My Experiences In The First World War

by General John J. Pershing

Book cover for My Experiences In The First World War

A graduate of West Point, John J. Pershing (1860–1948) led a spirited life: serving as a cavalry officer in campaigns against Geronimo and the Sioux, fighting in the Spanish-American War and in the Philippines, and leading the expedition against Pancho Villa in Mexico. But it was his role and performance as Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I that won him lasting acclaim.On the eve of America's entry into the conflict in 1917, Pershing found our military in abominable condition. Yet by the time American troops penetrated German lines in the bitterly contested Meuse-Argonne offensive in October 1918, Pershing had miraculously transformed our forces into well-integrated, effective combat units. In My Experiences in the First World War (1931) he describes that process, from the events leading up to his appointment to his arrival in Europe; from problems of supply and troop training to his meetings with Haig, Petain, Clemenceau, and Foch; from the fierce battles of Belleau Wood, the Marne, Chateau-Theirry, St. Mihiel, and Sedan to the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918. Written in a direct lucid style, this book provides a unique first-hand view, from headquarters to the trenches, of the struggle that humanity vainly hoped would be the "war to end all wars."

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