A Companion to the Meuse-Argonne Campaign
Published by Wiley-Blackwell on May 5, 2014
Genres: Battles & Campaigns
This impressive work contains essays by 29 historians on a variety of aspects pertaining to the largest and bloodiest battle in U.S. Army history until the Battle of the Bulge in World War Two. As B. H. Allen wrote in the Academia.edu Literature Review of the book, the battle “is barely even mentioned in most general histories of the Great War.”
The 47-day offensive in 1918 involved 1.2 million doughboys who suffered 122,000 casualties, including more than 26,000 dead. Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces John Pershing wrote that 22 American and 4 French divisions engaged and defeated 47 German divisions. Although the German divisions were smaller, they had the advantage of good defensive terrain and a well-established trench system. They also represented 25 percent of Germany’s divisional strength on the Western Front.
Allen noted that why the American accomplishment is ignored “is a controversy whose lines have predominantly been drawn along national borders. British and Canadian historians, with the notable exceptions of Basil Henry Liddell Hart and John Keegan, have largely dismissed the U.S. contribution as ‘above all psychological.’”
Hopefully, this book will help adjust that impression.
Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of WWOI