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The 4th Marine Brigade at Belleau Wood and Soissons by J. Michael Miller


“Relying on extensive reminiscences from marines who fought at Belleau Wood and Soissons in the summer of 1918, Mike Miller’s book vividly re-creates what it was like to ‘be there’ on the battlefields. It especially underscores the personal experiences of the intense fighting that would mark the emergence of the US Marine Corps as a major fighting force for the AEF. The book’s tour guides are a valuable bonus that will allow battlefield visitors to consider up close what the brave marines actually faced during that fateful summer.” —David J. Bettez, author of Kentucky Marine: Major General Logan Feland and the Making of the Modern USMC
“For three weeks in June 1918, an inexperienced 4th Marine Brigade clawed a bloody way through Belleau Wood in a triumph of bravery. But only a month later the same marines complemented valor with skill in the allied victory at Soissons. The learning curve’s price was steep, comprehensive, and enduring. The Marine Corps’ list of defining battles is long–Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh. But this comprehensively researched work demonstrates that none overshadow Belleau Wood and its aftermath.”–Dennis Showalter, author of Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18

Although the Marines trace their origins back to 1775, the true birth of the Corps was in 1918 during the hard-fought battles of Belleau Woods and Soissons. Miller’s detailed, intimate, and exceptionally well-researched narrative vividly captures the moment when the Marines truly entered the American consciousness and the Corps transformed itself from a dispensable appendage of the US Navy to a vital national institution. Many historians have written about the Marines’ experience during the Great War, but few can match the power and perceptiveness of Miller’s chronicle of the 4th Marine Brigade.”–Richard S. Faulkner, author of Pershing’s Crusaders: The American Soldier in World War I

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