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" Provides a day-by-day account of the action on all fronts and of the events surrounding the conflict, from the guns of August 1914 to the November 1918 Armistice and its troubled aftermath. Daily entries, topical descriptions, biographical sketches, maps, and illustrations combine to give a ready and succinct account of what was happening in each of the principal theaters of war.
A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne
Alvin C. York (1887--1964) -- devout Christian, conscientious objector, and reluctant hero of World War I -- is one of America's most famous and celebrated soldiers. Known to generations through Gary Cooper's Academy Award-winning portrayal in the 1941 film Sergeant York, York is credited with the capture of 132 German soldiers on October 8, 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne region of France -- a deed for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
At war's end, the media glorified York's bravery but some members of the German military and a soldier from his own unit cast aspersions on his wartime heroics. Historians continue to debate whether York has received more recognition than he deserves. A fierce disagreement about the location of the battle in the Argonne forest has further complicated the soldier's legacy.
In Alvin York, Douglas V. Mastriano sorts fact from myth in the first full-length biography of York in decades. He meticulously examines York's youth in the hills of east Tennessee, his service in the Great War, and his return to a quiet civilian life dedicated to charity. By reviewing artifacts recovered from the battlefield using military terrain analysis, forensic study, and research in both German and American archives, Mastriano reconstructs the events of October 8 and corroborates the recorded accounts. On the eve of the WWI centennial, Alvin York promises to be a major contribution to twentieth-century military history.
George “Brownie” Browne was a twenty-three-year-old civil engineer in Waterbury, Connecticut, when the United States entered the Great War in 1917. He enlisted almost immediately and served in the American Expeditionary Forces until his discharge in 1919. An American Soldier in World War I is an edited collection of more than one hundred letters that Browne wrote to his fiancée, Martha “Marty” Johnson, describing his experiences during World War I as part of the famed 42nd, or Rainbow, Division. From September 1917 until he was wounded in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in late October 1918, Browne served side by side with his comrades in the 117th Engineering Regiment. He participated in several defensive actions and in offensives on the Marne, at Saint-Mihiel, and in the Meuse-Argonne.
This extraordinary collection of Brownie’s letters reveals the day-to-day life of an American soldier in the European theater. The difficulties of training, transportation to France, dangers of combat, and the ultimate strain on George and Marty’s relationship are all captured in these pages. David L. Snead weaves the Browne correspondence into a wider narrative about combat, hope, and service among the American troops. By providing a description of the experiences of an average American soldier serving in the American Expeditionary Forces in France, this study makes a valuable contribution to the history and historiography of American participation in World War I.
They Also Served
Foreign-born Soldiers in World War I
During the First World War, nearly half a million immigrant draftees from forty-six different nations served in the U.S. Army. This surge of Old World soldiers challenged the American military's cultural, linguistic, and religious traditions and required military leaders to reconsider their training methods for the foreign-born troops. How did the U.S. War Department integrate this diverse group into a united fighting force? The war department drew on the experiences of progressive social welfare reformers, who worked with immigrants in urban settlement houses, and they listened to industrial efficiency experts, who connected combat performance to morale and personnel management. Perhaps most significantly, the military enlisted the help of ethnic community leaders, who assisted in training, socializing, and Americanizing immigrant troops and who pressured the military to recognize and meet the important cultural and religious needs of the ethnic soldiers. These community leaders negotiated the Americanization process by promoting patriotism and loyalty to the United States while retaining key ethnic cultural traditions. Offering an exciting look at an unexplored area of military history, Americans All! Foreign-born Soldiers in World War I constitutes a work of special interest to scholars in the fields of military history, sociology, and ethnic studies. Ford's research illuminates what it meant for the U.S. military to reexamine early twentieth-century nativism; instead of forcing soldiers into a melting pot, war department policies created an atmosphere that made both American and ethnic pride acceptable. During the war, a German officer commented on the ethnic diversity of the American army and noted, with some amazement, that these "semi-Americans" considered themselves to be "true-born sons of their adopted country." The officer was wrong on one count. The immigrant soldiers were not "semi-Americans"; they were "Americans all!"
Terror Trophies of World War I
The submarine was one of the most revolutionary weapons of World War I, inciting both terror and fascination for militaries and civilians alike. During the war, after U-boats sank the Lusitania and began daring attacks on shipping vessels off the East Coast, the American press dubbed these weapons “Hun Devil Boats,” “Sea Thugs,” and “Baby Killers.” But at the conflict’s conclusion, the U.S. Navy acquired six U-boats to study and to serve as war souvenirs. Until their destruction under armistice terms in 1921, these six U-boats served as U.S. Navy ships, manned by American crews. The ships visited eighty American cities to promote the sale of victory bonds and to recruit sailors, allowing hundreds of thousands of Americans to see up close the weapon that had so captured the public’s imagination.
In America’s U-Boats Chris Dubbs examines the legacy of submarine warfare in the American imagination. Combining nautical adventure, military history, and underwater archaeology, Dubbs shares the previously untold story of German submarines and their impact on American culture and reveals their legacy and Americans’ attitudes toward this new wonder weapon.
A Documentary Reader
Norms and Practices during the World Wars
In the early 20th century, the diesel-electric submarine made possible a new type of unrestricted naval warfare. Such brutal practices as targeting passenger, cargo, and hospital ships not only violated previous international agreements; they were targeted explicitly at civilians. A deviant form of warfare quickly became the norm. In Atrocity, Deviance, and Submarine Warfare, Nachman Ben-Yehuda recounts the evolution of submarine warfare, explains the nature of its deviance, documents its atrocities, and places these developments in the context of changing national identities and definitions of the ethical, at both social and individual levels. Introducing the concept of cultural cores, he traces the changes in cultural myths, collective memory, and the understanding of unconventionality and deviance prior to the outbreak of World War I. Significant changes in cultural cores, Ben-Yehuda concludes, permitted the rise of wartime atrocities at sea.
The Annexation of Montenegro and the Creation of the Common South Slavic State
Balkan Anschluss tackles the thorny issue of the disappearance of Montenegro as a sovereign state in the course of and as a result of the First World War, a problem with clear contemporary relevance. In particular, Pavlovic investigates the ambiguous and often troubled relationship between two "Serb states," Montenegro and Serbia.
The Battle of Dobro Pole 1918
With the transfer of German units to the western front in the spring of 1918, the position of the Central Powers on the Macedonian front worsened. Materiel became scarce and morale among the Bulgarian forces deteriorated. The Entente Command perceived in Macedonia an excellent opportunity to apply additional pressure to the Germans, who were already retreating on the western front. In September, Entente forces undertook an offensive directed primarily at Bulgarian defenses at Dobro Pole. Balkan Breakthrough tells the story of that battle and its consequences. Dobro Pole was the catalyst for the collapse of the Central Powers and the Entente victory in southeastern Europe -- a defeat that helped persuade the German military leadership that the war was lost. While decisive in ending World War I in the region, the battle did not resolve the underlying national issues there.