An astonishing account of fortitude and bravery in World War I
The Best World War I Story I Know: On the Point in the Argonne is the breath-taking story of three US Army divisions tasked with capturing the Côte de Châtillon during the Meuse-Argonne offensive in autumn 1918. Readers will first follow in the footsteps of Missouri-Kansas Guard troops who were repulsed in the opening days of the battle; their courage in the face of heavy fire was not enough to overcome poor leadership.
They were replaced by the 1st Division, the “best of the Regular Army.” This fine unit became physically and mentally exhausted after suffering horrendous casualties. Unable to fight on, “The Big Red One” was exchanged at the base of Côte de Châtillon, with the 42nd, the Rainbow Division. It too struggled to gain ground on the heavily-contested hill until General Douglas MacArthur’s determined 84th Brigade of “Alabama cotton pickers and Iowa corn growers” forced their way past the Germans. The Côte was finally in American hands and the war all but over.