How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I
NAL Caliber 2016
In Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I (NAL Caliber, 2016), National Archives historian and forensic archivist Mitchell Yockelson reappraises the American Expeditionary Force’s performance under the command of General John J. Pershing. Accordingly, the American forces’ combat experience in the September to November 1918 Meuse-Argonne Campaign is shown to be far more pivotal to Allied victory than allowed for in the standard Anglo-centric literature of the conflict. Even as Pershing’s army acquired its craft in hard fighting against an increasingly implacable and desperate German opponent, the men of the A.E.F. proved to be relentless in their efforts to clear the densely wooded and fortified forest that had resisted French efforts for the previous four years. Yockelson’s account of the campaign is even-handed and well-written, providing the foundation for an interesting conversation about the book and his own approach to writing and interpreting history from a wide range of primary and secondary sources.