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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Tussen Aire en Aisne 1918


Christina Holstein

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Although this is in Dutch - or perhaps I should say Flemish, as the author is Belgian - I think it's worth drawing to the attention of anyone who might be interested in the final offensive in the Argonne in 1918 and who are comfortable with the language. In fact the author, Wim Degrande, is one of our very own members and I must declare an interest and say that I've known him for years. It follows the fighting which took place in the Argonne between 26 September and the start of November 1918 and it does it on a day by day basis, comparing the accounts of the French, German and, later, American units involved each day. To take an example, 8 October 1918, the day of the famous Sgt. York incident at Chatel, takes the events as described in the 82nd Division history and places them alongside the accounts in the relevant German regimental histories. The actions of the other American and German divisions active in the area on the same day are also related, so as to give a full picture of events. I thought I knew the Argonne fairly well but I learnt a lot from it and I liked being able to compare accounts. It's great for finding out what happened on a particular day. You just have to be able to read Dutch.

Christina

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Hi Christina, I have Wim's earlier book and although I can't speak Dutch, I found the maps and illustrations excellent (and with a little help from my wife I could interpret some of the text !!!)

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Thanks again Christina. This sounds like the book that I've been waiting for on the Meuse-Argonne; it's just a pity that my Flemish is non existent. I know the ground reasonably well and I've visited all of the memorials but my knowledge of the operations is sketchy at best. My impression is that the main thrust of the offensive was either side of the forest proper and the attacks in it were to keep the defence honest as they say in American football. Possibly my favourite American memorial is Blanc Mont just to the west of the forest commemorating the troops that attacked on the Champagne side; it has great views back towards Navarin farm. That said the view from the memorial at Montfaucon is breathtaking.

Pete.

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