Dig or Die
1918: Private Emmet (Judy) Redding and his American comrades-in-arms are transformed by bloody battles, from Cantigny to the Meuse-Argonne, into seasoned fighters. But along the way, Judy meets and falls in love with a mysterious young French woman of high social and political status, and everything about the war changes for both of them. This is their story--or, but for the war, might have been. More
In August 1917, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) landed in France determined to break the stalemate between the British and French on one side and the Germans on the other. Attached to the First Infantry Division (The Big Red One), the First Regiment U.S. Engineers was trained under French officers in the Gondrecourt Sector of eastern France. From there they emerged as one of the most effective units in the war, fighting their way, battle by battle, from Cantigny to the Meuse-Argonne and the armistice. Dig or Die is the story of Sgt. Emmet (Judy) Redding and his comrades-in-arms, first as green troops, untested and unproven, then emerging as seasoned veterans. Here is trench warfare with all of its hardships -- mud, rats, lice, freezing temperatures and lack of food, to say nothing of the hazards of constant shelling, machine gun fire, hand grenades, flame throwers, mustard gas and automatic rifles, all developed during the industrial revolution to make killing more efficient and living more hazardous.
Judy and his buddies endure the adversity, grow as men and as soldiers, and experience the stark realities of modern warfare, destined to carry with them the scars, both physical and psychological, for the rest of their lives. A chance interlude in Paris introduces Judy to the French culture he is fighting for in the person of a beautiful but mysterious young Frenchwoman of high social and political status. Their destinies entwined, they move through the war hoping only to survive to live once more in peace.
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