Through the wheat: the U.S. Marines in World War I

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Naval Institute Press, Jun 1, 2008 - History - 296 pages
2 Reviews
"The U.S. Marines entered World War I as a small force of seagoing light infantry that had rarely faced a well-armed enemy. On a single faced day, in their initial assault "through the wheat" on Belleau Wood against German machine guns and poison gas shells, the Marines suffered more casualties than they had experienced in all their previous 142 years. Yet at Belleau Wood, Soissons, Blanc Mont, St. Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne the Marines proved themselves to be hard-nosed diehards with an affinity for close combat. Nearly a century later Belleau Wood still resonates as a touchstone battle of the Corps." "Two retired Marines, well known for their achievements both in uniform and with the pen, have recorded this rich history in a way that only insiders can. Brig. Gen. Edwin H. Simmons and Col. Joseph H. Alexander recount events and colorful personalities in telling detail, capturing the spirit that earned the 4th Marine Brigade three awards of the French Croix de Guerre and launched the first pioneering detachments of "Flying Leathernecks." Here, hand-to-hand combat seen through the lenses of a gas mask is accompanied by thought-provoking assessments of the war's impact on the Marine Corps."--BOOK JACKET.

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User Review  - paulrwaibel44 - LibraryThing

This is a very good classic novel about the First World War. It is the tale of an American marine who fought on the Western Front during the last days of the war. It is an emotional account of the ... Read full review

Review: Through the Wheat: The US Marines in World War I

User Review  - Fredrick Danysh - Goodreads

History of the Marines during World War I in France, especially at Beleau Woods and the Argonne Forest. Details how European powers came to consider US Marines as shock troops. It was in this setting that the Marines earned their nickname "Devil Dogs". Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Simmons served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1942-1978. He retired as a Brigadier General.

Joseph H. Alexander was the Naval Institute's 1997 Author of the Year for his award-winning book, " Utmost Savagery: Three Days of Tarawa." He is also the author " Storm Landings: Epic Amphibious Battles of the Central Pacific." and coauthor of "Sea Soldiers in the Cold War: Amphibious Warfare, ", 1945-1991. Alexander served for twenty-eight years in the Marine Corps before retiring as a colonel and starting a writing career. He serves as the chief historian and scriptwriter of history TV documentaries for Lou Reda Productions that are aired on the History Channel of the Arts and Entertainment network.

The late Don Horan was a military author and documentary producer and winner of two Emmy Awards.

Norman C. Stahl lent his long expertise in editing and writing on Marine history.

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