By Alan D. Gaff
During this specified historical past of the "Lost Battalion" of global struggle 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, created from males of a large mixture of ethnic backgrounds from ny 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 squaddies who survived the ordeal--to right the myths and legends and to bare what particularly occurred within the Argonne wooded area in the course of early October 1918.
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Additional resources for Blood in the Argonne: The ''Lost Battalion'' of World War I (Campaigns and Commanders)
27 partment directive, officers could no longer use terms like “drafted men” or “draftees” or “conscripts” when referring to men at Camp Upton. ” This important change was highlighted by the swapping of civilian clothes for army uniforms. Supply sergeants, many of them pants cutters, merchants, or dry goods clerks just a few weeks earlier, found themselves in the impossible situation of handing out “made-by-the-million” uniforms to men who did not even know what size clothing they wore. When someone with a size 32 chest complained that his olive drab blouse was a 36, the reply would be, “You’re in luck.
A bolder retort burst from the ranks: “Then I ain’t here. That’s all. ” Appreciative snickers greeted this insubordination, but the officer simply gritted his teeth and went on to mangle yet another name. In one company, a draftee had mysteriously answered “Here” at every roll call for the entire first week before officials belatedly discovered that he had never even reached camp. For several days, officers were confounded by another conscript, whose language no one in camp could understand.
None put it better than Charles Minder, 306th Machine Gun Battalion, who confessed to his mother, “We have about every nationality you can think of in my company. There sure is some mixture, and I think it is about the finest thing in the world for anyone, who like myself, has always suffered with race-prejudice, to be mixed up in an outfit like this. ” Soldiers not only found themselves making friends with those from other ethnic backgrounds but also from different religious faiths. A religious census of the troops at Camp Upton disclosed that thirty-five percent were Roman Catholic, thirty percent were from some variety of Protestant faith, and twenty-five percent were Jewish.
Blood in the Argonne: The ''Lost Battalion'' of World War I (Campaigns and Commanders) by Alan D. Gaff