Could the newly arrived American troops be trusted? They were greenhorns, having seen practically no action. The surprise attack at Seicheprey on April 20 was spearheaded by the elite German stormtroopers (Stosstruppen) supported by aircraft, trench mortars and heavy artillery and was designed as a propaganda coup against the 'weak' newcomers. On the edget of the well-named ForAot de Mort Homme, the Connecticut boys of the 102nd regiment bore the brunt. The Americans fell back in disarray in a hell of hand-to-hand fighting; one US cook killed two Germans with his meat cleaver. 'A delicate affair' is an actual label applied by one US command report after the battle - and it was an affair with significance beyond its outcome, as the first engagement between US and German forces. As anyone who has read Terry Finnegan's unsurpassable Shooting the front will know, his research is of another order. Relying entirely on primary sources throughout, Terry uses the battle as a jumping-off point to describe how all battles developed in the war, through intelligence (or lack of it) and minute-by-minute command decisions.One artillery unit recalled a conversation: AtH hourand Q minutes put 10beggars factotum [F.A. Shells a L.R. Fuse] on 6634. ... About 100 wild women [German shells] just came into my house and drank up a lot of grape juice [incoming gas]. 351 Operational security ... location and not an organizationand does not change when new organizations occupy the locations.348 German warningswere acquiredanbsp;...
|Title||:||A Delicate Affair' on the Western Front|
|Author||:||Terrence J Finnegan|
|Publisher||:||The History Press - 2015-01-15|