiz of 15 questions, and full-sentence answers, concerning the main and most salient scenes in this movie -n and how each scene fleshes out the story of the Battle of the Atlantic.
- What are the names of the two Liberty ships that still exist in America as working museum exhibits?
- Why was the St. Mary’s a VICTORY ship?
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