The May 7th World at War Forum at Porter Public Library welcomes Dr. Michael Dory to talk about the role of America’s Marines in World War I.

In 1917 the United States entered World War I. This was a war the country had spent years avoiding. By February 1918, after months of mobilization, training, and learning to fight U.S. Marines entered combat in the area around Verdun. They were to become famous for their 31 days of fighting to clear German forces out of Belleau Woods, a battle where the Marines suffered over 9,000 casualties and entered the realm of legend.

Continue reading to see some of the titles the library offers on the Marines’ and America’s role in the First World War. If you would like to attend the World at War Forum you can register for the May 7th program HERE. The talk will be held in the Porter Room beginning at 7 PM. You can read more blogs written by our librarians and staff at this link.

Maj. Gen. George Barnett (1859-1930), 12th Commandant of the USMC, 1914-1920

Miracle at Belleau Wood: The Birth Of The Modern U.S. Marine Corps by Alan Axelrod

“Miracle at Belleau Wood” begins in June 1918 at Les Mare Farm in France with just 200 U.S. marines, who spilled their blood to prevail against impossible odds, resisting an overwhelming German force of thousands and turned the battle back against the enemy, saved Paris, saved France, and saved the Allied hope of victory. Called “the Gettysburg of the Great War” by many at the time, it rescued America and its allies from almost certain defeat. This book tells the riveting story of the modern marines as America’s fiercest and most effective warriors, the world’s preeminent fighting elite. Miracle at Belleau Wood is the story of an epoch-making battle-a battle that elevated the Corps to legendary status and forever burned them into the American imagination.


A Regiment Like No Other: The 6th Marine Regiment At Belleau Wood by LCDR J.Wayne Hill

This thesis addresses the unique composition of the 6th U.S. Marine Regiment and the role they played in the battle of Belleau Wood. It analyzes composition of the 6th Marine Regiment: 60 percent were college men, many of whom were college athletes. With the exception of the Battalion’s senior officers and a handful of senior non-commissioned officers, the Regiment was composed of volunteers. Although they were put through rigorous training, these young Marines were not fully prepared for the war that they would face. These young men overcame shortfalls, and became leaders who motivated others to follow. The argument is that these men were able to use their educational and athletic backgrounds to overcome adverse training and combat conditions and proceeded to shape both the outcome of the First World War as well as the Marine Corps for the remainder of the 20th Century.


I Will Hold: The Story of USMC Legend Clifton B. Cates From Belleau Wood to Victory in the Great War by James Carl Nelson

The incredible true story of Clifton B. “Lucky” Cates, whose service in World War I and beyond made him a legend in the annals of the Marine Corps. Cates knew that he and his small band of marines were in a desperate spot. Before handing the note over to a runner, he added three words that would resound through Marine Corps history: I WILL HOLD From the moment he first joined the Marine Reserves of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, Clifton B. Cates was determined to make his mark as a leader. Little did he know what he would truly accomplish in his legendary career. Not as well-known as his contemporaries such as Alvin C. York, his fame would not come from a single act of heroism but from his consistent and courageous demeanor throughout the war and beyond. In the bloody second half of 1918 with the 6th Marine Regiment, he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, was recognized by the French government with the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre, and earned the nickname “Lucky.” I Will Hold is the inspiring, brutally vivid, and incredible true life story of a Marine Corps legend whose grit and unstoppable spirit on the battlefield matched his personal drive and sage wisdom off of it.


Sons of freedom: the forgotten American soldiers who defeated Germany in World War I by Geoffrey Wawro

The heroic American contribution to World War I is one of the great stories of the twentieth century, and yet is largely overlooked by history. In Sons of Freedom, historian Geoffrey Wawro presents the dramatic narrative of the courageous American troops who took up arms in a conflict 4,000 miles across the Atlantic, and in doing so ensured the Allies’ victory. Historians have long dismissed the American war effort as too little too late: a delayed U.S. Army – although rich in manpower and matériel – fought a dismal, halting battle that was certainly not decisive nor even really necessary. Historians generally assign credit for the Allied victory to improved British and French tactics, the British blockade, and German exhaustion. But drawing on extensive research in US, British, French, German, and Austrian archives, Wawro contends that the Allies simply would not have won the war without the help of the Americans. The Doughboys reversed the German advantage in troop numbers after Russia’s exit from the war and, despite early missteps, prepared a series of excellent offensives. The French, by 1918, had lost their edge and needed American aggressiveness, and willingness to take casualties, to move the lines forward. As Wawro argues, it was the Americans’ relentless pressure on the front that drove the war to its end. Fundamentally revising the history of the First World War and its tense final year, Sons of Freedom also reveals why the vital American contribution was so quickly forgotten. In this magisterial account, Wawro reveals the vital U.S. contribution to World War I, finally giving voice to the Doughboys, the war’s ‘silent slain


Forty-seven days : how Pershing’s warriors came of age to defeat the German Army in World War I by Mitchell A. Yockelson

The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne stands as the deadliest clash in American history: More than a million untested American soldiers went up against a better-trained and -experienced German army, costing more twenty-six thousand deaths and leaving nearly a hundred thousand wounded. Yet in forty-seven days of intense combat, those Americans pushed back the enemy and forced the Germans to surrender, bringing the First World War to an end—a feat the British and the French had not achieved after more than three years of fighting.


The Yanks are coming!: a military history of the United States in World War I by H.W. Crocker III

Bestselling military historian H. W. Crocker III turns hisguns on the epic story of America’s involvement in the First World War with TheYanks Are Coming! A Military History of the United States in World War I.

The year 2014 marks the centenary of the beginning of theGreat War, and in Crocker’s sweeping, American-focused account, listeners willlearnhow George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall (of the Marshall Plan), “Wild Bill” Donovan (future founder of the OSS, the World War II precursor to the CIA), Harry S. Truman, and many other American heroes earned their military spurs in during World War I; why, despite the efforts of the almost absurdly pacifistic administration of Woodrow Wilson, American involvement in the war was inevitable; how the First World War was “the war that made the modern world”—sweeping away most of the crowned heads of Europe, redrawing the map of the Middle East, setting the stage for the rise of communism and fascism; why the First World War marked America’s transition from a frontier power—some of our World War I generals had actually fought Indians—to a global superpower, with World War I generals like Douglas MacArthur living to see, and help shape, the nuclear age; about the “Young Lions of the War”—heroes who should not be forgotten, like air ace Eddie Rickenbacker, Sergeant Alvin York (memorably portrayed by Gary Cooper in the Academy Award–winning movie Sergeant York), and all four of Theodore Roosevelt’s sons (one of whom was killed).

Stirring and full of brilliantly told stories of men at war,The Yanks Are Coming! will be the essential book for readers interested in rediscovering America’s role in the First World War on its hundredth anniversary.


The deluge : the Great War, America, and the remaking of global order, 1916-1931 by Adam Tooze

In the depths of the Great War, with millions dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. The heart of the financial system shifted from London to New York. The infinite demands for men and matériel reached into countries far from the front. The strain of the war ravaged all economic and political assumptions, bringing unheard-of changes in the social and industrialorder.

A century after the outbreak of fighting, Adam Tooze revisits this seismic moment in history, challenging the existing narrative of the war, its peace, and its aftereffects. From the day the United States enters the war in 1917 to the precipice of global financial ruin, Tooze delineates the world remade by American economic and military power. Tracing the ways in which countries came to terms with America’s centrality—including the slide into fascism—The Deluge is a chilling work of great originality that will fundamentally change how we view the legacy of World War I.