Sons of Freedom

Sons of Freedom

The Forgotten American Soldiers Who Defeated Germany in World War I

Book - 2018
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"The heroic American contribution to World War I is one of the great stories of the twentieth century, and yet is largely overlooked by history. In Sons of Freedom, historian Geoffrey Wawro presents the dramatic narrative of the courageous American troops who took up arms in a conflict 4,000 miles across the Atlantic, and in doing so ensured the Allies' victory. Historians have long dismissed the American war effort as too little too late: a delayed U.S. Army - although rich in manpower and matériel - fought a dismal, halting battle that was certainly not decisive nor even really necessary. Historians generally assign credit for the Allied victory to improved British and French tactics, the British blockade, and German exhaustion. But drawing on extensive research in US, British, French, German, and Austrian archives, Wawro contends that the Allies simply would not have won the war without the help of the Americans. The Doughboys reversed the German advantage in troop numbers after Russia's exit from the war and, despite early missteps, prepared a series of excellent offensives. The French, by 1918, had lost their edge and needed American aggressiveness, and willingness to take casualties, to move the lines forward. As Wawro argues, it was the Americans' relentless pressure on the front that drove the war to its end. Fundamentally revising the history of the First World War and its tense final year, Sons of Freedom also reveals why the vital American contribution was so quickly forgotten. In this magisterial account, Wawro reveals the vital U.S. contribution to World War I, finally giving voice to the Doughboys, the war's 'silent slain'-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Basic Books, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780465093915
Branch Call Number: 940.4127 Wa
Description: xxix, 596 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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Dec 08, 2018

I tried to read this, but the tone was too jingoistic for me. The author's premise seems to be that American soldiers haven't been given their due in terms of the contribution they made to defeating Germany in World War 1. I've read a lot of books on that period of history, and it always seemed to me that the American contribution was widely acknowledged as being instrumental in ending that war, given the exhaustion of the French and British armies towards the end. Anyway, I just didn't buy the writer's viewpoint that somehow the Doughboys were shortchanged in the history books and the rah rah approach was grating to read.

I gave up after two chapters.


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