by Robert H. Ferrell
Columbus, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 2008. Pp. xiv, 111.
Illus., maps, notes, biblio., index. $19.95. ISBN:082621830X
Having previously written very well-received and ground-braking studies of the "Lost Battalion" and of the 35th Division in World War I, Professor Ferrell (Emeritus, Indiana) here takes a hard look at the Battle of Côte de Chátillon.
The battle, though short, was significant in establishing the reputation of Douglas MacArthur, then commanding a brigade in the 42nd "Rainbow" Division, as a brilliant officer who "led from the front." In a meticulous reconstruction, Ferrell concludes that the accepted narrative of the battle is flawed. He presents evidence that the regimental commander, after examining the general's plans, which Ferrell terms "dramatically silly," quietly substituted more workable ones of their own. In short, the battle was won not by any brilliance on MacArthur's part, but by the actions of the regimental commanders and their staffs
An important book for anyone interested in the AEF and American military leadership.