Since its release in 2006, 'Finding the Lost Battalion' by Robert J. Laplander has become the benchmark work against which all things Lost Battalion related have been measured. Now, in this updated 3rd edition released to coincide with the centennial of America's entry into WW1, Mr. Laplander again takes us to the Charlevaux Ravine to delve deeper into the story than ever before! Meticulously chronicling what would become arguably the most famous event of America's part in the war, we find the truths behind the legend. Spanning twenty years of research and hundreds of sources (most never before seen), the reader is led through the Argonne Forest during September and October, 1918 virtually hour by hour. The result is the single most factual accounting of the Lost Battalion story and their leader, Charles W. Whittlesey, to date. Told in an entertaining, fast moving style, the book has become a favorite the world over!
With new Forward by Major-General William Terpeluk, US Army (Ret).
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Finding The Lost Battalion: Beyond The Rumors, Myths And Legends Of America's Famous WW1 Epic based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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.