Read Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I by Mitchell A. Yockelson Online


The gripping account of the U.S. First Army’s astonishing triumph over the Germans in America’s bloodiest battle of the First World War—the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne.The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne stands as the deadliest clash in American history: More than a million untested American soldiers went up against a better-trained and -experienced German army, costing more tThe gripping account of the U.S. First Army’s astonishing triumph over the Germans in America’s bloodiest battle of the First World War—the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne.The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne stands as the deadliest clash in American history: More than a million untested American soldiers went up against a better-trained and -experienced German army, costing more twenty-six thousand deaths and leaving nearly a hundred thousand wounded. Yet in forty-seven days of intense combat, those Americans pushed back the enemy and forced the Germans to surrender, bringing the First World War to an end—a feat the British and the French had not achieved after more than three years of fighting.In Forty-Seven Days, historian Mitchell Yockelson tells how General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing’s exemplary leadership led to the unlikeliest of victories. Appointed commander of the American Expeditionary Forces by President Wilson, Pershing personally took command of the U.S. First Army until supplies ran low and the fighting ground to a stalemate. Refusing to admit defeat, Pershing stepped aside and placed gutsy Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett in charge. While Pershing retained command, Liggett reorganized his new unit, resting and resupplying his men, while instilling a confidence in the doughboys that drove them out of the trenches and across no-man’s-land.Also explored are a cast of remarkable individuals, including America’s original fighter ace, Eddie Rickenbacker; Corporal Alvin York, a pacifist who nevertheless single-handedly killed more than twenty Germans and captured 132; artillery officer and future president Harry S. Truman; innovative tank commander George S. Patton; and Douglas MacArthur, the Great War’s most decorated soldier, who would command the American army in the Pacific War and in Korea. Offering an abundance of new details and insight, Forty-Seven Days is the definitive account of the First Army’s hard-fought victory in World War I—and the revealing tale of how our military came of age in its most devastating battle....

Title : Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I
Author :
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ISBN : 9780451466952
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I Reviews

  • Mark Mortensen
    2019-04-29 06:23

    “Forty-Seven Days” by Mitchell Yockelson is a World War I account of General Pershing and his top commanders during the Meuse Argonne phase from September 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918. In France along the Western Front the American Expeditionary Forces pushed the Germans back with each battle. Pershing was results oriented and his American divisions did not disappoint him. Detailed plans and logistics assisted the warriors on the ground and the aviators in the sky above and with momentum and confidence each victory led to another culminating with Armistice. In their wake was massive death and destruction but the Great War was over.As we near the 100th Anniversary of WWI this book provides a glimpse into a major portion of America’s involvement. Yockelson has performed much research along with fresh information. I was unaware that General Pershing had a lasting romantic relationship with the much younger Micheline Resco. In addition I was very pleased to notice Marine Corps Major George Hamilton listed in the index.

    2019-05-03 02:26

    This book offers a good, comprehensive account of the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne in which an independent American Army (under the overall command of General John J. Pershing) took part in a key campaign that helped to hasten the end of the First World War.

  • Margaret Sankey
    2019-05-20 06:22

    This is good popular WWI history, written by a professional archivist and historian, using a dramatic framing device and well-known names to illustrate the dramatic insertion of the American military into the war. By tracking the lives of Truman, Rickenbacker, York and the pair of future generals Patton and McArthur, Yockelson gives readers some familiar faces to follow while explaining how the war developed into the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne. There's nothing here that would be new to a military historian, but it is a good volume to put into the hands of interested newcomers.

  • R. Laplander
    2019-05-05 04:37

    The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was a huge affair, and as we draw closer to the 100th anniversary of that event we are seeing a spate of books pop up on the subject. This is a good thing, as the battle – the bloodiest America has ever fought; we lost an average of 550 KIA a day for each of the 47 days of the battle, and times three wounded – has been ignored by most historians for far too long. And though Lengal’s fantastic work, ‘To Conquer Hell’, is arguably the first ‘modern’ book to delve into that battle at an individual soldier level spanning across the divisions that participated in it, to balance that effort we needed a similar book told from the perspective of the command structure that engaged the battle.Now, in Mitch Yokelson’s new book ’47 Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War 1’, we have just that. Mitch relates the story of the A.E.F. from largely the perspective of General John Pershing himself, as well as the command staff under him. It is a fast paced read, told in an entertaining way, hitting the high notes (as well as low notes) of the A.E.F. experience through the war and in particular the great Meuse-Argonne offensive. It is not a complete history of the A.E.F. nor of the battle; Mitch and I both agree that no one book could possibly cover all that ground to the extent it needs covering. Instead his work here serves as an illustration of what it took, from the top down, to deal not only with handling our first effort at a coalition war in conjunction with allies who saw the American army as largely nothing more than a replacement depot for their own depleted ranks, but also with a staff of career army officers with their own ambitions, attitudes and prejudices; some of which did not necessarily marry well with their commander’s philosophy of how that war was to be fought. Through it all Mitch takes the issues to hand well, making for a very balanced effort and well told. His prose is smooth and very enjoyable here. And while Yokelson will readily admit he is an ardent admirer of Pershing, he doesn’t give the man a pass for the mistakes he made or the lapses in judgement. One example would be where, toward the end of the Meuse-Argonne, Mitch well illustrates how, after Pershing handed control of 1st Army over to General Hunter Liggett, Pershing became something of a busy-body, seemingly hunched over the general’s shoulder the whole time he prepared the final drives that would end the war. Conversely, he does an excellent job at illustrating exactly just why Pershing pushed the war right up until the final minutes on November 11th; something that has caused endless debate among historians. (Virtually no one believed the Germans would quit when they said they would, nor stay down long if they did. It was almost inconceivable they would acquis to the harsh demands of the armistice.) Love him or hate him, Pershing performed a difficult task that had never been done by an American general before, and overall did a decent job. This book illustrates that and does so extremely well. Again, it is not a complete history of the A.E.F., nor is it a battle worthy assessment as well illustrated in Mark Grotelueschen’s fine work, ‘The AEF Way of War’. Rather it shows the progression of an army, which did not exist in April, 1917, into a war-winning entity – not in heavy detail (again, it would take a multi-volume work to accomplish that) but as an overall ‘story’ which will appeal to general readers, not just WW1 historians or students of military history.I think the best aspect of the book though, is the connection Yokelson demonstrates between the doughboys and himself. Having spent as much time as he has in the WW1 records at the National Archives in College Park, MD (Mitch was a senior archivist there for years and few know those records as he does), it is plain that he has grown to understand the attitudes and perceptions of the men and boys who fought that war and I think this is paramount to writing about them. All too often writers make the mistake of seeing the war exclusively through modern eyes, and thus with nearly 100 years of experience behind them. It is imperative when writing about the doughboys that one try and make contact with them and see things as they did, erasing what we know of what happened in the next 100 years and judging the war and their experiences in the A.E.F. as they might have. For a writer to achieve this connection, not over-do it, and get the message across to a modern reader is a wonderful accomplishment. Mitch Yokelson does so here admirably.This book has already taken a space on my top shelf, alongside the other important works on the war I turn to. I highly recommend this work. Well done Mitch; well done indeed.

  • Jill Meyer
    2019-05-10 06:13

    On November 11, 1918, the armistice between the Allied and German governments was declared. All fighting stopped and peace was proclaimed. But the preceding 6 weeks had hardly been quiet. The battles in the Meuse-Argonne and St Mihiel kept the war going. It is this six week period that author Mitchell Yockelson covers in his new book, "Forty-seven Days: How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the Germans". Like many recent books about WW1, Yockelson takes a small period of time and covers it in depth.Although the war in Europe had begun in August, 1914, the Americans had not entered the war until April, 1917, and we were slowly building up troop levels and war materiel to send to France. General John J Pershing - "Black Jack" - was appointed to command the troops and he came to France (and England) to meet the French and British commanders already fighting the Germans. Pershing did not want to give up US command to the Allied leaders. The American Expeditionary Forces were to fight under Pershing. Jack Pershing was an interesting fellow and Yockelson gives his background and how he rose through the ranks (somewhat due to a "helpful" marriage to a Senator's daughter?) to his position. But Yockelson also gives plenty of bio-time to the other Allied commanders (and to the Germans) as well as Pershing's aides, many of whom found greater glory as WW2 leaders.Yockelson does a great job in writing about those last battles of the war and looked at the men who fought. He doesn't forget the ladies; the female telephone operators - fluent in French - who were brought over from the US to man the phones at the various headquarters. His book tells of the "Lost Battalion", an American battalion stuck for weeks behind the German lines and the various means tried to rescue them. Yockelson has written a very personal book, looking at the micro-level of the war. He also includes good maps and photographs. Excellent for the armchair historian.

  • Matt Caris
    2019-05-18 22:31

    A decent-enough account of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Makes the grandiose claim that this offensive above all the others in the "Hundred Days" commanded German attention and drove the decision to seek an armistice, but really doesn't back it up besides proffering a few quotes from Hindenburg and others, all of whom after the war clearly had incentives to blame defeat on the inexhaustible supply of Americans and not the superior operational performance of the Allied armies (particularly the BEF and select French armies) under Foch in 1918. I decided to read this hoping for a convincing rebuttal of some of the claims in British- or French-focused works about the incompetence of the Americans in staff functions, logistics, and even Pershing's basic strategic vision concerning the Meuse-Argonne, and found little to counterbalance those claims. Yockelson clearly does not intend it, but his lavish portrayal of Pershing's strength of character and discipline, and the courage and tenacity of the average American rifleman is so complete that, by comparison, the lack of equivalent comment on planning, staff work, tactical and operational leadership in the AEF, and the basic soundness of Pershing's strategic vision almost confirms the Anglo-French claims of American incompetence by its silence. One other comment - this book (at least the Kindle and Audible versions) are riddled with minor errors that probably mean little to the average reader, but probably should not have made it through the editing process and detract from the overall scholarship of the book. Troy Middleton became a Lieutenant General and commanded the VIII Corps in World War II, not the 8th Division as a Major General. Various unit designations, descriptions of pieces of equipment, etc. are also wrong.

  • Phil
    2019-05-14 00:26

    One outstanding read from Mitchell Yockelson. The "Green" American troops led by General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing came of age in this very detailed and descriptive account. Another sequel to David v Goliath, how our First Army overcame tremendous odds to squelch the more seasoned and battle tuned Germans. Incredible story with the insight into the Meuse-Argonne the bloodiest clash in American History will captivate any reader. The personalities are here with Black Jack, Hunter Liggett, Douglas MacArthur, George C Marshall, Harry S Truman, Eddie Rickenbacker,"Galloping Charlie"Whittlesey, George C Scott and Indiana's own Sam Woodfill to name just a few. Major General John Lejeune, the Marine's Marine" and the "greatest of Leathernecks" and how his "Indianhead" Division was called upon repeatedly when things simply had to be done is more than remarkable. The US fought two wars in this theater, the Germans and our allies- the French and the Brits. The true grit of the American Doughboy will inspire all readers for they were the cause of this great defeat of German forces that will awe one through infinity.

  • Steve
    2019-05-11 06:30

    An excellent book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This book is about the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne which the American soldiers fought the German Army in the final months of World War I. In the book certain men were mentioned that led the American troops in battle such as General John "Black Jack" Pershing and two men who later became generals during World War II: General George S. Patton Jr and General Douglas MacArthur. This also tells of Major Charles Whittlesey who led the men of the 77th Division "The Lost Battalion" and held the line against the German Army. It also tells of the American ace pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and Alvin C. York, a conscientious objector who single-handledly killed more than 20 Germans and captured 132. Very detailed and an excellent book.

  • Scott
    2019-05-13 00:33

    My knowledge of WW I in general and the US role in particular has always been lacking. This is a good place to start, even though it begins at the end (from the end of September to November 11). Yockelson draws a clear picture of how the American army turned the fortunes of war for the allies in 1918. It focuses on the battle of the Meuse-Argonnne and tells the story of how Pershing's army grew up into a war machine capable of taking the battle to the enemy everywhere. It brings the horror of World War I to a level the reader can understand. Lots of famous characters show up including Pershing, Patton, Billy Mitchell, and Rickenbacker.There are several maps, though not quite detailed enough to always follow the narration.

  • Doug Strong
    2019-05-04 03:27

    I found this book to be a fast read that made me want to keep turning pages. It was well written and very informative. It provided a great perspective on America's role in the first world war. After reading this I have a much more thorough understanding of how the tide chart in the last months of the great war. I will look for more things by this author to read.

  • Tom Rowe
    2019-05-15 00:08

    An inaccurate title. This book only took 46 days for me to read. (Seriously, 46 days.)World War 1 is hard to place into a followable narrative. Even at this level, the final 47 days in which the AEF conducted the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives, various stories at various levels with various units and people become hard to follow. Units appear and disappear out of nowhere. What this book needed was a bit more length to get some of those details in there. It also needed many more maps to help visualize the situation. Where Mr. Yockelson does very well is where the war allows for an easier narrative. The stories of Sgt. York and the Lost Battalion are clear and to the point. (Although maps would have been nice here also.I'm glad I read the book, but I think I will look for other books on the Meuse-Argonne to fill in some of the details and questions that linger in my minde

  • Richard
    2019-05-14 06:36

    A really interesting description of the US involvement in WW I. Lots of battle detail - one might say too much, but this is what the book is about, so I don't think it is too much. Lots of information about General Pershing. During parts of the book I felt like I was in the opening battle scene of the movie Saving Private Ryan. I gained a depth of understanding of WW I that I did not have before.I liked the little side stories about particular aspects of the war effort, like the information about the Pigeon Service.The only real shortcoming of the book is that I still don't understand why the American forces prevailed when the other Allied (primarily British and French) could not. Was it simply that the addition of another million soldiers overwhelmed the already weakened Germans? I think that might be it, but I'm unclear on the point.

  • Anne Alexander
    2019-05-09 23:21

    The story of the American entry into World War I. Pershing , Lajuene, Rickenbacker, names I have heard and knew tiny bits and pieces about. This tale tells of their great deeds. A very good read.

  • Chris Gentry
    2019-05-05 02:19

    Readable and good overview of the Meuse-Argonne battle without bogging down in excessive detail regarding troop/unit movements.

  • Steven Peterson
    2019-05-15 01:17

    had awaited the arrival of the horde of Americans to reinforce them to end the war, by overwhelming German forces with the large number of new troops. The story of the AEF's role and its leader, Black Jack Pershing, is the centerpiece of this work.To provide context, we learn of Pershing's background and his rise in the army. He took charge of the Mexican expedition just before the First World War. The early portions of the book also speak to the slow pressures leading the United States into the war. The role played by President Woodrow Wilson is also discussed.Once The US declared war. a weak military needed to be developed and become a power. The work does a nice job showing how this happened. Troops were not well trained at the outset. Troop ships took Americans to Europe where Pershing and others organized training so that--when the time came--American could contribute to the war effort against Germany. The author does a nice job of exploring the politics of the military. European allies wanted the Americans to go into battle sooner than later--and under European control. Pershing, with the support of his President, resisted.By 1918, the Americans were ready--and went into combat largely under American leadership. The victories--and the challenges--and the casualties--are well described here, to give a sense of both the costs and benefits of American involvement.In the end, if you want a sense of the AEF's role, this is a fine work to peruse.

  • CatherineMustread
    2019-05-05 05:27

    From New Book Network: "National Archives historian and forensic archivist Mitchell Yockelson reappraises the American Expeditionary Force’s performance under the command of General John J. Pershing. Accordingly, the American forces’ combat experience in the September to November 1918 Meuse-Argonne Campaign is shown to be far more pivotal to Allied victory than allowed for in the standard Anglo-centric literature of the conflict. Even as Pershing’s army acquired its craft in hard fighting against an increasingly implacable and desperate German opponent, the men of the A.E.F. proved to be relentless in their efforts to clear the densely wooded and fortified forest that had resisted French efforts for the previous four years. Yockelson’s account of the campaign is even-handed and well-written, providing the foundation for an interesting conversation about the book and his own approach to writing and interpreting history from a wide range of primary and secondary sources."