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Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918 World War I and Its Violent Climaxby Joseph E. Persico
Synopses & Reviews
November 11, 1918. The final hours pulsate with tension as every man in the trenches hopes to escape the melancholy distinction of being the last to die in World War I. The Allied generals knew the fighting would end precisely at 11:00 A.M, yet in the final hours they flung men against an already beaten Germany. The result? Eleven thousand casualties suffered–more than during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Why? Allied commanders wanted to punish the enemy to the very last moment and career officers saw a fast-fading chance for glory and promotion.
Joseph E. Persico puts the reader in the trenches with the forgotten and the famous–among the latter, Corporal Adolf Hitler, Captain Harry Truman, and Colonels Douglas MacArthur and George Patton. Mainly, he follows ordinary soldiers’ lives, illuminating their fate as the end approaches. Persico sets the last day of the war in historic context with a gripping reprise of all that led up to it, from the 1914 assassination of the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, which ignited the war, to the raw racism black doughboys endured except when ordered to advance and die in the war’s last hour. Persico recounts the war’s bloody climax in a cinematic style that evokes All Quiet on the Western Front, Grand Illusion, and Paths of Glory.
The pointless fighting on the last day of the war is the perfect metaphor for the four years that preceded it, years of senseless slaughter for hollow purposes. This book is sure to become the definitive history of the end of a conflict Winston Churchill called “the hardest, cruelest, and least-rewarded of all the wars that have been fought.”
From the Hardcover edition.
The best-selling author of Roosevelt's Secret War re-creates November 11, 1918, the final day of World War I, when Allied military commanders in search of glory and advancement flung men against an already beaten enemy, leading to eleven thousand casualties. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
About the Author
JOSEPH E. PERSICO’s books include Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, which was made into a television docudrama; Piercing the Reich, on the penetration of Nazi Germany by American agents; My American Journey (as collaborator with Colin Powell); and Roosevelt’s Secret War. He lives in Guilderland, New York.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
The desperate hours — The boy who blew up the world — "A lovely war" — 'Goya at his most Macabre" — Upon a midnight clear — "The God who gave the cannon gave the cross" — The three musketeers — A scar from Belgium to Switzerland — Every inch a solider — "They shall not pass" — "What did you do in the great war, Dad?" — "Tomorrow I shall take my men over the top" — "Hindenburg! The name itself is massive" — "Keeping the world safe for democracy" — "Acts prejudicial to military discipline" — Doughboys — "Sweet and noble to die for one's country" — "Over there" — "If this is our country, then this is our war" — Ludendorff's grand gamble — "A German bullet is cleaner that a whore" — Baptism in Cantigny — "Do you want to live forever?" — "I don't expect to see any of you again" — "Do you wish to take part in this battle?" — A civilized end to pointless slaughter — A plague in the trenches — "Victims who will die in vain" — "We knew the end could not be far off" — "Pass the word. Cease fire at eleven!" — "Little short of murder" — The fate of Private Gunther — "This fateful morning came an end to all wars" — Greater losses than on D-Day — "Only the dead have seen the end of war."
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History and Social Science » Military » General History