JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 559
Well, perhaps this isn’t the origin of the word “landship”, but it does make for a snappy title. The fact of the matter is that the Mayor of NYC, John Purroy Mitchel, had this model of a ship (designed by Donn Barber and Jules Guerin, and sort of based on the USS Maine) built to attract greater numbers to the city’s recruiting station, as it lagged behind the established quota of 2000 enlistments for the Navy with only 900 men. The 200 x 40 foot landship did the job, gaining 25,000 recruits (until it was disassembled in 1920), though it didn’t work very much magic for the mayor, who lost his election later in the year. Actually, the gung-ho Mitchel lost his entire life in 1918, after volunteering for the Army Air Corps and dying in a training accident.