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Artillery Scout (Hardback)

The Story of a Forward Observer with the U.S. Field Artillery in World War I

WWI

By James Bilder
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781612002712
Published: 4th December 2014

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The soldiers of World War I are often referred to as the “Lost Generation”; this book is an intimate look at some U.S. soldiers’ experiences after being thrust into the centre of the Great War and enduring some of its most gruelling battles. Len Fairfield (the author’s grandfather) was an Artillery Scout, or Forward Observer, for the U.S. Army, and was a firsthand witness to the war’s carnage as he endured its countless hardships, all of which are revealed here in vivid detail. His story takes the reader from a hard life in Chicago, through conscription, rigorous training in America and France, and finally to the battles which have become synonymous with the U.S. effort in France—St. Mihiel and the Argonne Forest, the latter claiming 26,000 American lives, more than any other U.S. battle.Fairfield, with his artillery in support of the 91st (“Wild West”) Division, was on the front lines for it all, amidst a sea of carnage caused by bullets, explosives and gas, with the occasional enemy plane swooping in to add strafing to the chaos. Entire units were decimated before gaining a yard, and then the Doughboys would find German trenches filled with dead to indicate the enemy was suffering equally. The AEF endured a rare close-quarters visit to hell until it was sensed that the Germans were finally giving way, though fighting tooth-and-nail up to the very minute of the Armistice.

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About James Bilder

JAMES BILDER has a B.A. in Journalism from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL and a Masters of Science from Loyola University in Chicago.  He served as the Mayor of Worth, IL from 1993-2001.  He is the co-author of A Foot Soldier for Patton and has been a freelance contributor to WWII Quarterly Magazine.  He and his wife, Bernie, have raised four children and reside in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.
 

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