Thunder in the Argonne: A New History of America's Greatest Battle

Thunder in the Argonne: A New History of America's Greatest Battle

by Douglas V. Mastriano

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Overview

In July 1918, sensing that the German Army had lost crucial momentum, Supreme Allied Commander Ferdinand Foch saw an opportunity to end the First World War. In drafting his plans for a final grand offensive, he assigned the most difficult sector—the dense Argonne forest and the vast Meuse River valley—to the American Expeditionary Forces under General John J. Pershing. There, the Doughboys faced thickly defended German lines with terrain deemed impossible to fight through. From September 26 through the November 11 armistice, US forces suffered more than 20,000 casualties a week, but the Allies ultimately prevailed in a decisive victory that helped to end the Great War.

In Thunder in the Argonne, Douglas V. Mastriano offers the most comprehensive account of this legendary campaign to date. Not only does he provide American, French, and British perspectives on the offensive, but he also offers—for the first time in English—the German view. Mastriano presents a balanced analysis of successes and failures at all levels of command, examining the leadership of the principals while also illuminating acts of heroism by individual soldiers.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive is widely regarded as one of America's finest hours, and the amazing feats of Sergeant Alvin York, Major Charles Whittlesey of the Lost Battalion, and Lieutenant Sam Woodfill—all accomplished in the midst of this maelstrom—echo across the ages. Published to coincide with the centennial of the campaign, this engaging book offers a fresh look at the battle that forged the modern US Army



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813175553
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 06/15/2018
Series: Battles and Campaigns
Pages: 456
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Douglas V. Mastriano is Director of Theater Intelligence, Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operation, at the US Army War College. A colonel in the US Army and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, he is the author of Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 The War That Changed the World 1

2 The German Attack of 1914 to the Crisis of 1918 10

3 Dithering, Dreaming, and Speechmaking 17

4 The Plan for Victory 26

5 St. Mihiel: The Risky Plan Before the Meuse-Argonne 33

6 Meuse-Argonne: Plan for Victory or Elusive Gambit? 41

7 The Americans Attack! 59

8 Grinding to a Halt in the Argonne: 27-30 September 1918 91

9 Stalling in the Meuse Valley: 27-30 September 1918 113

10 Securing Montfaucon and the Center of the Meuse Valley: 27-30 September 1918 135

11 Stagnation and Stalemate 162

12 The Siege of the Lost Battalion 172

13 Alvin York: A Conscientious Objector Wins the Day 205

14 Cracking the Siegfried Line 226

15 The Battle for the Siegfried Line Continues 235

16 Falling Short of Glory 249

17 Maintaining the Initiative 255

18 Planning for the Last Grand Push 271

19 Heaven, Hell or Hoboken 283

20 Mad Dash to Sedan 305

21 The End of the War 321

22 Aftermath and Commemoration 338

Conclusion 346

Acknowledgments 355

Notes 359

Bibliography 391

Index 415

What People are Saying About This

Major General David T. Zabecki

"The modern US Army was born in the bloody 1918 battle of the Meuse-Argonne. As Colonel Douglas V. Mastriano recounts the story, this painful and traumatic beginning shaped the character of the American Army and endures one hundred years later. Read this book!"

From the Publisher

"The modern US Army was born in the bloody 1918 battle of the Meuse-Argonne. As Colonel Douglas V. Mastriano recounts the story, this painful and traumatic beginning shaped the character of the American Army and endures one hundred years later. Read this book!" — Major General David T. Zabecki, USA (Ret.)


"Mastriano expertly weaves into his narrative the stories of individuals who made a difference. Of course, there were thousands of instances of valor, witnessed and otherwise, and it's impossible to capture them all. But Mastriano has done a good job of selecting a representation of the grit and determination of the Americans who fought in the offensive. This book is recommended to those who want to read a fine account of this offensive and to those who would like to learn about the German side of the fighting." — Roads to the Great War

Roads to the Great War

"Mastriano expertly weaves into his narrative the stories of individuals who made a difference. Of course, there were thousands of instances of valor, witnessed and otherwise, and it's impossible to capture them all. But Mastriano has done a good job of selecting a representation of the grit and determination of the Americans who fought in the offensive. This book is recommended to those who want to read a fine account of this offensive and to those who would like to learn about the German side of the fighting."

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