Finding The Lost Battalion: Beyond The Rumors, Myths And Legends Of America's Famous WW1 Epic

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Finding the Lost Battalion: Beyond the Rumors, Myths and Legends of America's Famous WW1 Epic

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781411676565
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date: 2/14/2006
  • Pages: 616
  • Sales rank: 1,416,787
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2008

    The only book on the Lost Battalion you need

    Robert J. Laplander has written one of the best unit histories I have read. This book is a public exposition of this private historian¿s lifelong passion in search of the Lost Battalion. His approach is markedly unique. His research has set a true benchmark for the accolade, ¿exhaustive.¿ His style, while occasionally non-standard, is clear, simple, and often vivid. Every chapter reveals this artisan¿s uncompromising pride in getting it right. The cumulative effect is a labor of love, and a clearly superior achievement. This is an outstanding book. This is not a casual read. My rough estimate is 200,000 words, or twice the standard historical narrative. I was not surprised to learn Laplander cut the length in two from his initial draft. The quality and quantity of his research and analysis suggest there was much more that he just could not shoehorn into the final cut. American attacks in the Argonne were relentless, repetitive, and gruesome. Like the battle, this book grinds you down. It leaves you emotionally drained. But Laplander recounts the sacrifices of these men and they call you back to see them finish their dirty job. Laplander¿s understanding of American infantry tactics is remarkable. His explanation of how the doughboys fought at the squad and company level, which he derived from personal accounts, is straightforward and worthy of citation by professional historians. I found Laplander¿s biographic study of the Lost Battalion¿s commander, Major Charles Whittlesey, the most compelling passages in the book. The author examined this complex and tragic figure and revealed his uncommon leadership and his personal demons with respect, integrity, and humanity. I would compare this book favorably to other diamond-in-the rough regimentals such as Warren Wilkinson¿s Mother, May You Never See the Sights I've Seen '57th Massachusetts in the Civil War', Joseph Balkoski¿s Beyond the Beachhead '29th Division in Normandy', and Shelby Stanton¿s Anatomy of a Division: the 1st Cav in Vietnam. I highly recommend Robert Laplander¿s Finding the Lost Battalion to armchair historians, military professionals, and Great War enthusiasts. This is a must-read for students and enthusiasts of the American Expeditionary Forces and the Meuse-Argonne battle.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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