Cover image for Never in finer company : the men of the Great War's lost battalion
Title:
Never in finer company : the men of the Great War's lost battalion
Title:
Never in finer company : the men of the Great War's lost battalion
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Edition.
Publisher Info:
New York, NY : Da Capo Press, 2018.
Physical Description:
ix, 358 pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents:
Prologue: Four men -- Playing the game -- War's story -- The country awakens -- The adventure begins -- First blood - Through the forest gate -- Into the pocket -- Surrounded -- Friendly fire -- The test -- The quality of courage -- The crisis -- Heroes -- Unknown soldiers -- Homecomings -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index -- About the author.
Abstract:
"It was one of the most heroic events in American military history. Here is the larger-than-life story of World War I's "Lost Battalion" and the men who survived the ordeal, triumphed in battle, and fought the demons that lingered. In the first week of October 1918, six hundred men attacked into Europe's forbidding Argonne Forest. Against all odds, they surged through enemy lines--alone. They were soon surrounded and besieged. As they ran out of ammunition, water, and food, the doughboys withstood constant bombardment and relentless enemy assaults. Seven days later, only 194 soldiers from the original unit walked out of the forest. The stand of the US Army's "Lost Battalion" remains an unprecedented display of heroism under fire. Never in Finer Company tells the stories of four men whose lives were forever changed by the ordeal: Major Charles Whittlesey, a lawyer dedicated to serving his men at any cost; Captain George McMurtry, a New York stockbroker who becomes a tower of strength under fire; Corporal Alvin York, a country farmer whose famous exploits help rescue his beleaguered comrades; and Damon Runyon, an intrepid newspaper man who interviews the survivors and weaves their experiences into the American epic. Emerging from the patriotic frenzy that sent young men "over there," each of these four men trod a unique path to the October days that engulfed them--and continued to haunt them as they struggled to find peace. Uplifting and compelling, Never in Finer Company is a deeply moving and dramatic story on an epic scale."-- Provided by publisher.
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Summary

Summary

It was one of the most heroic events in American military history. Here is the larger-than-life story of World War I's "Lost Battalion" and the men who survived the ordeal, triumphed in battle, and fought the demons that lingered.

In the first week of October, 1918, six hundred men attacked into Europe's forbidding Argonne Forest. Against all odds, they surged through enemy lines--alone. They were soon surrounded and besieged. As they ran out of ammunition, water, and food, the doughboys withstood constant bombardment and relentless enemy assaults. Seven days later, only 194 soldiers from the original unit walked out of the forest. The stand of the US Army's "Lost Battalion" remains an unprecedented display of heroism under fire.

Never in Finer Company tells the stories of four men whose lives were forever changed by the ordeal: Major Charles Whittlesey, a lawyer dedicated to serving his men at any cost; Captain George McMurtry, a New York stockbroker who becomes a tower of strength under fire; Corporal Alvin York, a country farmer whose famous exploits help rescue his beleaguered comrades; and Damon Runyon, an intrepid newspaper man who interviews the survivors and weaves their experiences into the American epic. Emerging from the patriotic frenzy that sent young men "over there," each of these four men trod a unique path to the October days that engulfed them--and continued to haunt them as they struggled to find peace.

Uplifting and compelling, Never in Finer Company is a deeply moving and dramatic story on an epic scale.


Author Notes

Edward G. Lengel is a military historian, battlefield tour guide, and travel enthusiast who has published award-winning books on World War I and the Revolutionary War, including To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918, and Thunder and Flames: Americans in the Crucible of Combat, 1917-1918 . He has contributed articles for Military History , Military History Quarterly , American Heritage , and American History , and appears frequently on television and radio, including the History Channel, NPR, and other networks.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Military historian Lengel (To Conquer Hell) marks the centennial of WWI's conclusion with this expert recounting of a devastating incident involving American soldiers, who, in the last weeks of the war, engaged the Germans in the Argonne Forest. Lengel organizes his narrative around three Medal of Honor winners-77th Division officers Charles Whittlesey and George McMurtry, and the 82nd Division's sharpshooter, Alvin York-plus newspaper reporter Damon Runyon. The first three chapters provide background on the men and the war to set the stage for their experiences on the front lines in battle-ravaged France. At this point, Lengel's story catches fire as he describes what happened when Maj. Gen. Robert Alexander ordered the 77th into the Argonne to keep pressure on the Germans while other divisions cleared the enemy out. Lengel vividly shows how the Germans unexpectedly pinned down and cut off the 77th in an isolated pocket of the forest, trapping the soldiers for seven days without ammunition, food, water, or medicine. Lengel's purpose in looping York and Runyon into the story is revealed in the penultimate chapter, wherein he examines the media's role in creating heroes. This is a must-read for anyone interested in WWI and the experiences of soldiers in battle. Photos. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

List of Mapsp. ix
Prologue Four Menp. 1
1 Playing the Gamep. 7
2 War's Storyp. 37
3 The Country Awakensp. 53
4 The Adventure Beginsp. 69
5 First Bloodp. 95
6 Through the Forest Gatep. 115
7 Into the Pocketp. 135
8 Surroundedp. 147
9 Friendly Firep. 167
10 The Testp. 195
11 The Quality of Couragep. 213
12 The Crisisp. 225
13 Heroesp. 245
14 Unknown Soldiersp. 267
15 Homecomingsp. 307
Acknowledgmentsp. 321
Notesp. 323
Bibliographyp. 339
Indexp. 343
About the Authorp. 358