“An invaluable and extraordinary” account of the bloodiest battle in American military history (Midwest Book Review).
Although the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which began in late September 1918 and continued through to the Armistice, was not the first major action fought by the AEF, it was the greatest in which it engaged in the Great War.
The Argonne was an area that had been heavily fought over, particularly in the early part of the war; its eastern part, towards the Meuse, then became enveloped in the first great attritional battle of the war, Verdun.
Maarten Otte gives a background narrative to events before the opening of the Offensive and its development. Taking each of the US corps in turn, he then provides tours that will help the visitor to understand the fighting and the problems that were faced. This opening book on the Meuse-Argonne takes the reader, more or less, to the date when General Pershing handed over command of the US First Army to Major General Liggard in mid-October, a change in command that marked a significant improvement in the American performance as they pushed the Germans ever backwards.
The Great War battlefield of the Argonne is marked by numerous physical remains of the war, some fine (some might argue overly grandiose) monuments and by the stunning American cemetery at Romagne, the second largest in the world administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission. There is much to see in a battlefield that has been largely neglected in the decades since the Second World War.