America in World War I: Military Camp Newspapers

Published: 10 September 2023

via the Coherent Digital web site

Camp newspapers header

This definitive collection of forty military camp newspapers provides unique coverage of America’s involvement in World War I. Brimming with humor, they contain unique social insights into the war.

Camp newspapers kept soldiers informed about the home front, political questions of the day—including those relating to the war itself—progress of their training, and conduct of the war abroad. The newspapers carried articles on what it was like to leave home, written by both recruits and draftees; the initial excitement of training; the drudgery of camp life; attitudes toward officers and fellow soldiers; the clash of arms; and news about the enemy. Camp personnel, places, and events are described with a richness that brings new credibility and perspective to scholarly research.

Camp newspapers also included advertisements, poetry, short stories, memoirs, jokes, and cartoons not related to the war.  Photographs and sketches portrayed life in the various camps, on the home front, and at the battlefield.

Most camp newspapers were published under the auspices of the National War Work Council of the Y.M.C.A. and were distributed beyond the actual camp areas to the local communities that supported the camps. Others were published by unit information officers and soldiers who had been employed previously in the newspaper and print trades.


The newspapers provided news on the growth of a national army consisting of soldiers from all states, including articles on the arrival of the soldiers, scope of their training, entertainment activities, effects of the camps on the local home fronts, perceptions of the war, and life on the battlefield and in the trenches.

In these documents the development of Parris Island, South Carolina, as the main training camp of the U.S. Marine Corps comes to life; the cavalier life of the pilots in the Air Service of the AEF are presented in eyewitness accounts; and concern for the recovery and morale support for the soldier-patients at the Debarkation Hospital No. 3 are highlighted in an effort to transition the wounded to civilian life.

The collection also documents the post-World War I American occupation of the Rhineland in Germany and provides an opportunity to investigate the political, social, and military history of America at the beginning of the Jazz Age. It opens a window on post-war Europe and furnishes evidence on the rise of America on the world stage.

The AMAROC News was a daily American military newspaper that appeared in Coblenz, Germany, from 1919 through 1923. The name of the newspaper is made up of the initials of the AMerican ARmy of OCcupation and is synonymous with America’s occupation troops in the Rhineland. The newspaper reached a circulation of up to 60,000 daily editions, read by American soldiers and to a lesser extent by the German civilian population, throughout the Rhineland occupation zone. For almost four years, the newspaper brought American journalism to Germany.

The AMAROC News was a highly colorful newspaper, with the motto “If on the Rhine We Must Sit, Then Let Us Know at Least What Is Going on Outside Our Billet.” It provided a wealth of information for its primary audience—the American doughboy.

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