The Yankee Division in the First World War: In the Highest Tradition

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Overview

Historians have been unkind to the 26th Division of the U.S. Army during World War I. Despite playing a significant role in all the major engagements of the American Expeditionary Force, the “Yankee Division,” as it was commonly known, and its beloved commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Clarence Edwards, were often at odds with Gen. John J. Pershing. Subsequently, the Yankee Division became the A.E.F.’s “whipping boy,” a reputation that has largely continued to the present day.

In The Yankee Division in the First World War, author Michael E. Shay mines a voluminous body of first-person accounts to set forth an accurate record of the Yankee Division in France—a record that is, as he reports, “better than most.” Shay sheds new light on the ongoing conflict in leadership and notes that two of the division’s regiments received the coveted Croix de Guerre, the first ever awarded to an American unit.

This first-rate study should find a welcome place on military history bookshelves, both for scholars and students of the Great War and for interested general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Military History
". . . adds substantially to the revisionist history of the American battle experience in the Great War."—Journal of Military History
The Listening Post
"It is replete with personal accounts based on the letters and diaries of veterans as well as regimental and other unit histories." —The Listening Post
Military History
“This is a critical yet nicely balanced book and a fitting defense of the battle performance of the National Guard in the Great War. The author’s use of sources, including materials from the National Archives and, especially, personal records from the Military history Institute at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is more than adequate and he places the 26th Division’s experience in appropriate context. I recommend this well written volume to all students of the American Army in the First World War.”—Military History
Military History of the West
". . . extensively researched. . . and well written. . . this work is highly recommended for academic and general readers alike."—Military History of the West
Western Front Association
"This is the first detailed history of the 26h (Yankee) Division in many years and is unabashedly upbeat in the fact of often unjustified criticism of the division’s performance on the Western Front." —Western Front Association
Strategy Page

". . . gives the reader a comprehensive look at the division and its experience in the war." -- A. A. Nofi, Strategy Page

— A. A. Nofi

Len Shurtleff
“This is the first detailed history of the 26th (Yankee) Division in many years and is unabashedly upbeat in the fact of often unjustified criticism of the division’s performance on the Western Front.”—Len Shurtleff
New York Military Affairs Symposium
"A good read for anyone interested in the Grea
James Cooke
"There is no other book that deals with the 26th Division in World War One. . . . That division was one of the first to arrive in France, and, along with the 42nd, 1st, and 2nd Divisions, formed the core of the AEF under John J. Pershing. . . . For those interested in World War I, a book on the 26th and its controversial commander will be welcomed."—James Cooke, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Mississippi
Doctor - Mark Grotelueschen
"Michael Shay has mined an impressive collection of first person accounts to tell the story of the AEF’s most controversial division." —Dr. Mark Grotelueschen, author of The AEF Way of War
Strategy Page - A. A. Nofi
". . . gives the reader a comprehensive look at the division and its experience in the war." — A. A. Nofi, Strategy Page
Journal of Military History

". . . adds substantially to the revisionist history of the American battle experience in the Great War."--Journal of Military History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603440301
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 6/23/2008
  • Series: C. A. Brannen Series , #10
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL E. SHAY, a Superior Court judge in the State of Connecticut, has had a long interest in World War I. His previous book, A Grateful Heart, on the Yankee Division’s 103rd Field Hospital, was published in 2001.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Ch. 1 Muster and Sailing 1

Ch. 2 Training 19

Ch. 3 Chemin des Dames 45

Ch. 4 Toul Sector 69

Ch. 5 Chateau-Thierry (Aisne-Marne) 103

Ch. 6 St. Mihiel 143

Ch. 7 Troyon Sector 163

Ch. 8 Verdun (Neptune Sector) - Meuse-Argonne 175

Ch. 9 Homeward Bound 207

App. I Makeup of 26th Division 235

App. II Location of 26th Division Headquarters in France 239

Notes 241

References 279

Index 287

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