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Doughboy War: The American Expeditionary Force in World War I

James H. Hallas
Doughboy War:  The American Expeditionary Force in World War I
ISBN: 978-1-55587-855-9
1999/352 pages/LC: 99-28754

"Using an impressive range of memoirs and unit histories ... Hallas has knit together an evocative tapestry of the experiences of the AEF, from the earliest call-ups to the return of the soldiers to the United States."—Canadian Military History

"The words of the soldiers ... are consistently well-chosen and vivid, bringing to life the experiences of a generation of Americans often forgotten in the wake of World War II."—C&RL News

"Hallas has done a good job of showing what the war was really like for those men fighting it. Recommended for academic and especially public libraries."—Library Journal

"Takes you into the world of the American soldier and onto the battlefields of World War I with him."—Sharon MacDonald

"Doughboy War is a splendid work that captures the full flavor—the sights, sounds, and sentiments—of the U.S. experience in World War I.  Elegant and accessible, it reads like a novel. More than a work of military history, it is a window into a world, and a way of life, that is almost forgotten."—Bruce Gudmundsson


This multi-layered history of World War I’s doughboys recapitulates the enthusiasm of scores of soldiers as they trained for war, voyaged to France, and finally, faced the harsh reality of combat on the Western Front. Drawing on journals, diaries, personal narratives, and unit histories, Hallas relates the story of men in combat—the men behind the rifles. He has crafted a vivid pastiche that portrays the realities of all the major campaigns, from the first experiences in the muddy trenches to the bloody battle for Belleau Wood, from the violent clash on the Marne to the seemingly unending morass of the Argonne. His moving account reveals what the doughboys saw, what they did, how they felt, and the impact the Great War had on them.


James H. Hallas is publisher of the Glastonbury Citizen, a newspaper in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and author of The Devil’s Anvil: The Assault on Peleliu; Squandered Victory: The American First Army at St. Mihiel; and Killing Ground on Okinawa: The Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill.


  • Introduction.
  • War.
  • Over the Pond.
  • Hey Froggie.
  • Murder in the Mud.
  • First to Fight.
  • Ebb and Flow.
  • The Turn of the Tide.
  • Wounded.
  • Experience of War.
  • The Doughboys.
  • The St. Mihiel Picnic.
  • Into the Argonne.
  • Death in the Forest.
  • To the Bitter End.
  • Peace and Home.
  • Epilogue.