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Thunder and Flames: Americans in the Crucible of Combat, 1917-1918

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  9 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
November 1917. The American troops were poorly trained, deficient in military equipment and doctrine, not remotely ready for armed conflict on a large scale--and they'd arrived on the Western front to help the French push back the Germans. The story of what happened next--the American Expeditionary Force's trial by fire on the brutal battlefields of France--is told in full ...more
Hardcover, 457 pages
Published April 3rd 2015 by University Press of Kansas (first published March 6th 2015)
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Bryan Alexander
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-i
As we progress through 2017 American attention is starting to refocus on this nation’s role in the First World War. This has proven a fruitful time for new scholarly work on the subject, and Edward Lengel’s Thunder and Flames (University Press of Kansas: 2015) is a fine addition to the literature.

Lengel’s book is “a study of AEF operations under French command” (9), excluding campaigns where Americans fought on their own. This means Thunder and Flames covers November 1917 through August 1918, an
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Dimitri
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it

It sounds like the AEF didn't have a learning curve so much as a learning ladder; sometimes they'd voluntarily take a step down. Stepping on the hands of the French who tried to push them up.
It makes the Doughboys, or their CO's at least, look as incompetent ingrates. Luckily, weeding took place.

Chatigny was a village in a salient overlooked by ridges, devoid of any military value. It was garrisoned by a second-rate unit softened up by French flank attacks.

Chateau-Thierry involved one Machine
...more
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Although I’ve spent the greater part of my career as a professional military historian, my passion is as a storyteller, walking through ancient lands, sites and battlefields in my own hiking boots. I strive to capture that feeling in my writing, tours, and presentations to reduce the distance between our present and our collective past.

From the tough realities of military history to the passions
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