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First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny, America's First Battle of…

de Matthew J. Davenport

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532391,728 (4.43)3
The riveting true story of America's first modern military battle, its first military victory during World War One, and its first steps onto the world stage At first light on Tuesday, May 28th, 1918, waves of American riflemen from the U.S. Army's 1st Division climbed from their trenches, charged across the shell-scarred French dirt of no-man's-land, and captured the hilltop village of Cantigny from the grip of the German Army. Those who survived the enemy machine-gun fire and hand-to-hand fighting held on for the next two days and nights in shallow foxholes under the sting of mustard gas and crushing steel of artillery fire. Thirteen months after the United States entered World War I, these 3,500 soldiers became the first "doughboys" to enter the fight. The operation, the first American attack ever supported by tanks, airplanes, and modern artillery, was ordered by the leader of America's forces in Europe, General John "Black Jack" Pershing, and planned by a young staff officer, Lieutenant Colonel George C. Marshall, who would fill the lead role in World War II twenty-six years later. Drawing on the letters, diaries, and reports by the men themselves, Matthew J. Davenport'sFirst Over There tells the inspiring, untold story of these soldiers and their journey to victory on the Western Front in the Battle of Cantigny. The first American battle of the "war to end all wars" would mark not only its first victory abroad, but the birth of its modern Army.… (més)
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This is an intensely detailed book that describes the USA expeditionary force's first major WWI engagement, Cantigny. The author provides some basic map and unit positions which are helpful in following the battle as it progresses. The injuries and deaths (both German and US) he describes are horrific. It is humbling to realize that these were real people. This comes across vividly in Davenport's account of the action. A very good read if you are a military history buff. ( )
  Reimerra | Nov 5, 2015 |
An in depth look at America's first major engagement in World War 1 at Catigny, France. America stands on the sidelines during the first years of the war finally drawn in by German U-boat attacks and the Zimmerman cable. Davenport does a great job putting you in the trenches, feeling the mortar shells and the ever present immediacy of death. I teach History in college and students and Americans in general know very little about our countries' efforts like who "Black" Jack Pershing was and what it was really like to fight in the trenches. This book helps fill our collective Amnesia about the war. ( )
  muddyboy | Aug 12, 2015 |
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The riveting true story of America's first modern military battle, its first military victory during World War One, and its first steps onto the world stage At first light on Tuesday, May 28th, 1918, waves of American riflemen from the U.S. Army's 1st Division climbed from their trenches, charged across the shell-scarred French dirt of no-man's-land, and captured the hilltop village of Cantigny from the grip of the German Army. Those who survived the enemy machine-gun fire and hand-to-hand fighting held on for the next two days and nights in shallow foxholes under the sting of mustard gas and crushing steel of artillery fire. Thirteen months after the United States entered World War I, these 3,500 soldiers became the first "doughboys" to enter the fight. The operation, the first American attack ever supported by tanks, airplanes, and modern artillery, was ordered by the leader of America's forces in Europe, General John "Black Jack" Pershing, and planned by a young staff officer, Lieutenant Colonel George C. Marshall, who would fill the lead role in World War II twenty-six years later. Drawing on the letters, diaries, and reports by the men themselves, Matthew J. Davenport'sFirst Over There tells the inspiring, untold story of these soldiers and their journey to victory on the Western Front in the Battle of Cantigny. The first American battle of the "war to end all wars" would mark not only its first victory abroad, but the birth of its modern Army.

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