Trompler Foundation Archives

Eric's maternal grandfather was a submariner on the U.S.S. Sterlet (SS-392) in the Pacific in World War II. The following is a poem written about the Navy's idiosyncratic views on the utility of capital ships and attrition units in that war.

Old Fuds, Young Studs and Lieutenant Commanders

Battleships are title B.
That's Lesson One in strategy.
They are the backbone of the Fleet.
Their fighting power can't be beat.
They dominate the raging Main
While swinging 'round the anchor chain,
And bravely guard your home and mine
While anchored out there all in line.
They fill the Japs with fear and hate
From well inside the Golden Gate.

Now Lesson Two in strategy--
Our subs and planes are title C.
Just send them out on any mission
And win your battles by attrition.
Where'er you send the subs or planes
They're bound to chalk up lots of gains--
And losses, too, but what the hell.
Who cares about their personnel?
For planes are chauffeured by young studs;
Lieutenant Commanders run the subs.

Richard G. Voge
Lieutenant Commander, USN