In a strange land.
Americas involvement in WWI marked its first major entry into European politics. The final cost of that involvement required the US to supply a force to occupy part of the German Rhineland after the war. The force provided was first known as Third Army and then later as the American Forces in Germany (AFG). It consisted of the best divisions in the American Army. With a starting strength of a quarter million doughboys, the Americans marched to the Rhine and began their occupation period in December 1918. When the American phase of the occupation ended in 1923, the force consisted of one thousand soldiers. Many future WWII leaders of the Army and Marine Corps served in this force; including five who would become Marine Commandant, four Army Chiefs of Staff, ten four-star Generals, and, surprisingly, a National Football League Head coach.
This book is written by one of our own, Al Barnes, and represents a bit of a departure from the transportation arena. But for those interested in the US role in World War I, this is a must-have work. Not only is it well written, the book is filled with photographs, maps, event programs, and a myriad of other artifacts that together provide an incredibly comprehensive look at what life was like for both Americans and Germans during the occupation. Indeed, it provided insights into life in general during thai time. The book is printed on glossy paper, and lends itself to repeated scrutiny. You cannot flip it open without finding something interesting to read, look at, or simply contemplate. In a Strange Land represents the coffee table book at its finest.
In a Strange Land, by Alexander Barnes, published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.2011, $79.99, Hardcover, 336 pp, ISBN-13: 978-0764337611.