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Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Quote of the day: The significance of Cantigny for the U.S. military and nation

From a book review by Mark Grotelueschen in the October issue of The Journal of Military History: Although the infantry assault was conducted by just one reinforced regiment, the attack was supported by the rest of the 1st Division (itself nearly half the size of Lee’s entire army at Antietam), thirty French aircraft, a squadron ...

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From a book review by Mark Grotelueschen in the October issue of The Journal of Military History:

Although the infantry assault was conducted by just one reinforced regiment, the attack was supported by the rest of the 1st Division (itself nearly half the size of Lee's entire army at Antietam), thirty French aircraft, a squadron of French heavy tanks, a section of French flamethrower troops, a wide variety of communications technologies, and over 250 pieces of French and American artillery (about a hundred more than Lee used to support Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg), Cantigny truly was the U.S. Army's baptism into modern battle."

I'd never thought of it that way, partly because it is hard to judge by reading first-person accounts, which is mainly what I read when, as research for my book The Generals, I was looking at George Marshall's experience in World War I.

From a book review by Mark Grotelueschen in the October issue of The Journal of Military History:

Although the infantry assault was conducted by just one reinforced regiment, the attack was supported by the rest of the 1st Division (itself nearly half the size of Lee’s entire army at Antietam), thirty French aircraft, a squadron of French heavy tanks, a section of French flamethrower troops, a wide variety of communications technologies, and over 250 pieces of French and American artillery (about a hundred more than Lee used to support Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg), Cantigny truly was the U.S. Army’s baptism into modern battle."

I’d never thought of it that way, partly because it is hard to judge by reading first-person accounts, which is mainly what I read when, as research for my book The Generals, I was looking at George Marshall’s experience in World War I.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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