Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I
Published by NAL on March 1, 2016
Genres: Battles & Campaigns
This is a skillful re-telling of the Meuse-Argonne battle, focusing on the key American leaders and heroes and select events during the 47 days of the offensive. This is followed with an “Aftermath” chapter that contains concise post-WW1 biographies of many of the main characters, including their WW2 experiences. The book is largely told from the point of view of General Pershing using numerous sources, including the general’s diaries.
It is hard to put the book down once started. Yockelson is able to weave his narrative of the entire campaign, without getting bogged down in detail.
However, this reviewer wishes there was more critique, assessment, or analysis of Pershing or of the AEF based on the author’s years of researching WW1 and employment at the National Archives. Was General Pershing the right man for the job? Mark Grotelueschen’s 2007 The AEF Way of War and Alexander Watson’s 2008 Enduring the Great War are such books.
Reviewed by Randy Gaulke
[Kirkus Reviews called Yockelson’s book “An accessible, elucidating study by a knowledgeable expert.” Seven excellent maps explain the staged movement across the front at various times.—Ed.]