Few American military figures are more revered than General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing (1860--1948), who is most famous for leading the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. The only soldier besides George Washington to be promoted to the highest rank in the U.S. Army (General of the Armies), Pershing was a mentor to the generation of generals who led America's forces during the Second World War. Though Pershing published a two-volume memoir, My Experiences in the World War, and has been the subject of numerous biographies, few know that he spent many years drafting a memoir of his experiences prior to the First World War. In My Life Before the World War, 1860--1917, John T. Greenwood rescues this vital resource from obscurity, making Pershing's valuable insights into key events in history widely available for the first time. Pershing performed frontier duty against the Apaches and Sioux from 1886--1891, fought in Cuba in 1898, served three tours of duty in the Philippines, and was an observer with the Japanese Army in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. He also commanded the Mexican Punitive Expedition to capture Pancho Villa in 1916--1917. My Life Before the World War provides a rich personal account of events, people, and places as told by an observer at the center of the action. Carefully edited and annotated, this memoir is a significant contribution to our understanding of a legendary American soldier and the historic events in which he participated.
General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing is the only person ever promoted in his own lifetime to General of the Armies of the United States, the highest authorized rank in the Army. He led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I and later became controversial for his use of frontal assaults that caused massive casualties. In this rare report, Pershing gives his official story to the American Secretary of War. Included are force numbers and evaluations of his army. For less than you'd spend on gas going to the library, this long out-of-print volume is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones. Be sure to LOOK INSIDE by clicking the cover above or download a sample.
A portrait of America's first modern combat commander follows his military career from his education, through his service in the Philippines and Mexico, to his role as the leader of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I.
Pershing's Chief of Operations and Eisenhower's Mentor
Author: Steven Rabalais
Category: Biography & Autobiography
John J. Pershing considered Fox Conner to have been a brilliant solider and one of the finest characters our Army has ever produced. During World War I, General Conner served as chief of operations for the American Expeditionary Force in Europe. Pershing told Conner: I could have spared any other man in the A.E.F. better than you. Dwight D. Eisenhower viewed Fox Conner, as the outstanding soldier of my time. In the early 1920s, Conner transformed his protege Eisenhower from a struggling young officer on the verge of a court martial into one of the American army s rising stars. Eisenhower acknowledged Fox Conner as the one more or less invisible figure to whom I owe an incalculable debt. This book presents the first complete biography of this significant, but now forgotten, figure in American military history.In addition to providing a unique insider s view into the operations of the American high command during World War I, Fox Conner also tells the story of an interesting life. Conner felt a calling to military service, although his father had been blinded during the Civil War. From humble beginnings in rural Mississippi, Conner became one of the army s intellectuals. During the 1920s, when most of the nation slumbered in isolationism, Conner predicted a second world war. As the nation began to awaken to new international dangers in the 1930s, President Roosevelt offered Fox Conner the position of army chief of staff, which he declined. Poor health prevented his participation in World War II, while others whom he influenced, including Eisenhower, Patton, and Marshall, went on to fame.Fox Conner presents the portrait of the quintessential man behind the scenes in U.S. military history. Readers will find this book, and the man, fascinating.REVIEWS Author and historian Steven Rabalais provides a compelling narrative account of the life of General Fox Conner, one of the most influential, but least known, figures in American military history. Conner was not only one of the leading combat planners and leaders in World War One, he insightfully identified the young talent that would lead the nation on the battlefields of Europe in World War Two. Rabalais finally gives Conner his due, in a biography that is both dramatic and compelling. This biography not only puts Conner on the map, it highlights Rabalais as one of the truly gifted historians of the American military.Mark Perry is a journalist and author of nine books. His latest work is The Most Dangerous Man In America, a biography of General Douglas MacArthur. "Fox Conner is largely unknown today, yet he was one of General Pershing s top advisors during World War I. Steve Rabalais rescues General Conner from obscurity and shows how his impact as a military leader extended beyond the Great War, and influenced future commanders like Dwight D. Eisenhower. A well-written and important book.Mitchell YockelsonAuthor, Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I, and Borrowed Soldiers: Americans under British Command""General Fox Conner is a figure from American military history that more people ought to know. I encourage anyone with an interest in well written (and thoroughly researched) works of history to read Steven Rabalais' new book on General Conner." Steven Rabalais biography of Fox Conner is an excellent piece of historical writing. Conner was a great behind-the-scenes general who served as General Black Jack Pershing's chief of operations in the First World War and was the mentor and tutor of George C. Marshall, George S. Patton, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1964 Eisenhower told an interviewer that "in sheer ability and character, [Fox Conner] was the outstanding soldier of my time." Rabalais tells the story of General Conner's professional and personal life exceptionally well. . . . This is a ripping tale, and anyone interested in American military history will find it a treasure. Karl Roider, Alumni Professor Emeritus, Louisiana State University"
General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War
Author: Andrew Carroll
From the New York Times bestselling author of War Letters and Behind the Lines, Andrew Carroll's My Fellow Soldiers draws on a rich trove of both little-known and newly uncovered letters and diaries to create a marvelously vivid and moving account of the American experience in World War I, with General John Pershing featured prominently in the foreground. Andrew Carroll's intimate portrait of General Pershing, who led all of the American troops in Europe during World War I, is a revelation. Given a military force that on the eve of its entry into the war was downright primitive compared to the European combatants, the general surmounted enormous obstacles to build an army and ultimately command millions of U.S. soldiers. But Pershing himself--often perceived as a harsh, humorless, and wooden leader--concealed inner agony from those around him: almost two years before the United States entered the war, Pershing suffered a personal tragedy so catastrophic that he almost went insane with grief and remained haunted by the loss for the rest of his life, as private and previously unpublished letters he wrote to family members now reveal. Before leaving for Europe, Pershing also had a passionate romance with George Patton's sister, Anne. But once he was in France, Pershing fell madly in love with a young painter named Micheline Resco, whom he later married in secret. Woven throughout Pershing's story are the experiences of a remarkable group of American men and women, both the famous and unheralded, including Harry Truman, Douglas Macarthur, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, Teddy Roosevelt, and his youngest son Quentin. The chorus of these voices, which begins with the first Americans who enlisted in the French Foreign Legion 1914 as well as those who flew with the Lafayette Escadrille, make the high stakes of this epic American saga piercingly real and demonstrates the war's profound impact on the individuals who served--during and in the years after the conflict--with extraordinary humanity and emotional force.
General Pershing, the 79th Division, and the battle for Montfaucon
Author: Gene Fax
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
With Their Bare Hands traces the fate of the US 79th Division--men drafted off the streets of Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia--from their training camp in Maryland through the final years of World War I, focusing on their most famous engagement: the attack on Montfaucon, the most heavily fortified part of the German Line, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918. Using the 79th as a window into the American Army as a whole, Gene Fax examines its mistakes and triumphs, the tactics of the AEF Commander-in-Chief General John J. Pershing, and how the lessons it learned during the Great War helped it to fight World War II. Fax makes some startling judgments, on the role of future Army Chief-of-Staff, Colonel George C. Marshall; whether the Montfaucon battle--had it followed the plan--could have shortened the war; and if Pershing was justified in ordering his troops to attack right up to the moment of the Armistice. Drawing upon original documents, including orders, field messages, and the letters and memoirs of the soldiers themselves, some of which have never been used before, Fax tells the engrossing story of the 79th Division's bloody involvement in the final months of World War I.
General James G. Harbord and the American Expeditionary Forces in the First World War
Author: Brian Fisher Neumann
This project is both a wartime biography and an examination of the American effort in France during the First World War. At its core, the narrative follows the military career of Major General James G. Harbord. His time in France saw Harbord serve in the three main areas of the American Expeditionary Forces: administration, combat, and logistics. As chief of staff to AEF commander General John J. Pershing, Harbord was at the center of the formation of the AEF and the development of its administrative policies. He organized and managed the AEF General Staff and served as Pershing's most trusted subordinate. In May of 1918, Harbord transferred to the fighting line, taking over command of the 4th "Marine" Brigade. During his time with the 4th Brigade, and later as commander of the 2nd Division, Harbord played a significant part in the battles of Belleau Wood and Soissons. A dedicated supporter of Pershing's tactics of "open" warfare, Harbord's failings as a combat commander showed the limits of American tactical experience. For the final four months of the war, Harbord took over control of the AEF's logistical system, the Services of Supply. Though he proved an able administrator, the American supply system approached total collapse in the fall of 1918, and was prevented only by the signing of the Armistice. In all three of these roles, Harbord embodied the emergence of the military manager in the American army. The First World War illustrates that war had grown so large and complex that it required officers whose primary talents lay not in leading men in combat, but in the areas of administration and management of large bureaucratic organizations. James Harbord was one of the first, and best, examples of this new type of officer.
This is the authoritative biography on General of the Armies John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing (1860-1948), a senior United States Army officer during World War I. His most famous post was serving as the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) on the Western Front from 1917-1918. In John J. Pershing: General of the Armies, author Frederick Palmer focuses primarily on General Pershing’s experiences as Commander of the AEF of the First World War. Here is a biography, history and a tribute to a great general, written by a World War I correspondent who served on his staff. Palmer traces his background, his boyhood in Missouri, his switch from law to West Point, later taking law and teaching at the University of Nebraska, fighting Indians, and Moros, serving in the Spanish-American War, the troubles in Mexico, and his promotion to Brigadier-General. Then the First World War, in minute detail—battles, campaigns, offensives, planning and strategy; conferences with other war leaders; insistence on high stands of discipline and morale; determination on separate American troops; his vision, insight, and gift for organization. An invaluable addition to any WWI library!
A portrait of the distinguished American army commander documents his role in campaigns against the Moro in the Philippines and Francisco Villa in Mexico and his experiences in the Spanish-American War and World War I
A German Fortress, a Treacherous American General, and the Battle to End World War I
Author: William Walker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
A vivid, thrilling, and impeccably researched account of America’s bloodiest battle ever—World War I’s Meuse-Argonne Offensive—and the shocking American cover-up at its heart. The year is 1918. German engineers have fortified Montfaucon, an elevated fortress in northern France, with bunkers, tunnels, and a top-secret observatory capable of directing artillery shells across the battlefield. Following a number of unsuccessful attacks, the French have deemed Montfaucon impregnable. Capturing it is the key to success for General John J. Pershing’s 1.2 million troops and his plan to end the war. But a betrayal of Americans by Americans results in a bloody debacle. In his masterful Betrayal at Little Gibraltar, William Walker tells the full story for the first time. After a delay in the assault on Montfaucon, thousands of Americans lost their lives while the Germans defended their position without mercy. Years of archival research show the actual cause of the delay was a senior American officer, Major General Robert E. Lee Bullard, who disobeyed orders to assist in the direct assault on Montfaucon. The result was the unnecessary slaughter of American doughboys during the assault. Although several officers learned of the circumstances, Pershing protected Bullard—an old friend and fellow West Point graduate—by covering up the story. The true and full account of the battle that cost 122,000 American casualties was almost lost to time. A "military history for all libraries" (Library Journal), Betrayal at Little Gibraltar tells of the soldiers who fought to capture the giant fortress and push the American advance. Using unpublished first-person accounts—and featuring photographs, documents, and maps—Walker describes the horrors of combat, the sacrifices of the doughboys, and the determined efforts of two participants to solve the mystery of Montfaucon. This is compelling history, important to be told, an "as valuable account as Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August" (Virginian-Pilot).
The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I
Author: John Eisenhower
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Fought far from home, World War I was nonetheless a stirring American adventure. The achievements of the United States during that war, often underrated by military historians, were in fact remarkable, and they turned the tide of the conflict. So says John S. D. Eisenhower, one of today's most acclaimed military historians, in his sweeping history of the Great War and the men who won it: the Yanks of the American Expeditionary Force. Their men dying in droves on the stalemated Western Front, British and French generals complained that America was giving too little, too late. John Eisenhower shows why they were wrong. The European Allies wished to plug the much-needed U.S. troops into their armies in order to fill the gaps in the line. But General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, the indomitable commander of the AEF, determined that its troops would fight together, as a whole, in a truly American army. Only this force, he argued -- not bolstered French or British units -- could convince Germany that it was hopeless to fight on. Pershing's often-criticized decision led to the beginning of the end of World War I -- and the beginning of the U.S. Army as it is known today. The United States started the war with 200,000 troops, including the National Guard as well as regulars. They were men principally trained to fight Indians and Mexicans. Just nineteen months later the Army had mobilized, trained, and equipped four million men and shipped two million of them to France. It was the greatest mobilization of military forces the New World had yet seen. For the men it was a baptism of fire. Throughout Yanks Eisenhower focuses on the small but expert cadre of officers who directed our effort: not only Pershing, but also the men who would win their lasting fame in a later war -- MacArthur, Patton, and Marshall. But the author has mined diaries, memoirs, and after-action reports to resurrect as well the doughboys in the trenches, the unknown soldiers who made every advance possible and suffered most for every defeat. He brings vividly to life those men who achieved prominence as the AEF and its allies drove the Germans back into their homeland -- the irreverent diarist Maury Maverick, Charles W. Whittlesey and his famous "lost battalion," the colorful Colonel Ulysses Grant McAlexander, and Sergeant Alvin C. York, who became an instant celebrity by singlehandedly taking 132 Germans as prisoners. From outposts in dusty, inglorious American backwaters to the final bloody drive across Europe, Yanks illuminates America's Great War as though for the first time. In the AEF, General John J. Pershing created the Army that would make ours the American age; in Yanks that Army has at last found a storyteller worthy of its deeds.