Yanks by P-SimonSchuster


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Author: John Eisenhower
Table of Contents

CONTENTSList of MapsAuthor's NoteBOOK ONECREATING THE AEFPrologueONE A Visit from Papa
JoffreTWO A Nation at WarTHREE The Selection of General PershingFOUR The Yanks ArriveFIVE
BATTLESSEVEN Baptism of FireEIGHT The Calm Before the StormNINE Unified Command at Last!TEN
"I Will Not Be Coerced"ELEVEN The Big Red One at CantignyTWELVE The 2d Division at Belleau
WoodTHIRTEEN The Rock of the MarneFOURTEEN Soissons -- The Turning PointBOOK THREETHE
RehearsalSIXTEEN The Race Against TimeSEVENTEEN Montfaucon -- Ominous VictoryEIGHTEEN
ArgonneNINETEEN Feelers for PeaceTWENTY First Army Comes of AgeTWENTY-ONE The
WindupTWENTY-TWO The Railroad Car at CompiègneTWENTY-THREE The End of the
AEFEpilogueAPPENDIX MobilizationNotesBibliographyAcknowledgmentsIndex

Fought far from home, World War I was nonetheless a stirring American adventure. The achievements of
the United States during that war, often underrated by military historians, were in fact remarkable, and
they turned the tide of the conflict. So says John S. D. Eisenhower, one of today's most acclaimed
military historians, in his sweeping history of the Great War and the men who won it: the Yanks of the
American Expeditionary Force.Their men dying in droves on the stalemated Western Front, British and
French generals complained that America was giving too little, too late. John Eisenhower shows why they
were wrong. The European Allies wished to plug the much-needed U.S. troops into their armies in order
to fill the gaps in the line. But General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, the indomitable commander of the
AEF, determined that its troops would fight together, as a whole, in a truly American army. Only this
force, he argued -- not bolstered French or British units -- could convince Germany that it was hopeless
to fight on.Pershing's often-criticized decision led to the beginning of the end of World War I -- and the
beginning of the U.S. Army as it is known today. The United States started the war with 200,000 troops,
including the National Guard as well as regulars. They were men principally trained to fight Indians and
Mexicans. Just nineteen months later the Army had mobilized, trained, and equipped four million men
and shipped two million of them to France. It was the greatest mobilization of military forces the New
World had yet seen.For the men it was a baptism of fire. Throughout Yanks Eisenhower focuses on the
small but expert cadre of officers who directed our effort: not only Pershing, but also the men who would
win their lasting fame in a later war -- MacArthur, Patton, and Marshall. But the author has mined diaries,
memoirs, and after-action reports to resurrect as well the doughboys in the trenches, the unknown
soldiers who made every advance possible and suffered most for every defeat. He brings vividly to life
those men who achieved prominence as the AEF and its allies drove the Germans back into their
homeland -- the irreverent diarist Maury Maverick, Charles W. Whittlesey and his famous "lost battalion,"
the colorful Colonel Ulysses Grant McAlexander, and Sergeant Alvin C. York, who became an instant
celebrity by singlehandedly taking 132 Germans as prisoners.From outposts in dusty, inglorious
American backwaters to the final bloody drive across Europe, Yanks illuminates America's Great War as
though for the first time. In the AEF, General John J. Pershing created the Army that would make ours
the American age; in Yanks that Army has at last found a storyteller worthy of its deeds.

AUTHOR'S NOTE"The history of the Victorian Age," writes Lytton Strachey in his Preface to Eminent
Victorians, "will never be written: we know too much about it." That paradoxical and somewhat arresting
statement serves as Strachey's excuse for selecting four lives to depict an entire age of British history,
but it applies to any subject on which mountains of material have been written.The First World War, often
referred to as the Great War, certainly falls into that category. Too much is known about that vast conflict
to permit one book to cover the entire war in anything but a textbook fashion. The "explorer of the past,"
to continue with Strachey, "will row out over that great ocean of material, and lower down into it...a little
bucket, which will bring up to the light of day some characteristic specimen."With that idea in mind, I
have not attempted to write a comprehensive story of the Great War. Instead I have focused on the
American Expeditionary Force (AEF), commanded by General John J. Pershing. In describing the
inception of the AEF in early 1917 and its subsequent development and employment until the war's end in
late 1918, I have not attempted to give a rounded picture of the whole war, which includes the actions of
many nations on many fronts. Nevertheless, the story of the AEF and how it fit into the general scheme
of the war is worth a study in itself.The saga of the AEF is not, on the whole, a cheery one. The overseas
experiences of the American troops -- "doughboys" -- bore little relationship to the rousing patriotic songs
such as George M. Cohan's "Over There," or to the parades and banners. It entailed arduous duties,
performed in the wet, the cold, sometimes the heat, with death always lurking, mostly in the front line
infantry battalions but elsewhere as well. There was heroism, but there was also cowardice. At first there
was ignorance of the job to be done -- "innocence" might be a better word. Yet the end result was
inspiring. A great many people pulled together to attain a great accomplishment.In a way, the story of the
AEF in the Great War is part of my background, perhaps something I needed to put on paper in order to
work it out of my system. I was born in an Army family slightly less than four years after the last gun was
fired in the Meuse-Argonne; my first vivid memories are those of trudging over the battlefields with my
father, Major Dwight D. Eisenhower, and my mother. During 1928 and 1929 my father was a member of
General Pershing's American Battle Monuments Commission, with offices in Paris. One of his tasks was
to draft the official Guide to the American Battlefields in France. The end result was a remarkable book; it
remains today the best available guide for the student of the war to follow. The final edition was not
published until 1938, and I have no idea what proportion of my father's original words survived. I also have
no idea of how the study of the terrain in northern France helped him in later campaigns across the same
territory fifteen years later. But I know that accompanying him on his many tours around the territory
made a lasting impression on me. At age six, I was even privileged to shake the hand of the Great Man
himself, John J. Pershing!It is not surprising that, as a youngster, I viewed the Great War in a romantic
fashion. Heroic charges, reduction of fearsome enemy machine gun nests, the roar of artillery, the
exploits of the air aces -- those were my boyhood fantasies, based on true stories but far from the grim
truth.Others have viewed the...
Author Bio
John Eisenhower
A graduate of West Point and retired Brigadier General in the Army Reserve, John S. D. Eisenhower has
served on the U.S. Army General Staff, on the White House Staff, and as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium.
He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Bitter Woods, an account of the Battle of the
Bulge, and, most recently, Agent of Destiny, a life of General Winfield Scott.<br/>

Eisenhower makes World War I memorable...Yanks illuminates how [World War I] in part shaped World
War II and all the American wars of the 20th century.

An outstanding account of the American combat effort in World War I...brilliantly organized [and]
exceptionally well-written...Eisenhower tells a great story and he tells it well.

and The Wild BlueWhen John Eisenhower describes General Pershing and his staff on the ship taking his
first contingent of Americans to France, he makes you feel you were there -- most of all wondering, as
Pershing did, how all this was going to work. Finding out is what makes this such an enjoyable read.

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