Betrayal at Little Gibraltar

Betrayal at Little Gibraltar

A German Fortress, A Treacherous American General, and the Battle to End World War I

Book - 2016
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The work of a lifetime: A vivid, thrilling, and impeccably researched account of America's bloodiest battle ever--World War I's Meuse-Argonne Offensive--and the 100-year-old cover-up at its heart.

The year is 1918. German engineers have fortified Montfaucon, a rocky butte in northern France, with bunkers, tunnels, trenches, and a top-secret observatory capable of directing artillery shells across the battlefield. Following a number of bloody, unsuccessful attacks, the French deem Montfaucon impregnable and dub it the Little Gibraltar of the Western Front. Capturing it is a key to success for AEF Commander-in-Chief John J. Pershing's 1.2 million troops. But a betrayal of Americans by Americans results in a bloody debacle. Now William T. Walker tells the full story in his masterful Betrayal at Little Gibraltar .

In the assault on Montfaucon, American forces become bogged down, a delay that cost untold lives as the Germans defended their lofty positions without mercy. Years of archival research demonstrate that the actual cause of the delay was the disobedience of a senior American officer, Major General Robert E. Lee Bullard, who subverted orders to assist the US 79th Division. The result was unnecessary slaughter of American doughboys and preclusion of plans to end the war early. 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 account of the battle that cost 122,000 American casualties was almost lost to time.

Betrayal at Little Gibraltar tells vivid human stories 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 Using unpublished first-person accounts--and featuring photographs, documents, and maps that place you in the action--Walker describes the horrors of World War I combat, the sacrifices of the doughboys, and the determined efforts of two participants to pierce the cover-up and to solve the mystery of Montfaucon. Like Stephen Ambrose and S.C. Gwynne, Walker writes compelling popular history.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2016
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501117893
1501117890
Branch Call Number: D545.A63 W35 2016x
Characteristics: xiii, 447 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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SEBoiko
Jul 08, 2016

The first casualty when war comes is truth.

s
SEBoiko
Jul 08, 2016

Real men had rather be dead than disgraced as cowards.

s
SEBoiko
Jul 08, 2016

The Great War was in reality, the Great Artillery war.

s
SEBoiko
Jul 08, 2016

Developments in Russia forced Pershing's hand.

s
SEBoiko
Jul 08, 2016

Conscription would set the pattern for US defense policy for the next half century,...

s
SEBoiko
Jul 08, 2016

We have come over here to get ourselves killed.

s
SEBoiko
Jul 08, 2016

The president genuinely hated war, but he knew that events in Europe were outsidr his control.

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chrisabler
Apr 02, 2018

This book is very interesting as well as upsetting, and covers part of the Meuse - Argonne offensive. US commander in chief, John Pershing apparently warned that the commanders of poorly performing units would be disciplined/dismissed, as indeed happened to the commander of the V th Corps' George Cameron, and it is hard not to see that such threats could easily lead to the disregarding of orders to help a neighboring unit on the part of a careerist general like Robert Bullard, commanding the III Corps, apparently was. Pershing then failed to discipline Bullard, apparently more or less turning his back on practical, as opposed to nominal, leadership after the offensive proved a disappointment. The battle also proved that performing the same sorts of attacks the French tried at the beginning of the war, led to the same sorts of results, over four years later... not the army's finest hour.

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