This military history at its finest is a tribute to the other veterans of this overlooked "soldiers battle."
'A Delicate Affair' on the Western Front
ISBN-978 0 7509 5232 3
A "soldiers battle" fought and forgotten. The ultimate tribute to an infantry combatant is to be recognized for heroic actions. In the centenary celebrations underway commemorating incredible feats of bravery, Seicheprey's battleground was considered some of the worst conditions mankind has ever experienced. The American military arrived in France in 1917, armed with enthusiasm and esprit. Soon the 1st "Fighting First" Division was given the honor of being the first American military unit to be responsible for defending French territory. They performed magnificently against an attack by German assault troops in an operation ironically codenamed "Einladung", an "Invitation" to modern warfare. A few weeks later the 26th "Yankee" Division occupied more territory on the Woevre.
Battles fought in the short space of one month defined what the German military could expect of the American military in modern war. The surprise attack at Seicheprey on April 20, 1918 spearheaded by the elite German stormtroopers and assault troops, supported by aircraft, trench mortars, and heavy artillery played to German command intentions to show the world that Americans were no match and was designed as a propaganda coup against the "weak" newcomers. Connecticut's 102nd Infantry bore the brunt, fighting a "soldiers battle" of "sacrifice positions" to the death. "A delicate affair" reflected post-war memories of the time by General John Pershing. Relying entirely on never before seen and significant primary sources throughout, the author uses the battle as a jumping-off point to describe how all battles developed in the war, through intelligence (or lack of it) and minute-by-minute command decisions. Sadly, the only Seicheprey veteran recognized by the public today is Stubby the dog. This military history at its finest is a tribute to the other veterans of this overlooked "soldiers battle."