The most heroic and incredible story in American military history–World War I’s “Lost Battalion” and the men who survived the ordeal, triumphed in battle, and fought the demons that lingered
The most dramatic week in American military history took place just weeks before the First World War ended. In the first week of October, 1918, six hundred men charged into the forbidding Argonne Forest. Against all odds, they surged through enemy lines–alone. They were soon surrounded and besieged. As they ran out of ammunition, water, and food, the battalion withstood constant mortar attack and relentless enemy assaults. Seven days later, only 194 soldiers from the original unit walked out of the forest. The stand of the Army’s “Lost Battalion” was–and remains–an unprecedented display of heroism under fire.
The narrative of Never in Finer Company focuses on the stories of four men: the battalion’s commander, Major Charles Whittlesey, a lawyer eager to prove his mettle; his New York stockbroker executive officer, Captain George McMurtry; Sergeant Alvin York, whose famous exploits help rescue the battalion; and Damon Runyon, the soon-to-be famous newspaper man who struggled to understand the events he witnessed. From the patriotic frenzy that sent young men “over there” to the hurried stateside training, shipping overseas, and encounters with life at the front, each man trod a unique path to the October days that engulfed them. And their stories did not end on the battlefield–each man was haunted by the experience as America tried to come to grips with the carnage of the war.
Character-rich, abundantly textured, sometimes tragic, sometimes uplifting, but always compelling, Never in Finer Company is a deeply moving and dramatic story on an epic scale.