Through the Wheat: The U.S. Marines in World War I

Front Cover
Naval Institute Press, Oct 29, 2014 - History - 352 pages
2 Reviews
U.S. Marine participation in World War I is known as a defining moment in the Marine Corps' great history. It is a story of exceptional heroism and significant operational achievements, along with lessons learned the hard way. The Marines entered World War I as a small force of seagoing light infantry that had rarely faced a well-armed enemy. On a single June 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, BlancMont, 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Waltersgn - LibraryThing

History of the Marines in World War I and how their leadership learned the lessons necessary to change from a littoral combat arm of the Navy to a modern fighting force that would be utilized in the Pacific campaign. The lesson however was costly with casualty rates of 55% in many engagements. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

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


List of Maps Foreword by Col Allan R Millett USMCR Ret
The War to End All Wars
Fivefold Expansion 3 New Frontiers 4 Over There
The Trenches of Verdun
Retreat Hell
Belleau Wood
In Every Clime and Place
The First
Marbache and St Mihiel
Blanc Mont
The MeuseArgonne Campaign
The Watch on the Rhine
Medals of Honor Awarded
Notes Bibliography Index

The Second

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information