The Big Red One: America's Legendary 1st Infantry Division from World War I to Desert Storm
No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great--Duty First!" For almost a century, from the Western Front of World War I to the deserts of Iraq, this motto has spurred the soldiers who wear the shoulder patch bearing the Big Red One. In this first comprehensive history of America's 1st Infantry Division, James Scott Wheeler chronicles its major combat engagements and peacetime duties during its legendary service to the nation. The oldest continuously serving division in the U.S. Army, the "Fighting First" has consistently played a crucial role in America's foreign wars. It was the first American division to see combat and achieve victory in World War I and set the standard for discipline, training, endurance, and tactical innovation. One of the few intact divisions between the wars, it was the first army unit to train for amphibious warfare. During World War II, the First Division spearheaded the invasions of North Africa and Sicily before leading the Normandy invasion at Omaha Beach and fighting on through the Hurtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge, the Ruhr Pocket, and deep into Germany. By war's end, it had developed successful combined-arms, regimental combat teams and made advances in night operations. Wheeler describes the First Division's critical role in postwar Germany and as the only combat division in Europe during the early Cold War. After returning to the United States at Fort Riley, Kansas, the division fought valiantly in Vietnam for five trying years, successfully protecting Saigon from major infiltration along Highway 13 while pioneering "air-mobile" operations. It led the liberation of Kuwait in Desert Storm and kept an uneasy peace in Bosnia and Kosovo. Along theway, Wheeler illuminates the division's organizational evolution, its consistently remarkable commanders and leaders, and its equally remarkable soldiers. Meticulously detailed and engagingly written, The Big Red One reflects the larger chronicle of America's military experience over the past century.
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Creation of the 1st Infantry Division
Cantigny to Soissons
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18th Infantry AAR 18th Infantry Regiment 1st Battalion 1st Brigade 1st Division 1st ID G3 1st Infantry Division 26th Infantry 2nd Battalion 2nd Brigade 3rd Armored Division 9th Infantry Division advance Allen Allied American April Armored Division artillery fire assault attack August battle beach Big Red Blue Spaders British camp Cantigny captured casualties Cavalry combat teams command Communist Company counterattack defenses deployed Divi Djebel east Eisenhower enemy February fighting flank French front German headquarters heavy Hill Huebner Ibid ID G3 Log infantry battalions infantrymen July June killed landed Lieutenant Colonel machine guns major maneuver March Marshall McCormick Research Center mission mortar moved November October offensive officers operations ordered Panzer Pershing PLAF platoon positions reinforced Report road September Siegfried Line soldiers staff Summerall tactical talion tanks Task Force Terry Allen Troina troops U.S. Army units Vietcong Vietnam VII Corps wounded zone