Blood in the Argonne: The ''Lost Battalion'' of World War I by Alan D. Gaff

By Alan D. Gaff

During this certain background of the "Lost Battalion" of worldwide warfare I, Alan D. Gaff tells for the 1st time the tale of the 77th department from the point of view of the warriors within the ranks. On October 2, 1918, Maj. Charles W. Whittlesey led the 77th department in a winning assault on German defenses within the Argonne woodland of northeastern France. His unit, made out of males of a large mixture of ethnic backgrounds from long island urban and the western states, used to be now not a battalion nor used to be it ever "lost," yet as soon as a newspaper editor utilized the time period "lost battalion" to the episode, it caught. Gaff attracts from new, unimpeachable sources--such as sworn testimony by way of infantrymen who survived the ordeal--to right the myths and legends and to bare what rather occurred within the Argonne wooded area in the course of early October 1918.

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Additional info for Blood in the Argonne: The ''Lost Battalion'' of World War I (Campaigns and Commanders)

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Within days that relaxed attitude had changed dramatically and officers marched their troops about camp at the cadence of 120 steps per minute, heads held straight and arms swinging in unison at their sides. Simple gymnastic calisthenics, called “setting up exercises,” were instituted on the West Point system. Classes began in boxing and jiu-jitsu, the latter being described by a participant as “peculiar methods 21 22 BLOOD IN THE ARGONNE Poking fun at “The Needle” and the vaccination process. From Trench and Camp.

M. C. ” This was a noble assertion, but rather naive. ” The sheriff, district attorney, and local judges urged county supervisors to beef up law enforcement dramatically and ask for assistance from the New York State Police. 36 In reality, New York soldiers generally were well-behaved, thanks in part to those social organizations that offered a variety of diversions to fill off-duty hours. Foremost among them was the Young Men’s Christian Association, which operated a headquarters building, a threethousand-seat auditorium, and eight “huts” scattered throughout camp.

But at times it seemed that an officer’s problems were almost insurmountable. One lieutenant spent three hours teaching his company the important details relating to patrolling, posting guards, establishing outposts, and instructing pickets. ” The Allied Powers tried to remedy this last situation by sending instructors to National Army camps, where they shared their wartime experiences, led training classes, and told soldiers what to expect when they headed overseas. But this effort to educate American soldiers failed simply because the nature of war on the Western Front had completely changed by the time the Seventy-seventh Division saw its first serious action.

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