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Borrowed Soldiers: Americans Under British Command, 1918 (Campaigns and Commanders) [Hardcover]

M.A. Yockelson


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (17 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806139196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806139197
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.1 x 2.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,479,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Yockelson (United States Naval Academy) examines the coalition of American, Australian and British soldiers during the Hundred Days Campaign of World War I, and how the combined efforts of these forces ultimately led to the end of the conflict. Using recently discovered archival material, which includes personal correspondence from soldiers, the au

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Borrowed Soldiers 21 May 2008
By Thomas P. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Mitch Yockelson, an archivest with the National Archives, was for many years in charge of the World War document collection. His knowledge of this material as well as his considerable study of the US 27th and 30th Divisions under British command in the battles on the Hindenburg Line and the Selle River has resulted in a highly readable and enjoyable book.

For those readers interested in the American Army in WW I will want to read this book about a largely forgotten battle by two National Guard Divisions operating outside of the AEF. Yockelson has added considerably to the contemporary literature on America in the Great War. A good read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de Force 5 Aug 2008
By Dr. Wilson A. Heefner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In this meticulously researched and thoroughly readable volume Mitchell Yockelson has written a truly definitive account of the actions of the American II Corps in World War I. Doctor Yockelson's more than twenty years of experience as an archivist at the National Archives has uniquely equipped him for the task of bringing to light the too-long-neglected experiences of the National Guard's 27th and 30th Divisions of II Corps while deployed with and under the command of the British Fourth Army in Flanders and the Somme. Yockelson has plumbed deeply not only the primary source materials in such American repositories as the National Archives, the U.S. Army Military History Institute, and the Library of Congress, but also those materials archived in overseas repositories such as the Imperial War Museum, the National Army Museum, the Liddle Hart Centre for Military Archives, and the Australian War Museum. Enriching the text are five appendixes describing the organization of the American staff, the orders of battle of the Allied and German forces, and the comparative strengths of the American and British divisions; nine detailed maps; thirty photographs; fifty-five pages of notes and bibliography; and a comprehensive index with subheadings. I highly recommend this book both to World War I historians and to amateur and professional military historians with a more general interest in that war. Truly, a tour de force.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Contribution to WWI History 6 May 2008
By Military History - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Luckily for readers this tome does not read like most dissertations turned books. It is well researched, well written, and very enlightening. The author focuses on the 27th and 30th divisions from training in the United States and in Europe, to action as the American II Corps fighting with the British and Australians in the Ypres-Lys Offensive, the attack on the Hindenburg Line and the Selle River Campaign. The maps are outstanding. If you're interested in WWI buy this book! Hopefully there are more books from Dr. Yockelson on the way.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting topic and reading 2 Jun 2008
By J. Foor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Dr. Yockelson captured the human aspect of the soldiers in this very well researched and written book. It does not read like a dissertation or a history text book. It seems more personnel and down to earth. This is the type of reading I enjoy. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the subject of WWI.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yanks, Aussies, Brits: In the fight together, France, 1918 13 July 2009
By Donald M. Bishop - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When I visited Sydney on R&R from Vietnam in 1969, I visited the Art Gallery of New South Wales and saw the 1919 painting of the St. Quentin Canal-Tunnel at Bellicourt by the Australian war artist Sir Arthur Streeton. The scene was familiar, for I had seen a photograph of the same location in the Tennessee War Memorial Museum in Nashville. Why was one victory celebrated in two museums?

In 1918, two American infantry divisions fought in Belgium and France under British command. These were two National Guard divisions -- the 27th ("New York" or "O'Ryan's Roughnecks") and the 30th ("Old Hickory" from Tennessee-North Carolina-South Carolina), forming the American II Corps. Breaking the Hindenburg Line at Bellicourt at the end of September, 1918, was the Tennesseeans' most noted victory. In the offensive they "leapfrogged" with Australian units, hence the commemoration of the battle by two nations.

"Borrowed Soldiers" is a thorough history of the unique experience of the II Corps, fighting separately from the rest of the American Expeditionary Forces which gathered under General Pershing in Lorraine. National Archives historian Mitchell Yockelson digested all the memoirs; diaries; official reports; American, British, French, Australian, and German unit histories; manuscripts; books; and journal articles to write this book.

His highly readable account renders balanced judgments on controversies over federal control of the National Guard; "amalgamation" of American units with the British; American vs. British concepts of tactics and training; frictions between the allies; and the leadership qualities of the general officers. "Borrowed Soldiers" explains why and how the Americans were under British command; how they were formed, trained, equipped, supplied, moved to the front, and performed in action; and how they fought together with British and Australian divisions. Examining the question of effectiveness, Yockelson gives high marks to these two American divisions.

Even ninety years later, there are lessons to learn. One concerns how long it took a National Guard division to prepare for combat. The Guard units federalized in July of 1917 began training in South Carolina in August. British and French teams joined the training there, and the American units went through formal phased instruction at British schools and training grounds in Belgium before their first combat. Some of the British trainers were not at all impressed by the Yanks. The II Corps moved into the lines in Belgium at the end of August, 1918, more than a year after their training had begun. In the operation against the Hindenburg line they were commanded by an Australian general, and more than two hundred Australian advisors were distributed through the American formations. We imagine that nine decades ago things should have been simpler and quicker. This episode from American military history should caution those who are too critical of how long it takes to train the armies of Iraq and Afghanistan in our century.

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