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Miami Beach: 1941

Miami Beach: 1941

March 5, 1941. "Raleigh Hotel. Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. Pool, to ocean from balcony. L. Murray Dixon architect." Rustling those palm fronds, the winds of war. Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


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Only the time line was wrong

Solo was right about the ships occasionally being torpedoed off shore -- but only after the war had started. I know: I lived in Fort Lauderdale at the time. Ships heading North would use the Gulf Stream to help them along, so the Krauts knew where they would be. Beaches were patrolled and watch towers were built beachside to track aircraft. Nervous time for all.

Wide Leg Pants

Coming of age in the late 90s, there was a ridiculous fad of outlandishly wide-legged jeans, for girls in particular. I didn't realize that the predecessor to that fad could be found with our grandparents (or at least with that woman in the center foreground.)

[Very popular at the time. - tterrace]

Actually Not Yet

Solo's assertion that the patrons of this hotel could watch blazing cargo vessels from the comfort of the pool before the US entry into the war is wrong. For one thing most of the ships carrying cargo and oil from the Gulf ports were American and would join up with the Anglo-Canadian convoys at Halifax or Sydney. Both Hitler and Admiral Donitz who commanded the U-Boat fleet believed that US intervention in World War I had led to the failure of the German submarine blockade of Britain during World War I. They were anxious to keep from provocative incidents that would bring the US into the war, although with US ships convoying merchant vessels in the North Atlantic sometimes made that difficult.

Ringside Seats for the Slightly Surreal

Though the US was still months from having an active role in WWII when this photo was taken, one could have grabbed a parasol-festooned fruity libation of an evening and watched blazing cargo vessels sinking just a few miles off the beach as German U-boats plied their trade against British shipping.

Looks very much the same, today!

From Bing Aerial View:

Still there

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