One of the great defining moments in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps is their participation in World War I. It is a story of exceptional heroism and significant operational achievements as well some lessons learned the hard way.
Two marines well known for their achievements in uniform as well as with the pen have recorded this rich history in a way that only"insiders" can. General Simmons and Colonel Alexander have recounted the events in great detail, capturing the spirit that earned the Marines in World War I the sobriquet "Devil dogs," while providing an important combat study worthy of attention by veterans and neophytes alike.
Names like Belleau Wood, Soissons, and St. Mihiel resonate today, nearly a century later, and Simmons and Alexander leave no doubt as to why. Hand-to-hand combat as seen through the lenses of a gas mask is accompanied by cogent analysis and thought-provoking assessments of this unique war and its impact on the U.S. Marine Corps.
About the Authors
Brig. Gen. Edwin H. Simmons served in the Marine Corps for 36 years from 1942 and is a decorated veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He also served the Corps for seventeen years as a civilian, including many years as Director of Marine Corps History and Museums.
Col. Joseph H. Alexander served in the Marine Corps for 28 years and fought in Vietnam. He has helped produce 25 military documentaries for cable television and was chief historian on the exhibit design team for the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
Brig. Gen. Edwin Howard Simmons, USMC (Ret.) served in the Marine Corps for thirty-six years, from 1942 to 1978, and is a decorated veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He also served the Corps for seventeen years as a civilian, including many years as Director of Marine Corps History and Museums. He is the author of the Korean War novel Dog Company Six, The United States Marines: A History, and Frozen Choisin: U.S. Marines at the Changjin Reservoir, among other publications. He died in May 2007. Joseph Alexander was a retired colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps, with 29 years' service as an assault amphibian officer. He commanded a company in Vietnam, served five years at sea with amphibious task forces, and graduated with distinction from the Naval War College. Prior to retirement he served as chief of staff of the 3d Marine Division in the western Pacific. Alexander wrote six books, including Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa; The Battle History of the U.S. Marines; and Edson's Raiders: The 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II. He was Naval Institute Author of the Year in 1996 and Naval History Author of the Year in 2010. He served as scriptwriter and on-screen authority for 28 military documentaries for cable television networks. He was the principal historian and writer on the exhibit design team for the construction and expansion of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.