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To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 the Epic Battle That Ended the First World War

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To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 the Epic Battle That Ended the First World War Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The authoritative, dramatic, and previously untold story of the bloodiest battle in American history

On September 26, 1918, more than one million American soldiers prepared to assault the German-held Meuse-Argonne region of France. Their commander, General John J. Pershing, said that in thirty-six hours the doughboys would crack the German defenses and open the road to Berlin. Six weeks of savage fighting later, the battle finally ended with the signing of the armistice that concluded the First World War. The Meuse-Argonne had fallen at the cost of more than 120,000 American casualties, including 26,000 dead. In the bloodiest battle the country had ever seen, an entire generation of young Americans had been transformed forever.

To Conquer Hell is gripping in its accounts of combat, studded with portraits of remarkable soldiers like Pershing, Harry Truman, George Patton, and Alvin York, and authoritative in presenting the big picture. It is military history of the first rank and, incredibly, the first in-depth account of this fascinating and important battle.

Edward G. Lengel is an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of several books on military history, including General George Washington: A Military Life. A recipient, with the Papers of George Washington documentary editing project, of the National Humanities Medal, he has made frequent appearances on television documentaries and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.
On September 26, 1918, more than one million American soldiers prepared to assault the German-held Meuse-Argonne region of France. Their commander, General John J. Pershing, believed in the superiority of American “guts” over barbed wire, machine guns, massed artillery, and poison gas. In thirty-six hours, he said, the Doughboys would crack the German defenses and open the road to Berlin. Six weeks later, after savage fighting across swamps, forests, towns, and rugged hills, the battle finally ended with the signing of the armistice that concluded the First World War. The Meuse-Argonne had fallen, at the cost of more than 120,000 American casualties, including 26,000 dead. In the bloodiest battle the country had ever seen, an entire generation of young Americans had been transformed forever.
 
To Conquer Hell is gripping in its accounts of combat, studded with portraits of remarkable soldiers like Pershing, Harry Truman, George Patton, Alvin York, Douglas MacArthur, and many other less well known soldiers, and authoritative in its presentation of the big picture. It is military history of the first rank and the first in-depth account of this important battle.

"We're all familiar with D-Day, as we should be. But who knows anything about America's vital, bloodiest battle in World War I? In a six weeks of autumn 1918, we suffered more than 120,000 casualties26,000 deadin the successful fight to oust the Germans from France's Meuse-Argonne region, leading to the Armistice. Fighting raged in swamps, towns and hills and Lengel captures the horror and the heroism in this chapter of American history that deserves to be remembered."Billy Heller, The New York Post
"We're all familiar with D-Day, as we should be. But who knows anything about America's vital, bloodiest battle in World War I? In six weeks of autumn 1918, we suffered more than 120,000 casualties26,000 deadin the successful fight to oust the Germans from France's Meuse-Argonne region, leading to the Armistice. Fighting raged in swamps, towns and hills and Lengel captures the horror and the heroism in this chapter of American history that deserves to be remembered."Billy Heller, The New York Post
 
"Each First World War battle deserves a historian; not every battle finds one. Those who fought on the Meuse-Argonne in 1918, and all Americans interested in their national heritage, are fortunate that Edward G. Lengel has written this deeply researched bookbringing the strategy, the commanders, the officers and men, the tactics, the horror and the heroism together in a moving, dramatic, and intensely human account. One of the most powerful war books that I have read."Martin Gilbert, author of The First World War and The Somme
 
"There have been several efforts by American authors since the Armistice of 1918 to retell the story of the American Army's engagement on the Western Front during the First World War.  Ed Lengel's book is a superior achievement and will be greatly enjoyed both by experts and by the general reader."John Keegan, author of The First World War and The Face of Battle
 
"Edward Lengel has filled an inexplicable gap in the American history of World War I with this vivid, deeply researched account of the Doughboys' heroismand agonyin the Argonne. Anyone interested in military history should have it on his bookshelf."Thomas Fleming, author of The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I
 
"Ed Lengel's account of how American doughboys died in their tens of thousands to end the First World War is one of the great war stories of all time. In Lengel's skilled hands, the last great battle of the Great War is both riveting and deeply affecting. Authoritative, vividly drawn, and packed with arresting anecdotes and new material, To Conquer Hell is destined to be a classic. I cannot recommend it highly enough."Alex Kershaw, author of The Few and The Longest Winter
 
"Lucid history of a military campaign so terrible that, writes Lengel, many of its survivors 'swore that after the war ended they would never look at another tree in their lives.'  The Argonne, that dark forest in western France, had seen cruel battle in the years before the arrival of the American Expeditionary Forceone city alone, Verdun, had become a byword for bloodletting. The AEF was untested. Now, very late in the war, beginning in September 1918, it fought for 47 days in the forest and suffered terribly: By Lengel's count, nearly 1.2 million American soldiers went into action on the Meuse-Argonne front; 26,277 of them died, and 95,786 were wounded. The campaign saw storied engagements, such as that involving the so-called Lost Battalion and Sgt. Alvin York's one-man encounter with a German company in which he killed two dozen and captured 132 soldiers. It also necessitated attack after attack against heavily fortified defensive positions and entrenched heavy artillery, requiring exposure that the Allied and German armies had long ago learned to avoid. Lengel observes that the Meuse-Argonne campaign nearly bled the AEF to exhaustion. By the end of the campaign, replacements were coming to the line who had no idea what the command 'fix bayonets' meant and no idea how to load a rifle. Late in the day, American commanders figured out how to use the tanks and airplanes driven by soon-iconic figures such as Billy Mitchell and George Patton, but the conclusion the reader will likely draw is that the campaign was sadly mismanaged at many points. Unsettling, too, is the fate of many veterans who figure in Lengel's pagesamong them York, who was haunted by the men he killed, and Lost Battalion commander Charles Whittlesey, who blamed himself for the loss of so many men and committed

Synopsis:

The authoritative, dramatic, and previously untold story of the bloodiest battle in American history

On September 26, 1918, more than one million American soldiers prepared to assault the German-held Meuse-Argonne region of France. Their commander, General John J. Pershing, said that in thirty-six hours the doughboys would crack the German defenses and open the road to Berlin. Six weeks of savage fighting later, the battle finally ended with the signing of the armistice that concluded the First World War. The Meuse-Argonne had fallen at the cost of more than 120,000 American casualties, including 26,000 dead. In the bloodiest battle the country had ever seen, an entire generation of young Americans had been transformed forever.

To Conquer Hell is gripping in its accounts of combat, studded with portraits of remarkable soldiers like Pershing, Harry Truman, George Patton, and Alvin York, and authoritative in presenting the big picture. It is military history of the first rank and, incredibly, the first in-depth account of this fascinating and important battle.

About the Author

Edward G. Lengel is an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of several books on military history, including General George Washington: A Military Life. A recipient, with the Papers of George Washington documentary editing project, of the National Humanities Medal, he has made frequent appearances on television documentaries and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805089158
Author:
Lengel, Edward G.
Publisher:
Henry Holt & Company
Subject:
Military - World War I
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
Argonne, Battle of the, France, 1918
Subject:
World War, 1914-1918 -- Campaigns.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 16-pg. insert; 6 maps; endpaper maps?
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
8.02 x 5.26 x 0.93 in

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History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War I

To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 the Epic Battle That Ended the First World War New Trade Paper
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Product details 528 pages Holt McDougal - English 9780805089158 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

The authoritative, dramatic, and previously untold story of the bloodiest battle in American history

On September 26, 1918, more than one million American soldiers prepared to assault the German-held Meuse-Argonne region of France. Their commander, General John J. Pershing, said that in thirty-six hours the doughboys would crack the German defenses and open the road to Berlin. Six weeks of savage fighting later, the battle finally ended with the signing of the armistice that concluded the First World War. The Meuse-Argonne had fallen at the cost of more than 120,000 American casualties, including 26,000 dead. In the bloodiest battle the country had ever seen, an entire generation of young Americans had been transformed forever.

To Conquer Hell is gripping in its accounts of combat, studded with portraits of remarkable soldiers like Pershing, Harry Truman, George Patton, and Alvin York, and authoritative in presenting the big picture. It is military history of the first rank and, incredibly, the first in-depth account of this fascinating and important battle.

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