Our (Their) Navy

Hiya.

There have been
an awful lot of
changes made
since I served
in the United
States Navy ,
and even more
so since World
War II.

But you know,
some things
never seem to
change…

… and that applies
even if you’re talking
about another
country’s Navy
altogether.

The French
Navy, for instance.

One of the oldest
and finest Naval
forces in the world,
the French Marine
Nationale
counts a
number of ‘firsts’
among their achieve-
ments –

The first catamaran
style landing craft,
the first seaplane,
and the first seaplane
carrier, for instance.

Not to mention
the snarkiest slogan –

( all Navies have
certain expressions
that are specific to
them ) –

If a recruit calls a
deck officer
Mon Capitaine“,
he will inevitably
receive the retort :
” In the Navy there
is My God and my
ass, but no
my captain‘! ”

Before WW II,
the French artist
Charles Millot,
a veteran of the
Great War —

( and known in
the postcard world
by his alias Henri
Gervese )

— created a series
of comic postcards
called ” Our Sailors “,
lampooning the
day to day life
of enlisted men
in the French
Navy.

It’s interesting
just how many
parallels a
modern American
Sailor can find
in these….

Ok, so maybe
we didn’t have
the bright red
pom-pom
on our hats…

But the
various
cards in the
series still do
demonstrate
a good deal
of humor about
the military
routines,
traditions,
rituals,
and boondoggles
as they have
and still are
being practiced ;

from:
liberty boats,
seabags,
swabbies,
uniform inspection,
pretentious know-
nothing O-gangers,
to
chow lines,
rack rotations,
marching parties,
polly-wogs,
mid (night) watches,
general quarters,
monotony,
weapons training,
military protocol,
and mail calls.

These cards,
as they appear
today on the post,
are mostly in French..

(although,
of course
it’s easy to see
what’s going on
in them for any
former sons of
Neptune )

but the series
was also issued
in English, and
they were much
appreciated in Britain,
by denizens of the
Royal Navy
particularly.

There were other
series by different
artists on the same
general subject as
well, and we’ll
feature those as
we find ’em.

But, somehow
these cards by
Henri Gervese
sing just the
right chord for
me, and I’m happy
to share them
with you.

.

!! HOY !!

        

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Your Time Is Up

brothel timerI have some
cool friends,
man.

My old buddy
from VA has
sent me a couple
of unique pics
from the turn of
the century on a
subject that I’ve
never paid much
attention to before ;

I guess it should
have been obvious
that something like
these existed, but it
just never came up ..
… if you know
what I mean.

Yes, these are
brothel candles —
used by ladies of
the evening for the
purpose of keeping
things…bordello
well, let’s say,
coming and going.

They burn down
slowly, taking between
7 and 10 minutes –

( half that time if
you’re one of those
guys who burn their
candle at both ends…. )

— so, at the bordello,
or anywhere else for
that matter, your
friendly neighborhood
courtesan lights it as
you cross her palms
with gelt, and when
it goes out, so do you.

They’d have been one
of those necessary
items for the trade,
I guess ( along with
a block and tackle in
my case, absolutely
necessary to get
Lil Elvis up once
he knew that any
financial transaction
was involved ).

You had to be
careful with these,
cause they’d get
very messy and
drip all over
otherwise.

Maybe they have
digital ones now,
for all I know.

Ah well.

An interesting
bit o’ history,
don’t you think?

brothel timer