The American contribution to World War I is one of the great stories of the twentieth century, and yet it has all but vanished from view. Historians have dismissed the American war effort as largely economic and symbolic. But as Geoffrey Wawro shows in Sons of Freedom, the French and British were on the verge of collapse in 1918, and would have lost the war without the Doughboys. Field Marshal Douglas Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force, described the Allied victory as a "miracle"--but it was a distinctly American miracle. In Sons of Freedom, prize-winning historian Geoffrey Wawro weaves together in thrilling detail the battles, strategic deliberations, and dreadful human cost of the American war effort--first defending Paris, and then cutting the German army's lifeline in the Meuse-Argonne. A major revision of the history of World War I, Sons of Freedom resurrects the brave heroes who saved the Allies, defeated Germany, and established the United States as the greatest of the great powers.
|I try to read most books that I come across about World War I since my Grandfather fought in the war but did not talk about it. I still have his uniform and other items from that time. That being said the author takes an in-depth look at our involvement in the war. We started in April of 1917 but was so far behind training, and having men ready that it was not until 1918 that the troops would arrive in France. Perishing would fight with both English and French leaders the U.S. Force would remain separate. He would at times have the Marines in with the Army forces. The author takes you through different battles. The first to the very last. You get to see how the Marines would use machine guns and then advance, where the Army would just leave the trenches and attack by the sheer number of men, with no machine gun cover or artillery. In the beginning, Pershing did not think those were vital in any success. He wanted officers to have men leave the trenches and attack over open fields where the Germans already had fields of fire already targeted because they had been there for years. You get to see the politics of the Army that if you argued with Pershing your career as an officer was most likely over, of course, your men probably liked you the ones that made it out. The author will show you through maps the different battles and how each one changed the course of the war. He also shows you how Germany may have been able to win Europe before we entered but they stopped an advance because of supplies. All of this led to us coming in and being to actually move the Line that had been still for years but for us to also outflank them. This began the fall inside of the German hierarchy and then surrender. You, of course, will names like York, Truman who would become President, the story of the lost Battalion which really was not lost just farther ahead of everyone else during an attack in the Argonne Forest. What was sad about that is years after the war Maj. Charles Whittlesey committed suicide because he felt he let his men down by not leaving and fighting, sad. There are many, many more stories like this in this book and the author does a fine job showing you the good thing said about Pershing, and also the criticism. A lot of Veterans and families of veterans were not pleased with him and the way he wanted attacks to be done with the sheer number of men without any support from artillery, machine guns, or even from the air. When the Germans were using all of these successfully. I will also say the few battles that were led by the Marines, which used machine gun cover fire were more successful as far as fewer casualties for A.E.F. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I know that it is a history book but I think next year I will read it again. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com