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To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 The Epic Battle That Ended the First World War Paperback – January 6, 2009
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“Edward Lengel has filled an inexplicable gap in the American history of World War I with this vivid, deeply researched account of the Doughboys' heroism – and agony – in 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
“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 book – bringing 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
“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
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.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is also good in describing the utter unpreparedness of the United States for modern war and the near impossibility of just getting an enormous Army into the field in France in a short time, let alone properly equipping and training it. The Army in the Meuse-Argonne was relatively untrained, almost totally inexperienced at every level (except for neo-colonial actions) and deficient in the rudiments of a powerful WW I army: Artillery, machine guns and air cooperation.
According to the author, Pershing believed that machine guns were overrated and emphasized rifle and assault tactics. The favored tactics were the direct, head-on assault. I would have liked to see a little more discussion on why Pershing believed this would work since it flew in the face of the Allied experience on the Western Front in 1914-17.Read more ›
This current entry is a very good book about the battle of the Meuse-Argonne, the one truly American battle during the war. General Pershing argued with everyone who would listen on both sides of the Atlantic that Americans should lead America's armies, and that they should fight as one army rather than being parceled out among our allies. The result was a horrific battle where the Americans learned all of the lessons that their Allies learned three and a half years earlier, like not attacking German machineguns frontally, how to work around the flanks of enemy positions. Casualties abounded while American generals ignored what was going on, avoiding the front and fighting the war from dugouts far from the fighting.
The book recounts the course of the battle intelligently, following the action in considerable detail. The fighting is covered at a divisional, brigade, regimental, and even occasionally battalion level. Individual actions, such as Sgt. York's winning of the Medal of Honor, are covered at some length.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Spectacular look at this critical battle. Well documented and researched.Published 27 days ago by Joseph L.
This is a must read for any AEF enthusiast, though it was also at times extremely irritating to read.
This book was absolutely great as far as the prose is concerned. Read more
This was a fairly good military history and analysis of much more detail about the Meuse Argonne Offensive than I've found any place else. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Arthur Pigg
Excellent book on the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Loved how the author followed day by day and lead the reader up and down the front line each day. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Steve
Incredible detailed accounting of the major WWI battle that the US military was involved in. Great in-person accounts of the hell that these troops endured.Published 17 months ago by Mttailgater
Factual and comprehensive, an objective look at American Doughboys and their war. Their sacrifices and experiences should not be forgotten.Published 18 months ago by Jim Looney
My great grandfather was in the 81st U.S. Infantry Division during World War I. This division took part in the Meuse-Argone offensive. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Hopeless with computers
Every time I thought it couldn't get worse for the doughboys, the generals would get even more stupid and egotistical and slaughter more of their soldiers. What a horror!.Published 23 months ago by Beverly Kohlberger