Book Review: Brave Brothers, Grave Brothers: Two American Soldiers in the Argonne Forest; Their Families


by John R. Walker

Stow, Oh.: Privately published, 2018. Pp. xii, 232. Illus., maps, appends., notes., biblio., index. No price listed.. ISBN: 0578216116

An American Family in the Great War

Inspired by the juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated grave markers at a family cemetery, Dr. Walker, a Vietnam veteran and author of Bracketing the Enemy: Forward Observers in World War II, began a search that led to this interesting book. Brave Brothers, Grave Brothers recounts the history of the “brothers” – actually brothers-in-law – in the First World War, and adds some material about their ancestors, some of whom had interesting military experiences of their own.

Naturally, the book concentrates on the two men and the Great War, for which both volunteered. One was a former Marine who had seen action in Nicaragua and the Philippines, and ended up in the Army, fighting in the 1st Division, while the other, despite his Ohio roots, found himself in the 26th Division, composed of New England National Guardsmen, both formations being among the most heavily engaged American divisions in the war.

Walker takes us through their time in the army, and especially their experiences at the Front. During the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, which remains American’s longest and bloodiest battle, and one of its toughest, the “brothers” were actually almost side-by-side. Walker then follows the men back into civil life in post-war America.

Brave Brothers, Grave Brothers will prove a good read for anyone interested in American life a century or more ago, and of the experiences of men under fire.


Note: Brave Brothers, Grave Brothers is also available in several e-editions.


StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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