Eyewitnesses to the Great War

American Writers, Reporters, Volunteers and Soldiers in France, 1914–1918


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SKU: 9780786463480 Categories: , ,

About the Book

Beginning with the novelist Edith Wharton, who toured the front in her Mercedes in 1915, this book describes the wartime experiences of American idealists (and a few rogues) on the Western Front and concludes with the doughboys’ experiences under General Pershing. Americans were “over there” from the war’s beginning in August 1914, and because America was neutral until April 1917, they saw the war from both the French and German lines. Since most of the Americans who served, regardless of which side they were on, were in Champagne and Lorraine, this sector is the focus. Excerpts from memoirs are supplemented by descriptions of personalities, places, battles and even equipment and weapons, thus placing these generally forgotten American adventurers into the context of their times. A special set of maps based upon German Army battle maps was drawn and rare photographs supplement the text.

About the Author(s)

For years, Ed and Libby Klekowski have spent lengthy periods in a farmhouse in Lorraine, exploring the nearby villages and forests for the artifacts of war. Their discoveries were the basis of two hour-long documentaries on World War I on American Public Television. They live in Leverett, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Ed Klekowski and Libby Klekowski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 261
Bibliographic Info: 43 photos, 5 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6348-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9200-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. Edith and Henry      9

2. Along the Moselle in a Model T      25

3. Verdun Madness      41

4. Motoring Along the Meuse      56

5. Crossing the River, Too Late      68

6. Other Verdun Ambulance Corps      82

7. Americans in the Foreign Legion      95

8. Rendezvous with Death      110

9. Lafayette’s Flyers      121

10. Writers and Reporters      137

11. Lafayette, We Are Here!      155

12. Gott Mit Uns      172

13. The Fog of Battle      187

14. Attack, Attrition, Pursuit      200

15. Armistice, Peace, War      215

Chapter Notes      227

Bibliography      243

Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

“This well-crafted history is truly a kaleidoscope of the sounds, textures, and smells of the Western Front World War I”—The Journal of the World War One Historical Association “provides a readable narrative journey through the day to day history of the war”—Reference & Research Book News.