Patrick, Army, Assault discussed on John Batchelor
This is the untold story America's unknown soldier buried in Arlington cemetery, November eleven nineteen twenty one and the body the men who were chosen by the military to take the casket to its final resting place. We're going through the eight body bears who participated that day November eleventh and also their combat and their risk describes the American effort in the great war. You will recall that America's stayed out of the war. And that will Joe Wilson was reelected too proud to fight in one thousand nine hundred sixty soon afterwards having to do with the machinations of the empires that were bleeding themselves to death in Europe. Woodrow Wilson was provoked by the Germans declaring. Unrestrained submarine warfare against all neutrals, meaning sinking passenger liners. American ships friendships anything they could kill because the Germans were starving to death. The British navy had enforced a blockade these many years, and the Germans were eating onions if they could find them. So it was the decision of the Kaiser knowing this would provoke the Americans to take the risk thinking that the Americans could not get men to Europe fast enough in order to stop what he knew would be the German offensive of nineteen eighteen Russia's out of the war in nineteen seventeen. So they move all of their troops. That have been fighting a two front war to launch the offensive that the American stop in June and July and August of nineteen eighteen Patrick's book takes us into the Americans throwing themselves into the line to support. And in most cases, replace the. Broken and fleeing French army broken and fleeing Patrick it's worth mentioning here that as the Americans we've talked about the marines coming in. But the army as well the field artillery is the Americans come into line in the summer of nineteen eighteen they see that the French army is no longer fighting and will not fight. It is at least bellawood. It was not fighting. And then it sort of reconstitute itself at Soissons, and is is is much more of a stable force. But initially. Yeah, it wasn't fighting. And it was the American the presence of these American troops had an enormous morale boost as well as tactical position that they provided by blocking this offensive. I want to be a little more severe the Americans Austrailia, and the Canadians are the offensive units that cracked the Hindenburg line in the summer and fall of nineteen eighteen it's not it's the. Fresh Australian troops the fresh fresh Canadian troops because the British are also exhausted. Yes. And the Americans are not only are launch an offensive, but they have a million men coming behind them. Yes. I mean, this is an extraordinary story that's told in the unknowns. It's a story of going from two hundred and twenty thousand regular troops in one thousand nine hundred seventeen to over four million men at arms in one thousand nine hundred eighty two million of them in Europe. Yes. It's time for ordinary story building this incredible army. There's a flood coming which is part of the political calculation. The Germans must make here. Can they stop the Americans? So we go we've we've talked of the marines at bellawood and the field artillery at Soissons, we turn now to a man named Sanders company. A second engineers born in medicine, bow Wisconsin, and he is striking and most importantly in striking because he's one of ten thousand native Americans who participated in the first war. Yes. I mean, the story of native Americans in the first four is sort of forgotten story as well. In fact, many of these native Americans weren't even American citizens at the time, they they will have been deprived of that by the constitution. You will all recall the one that was signed in the eighteenth century. It had not been at this point corrected. Yes. And but interestingly enough the stereotype of the American injury Indian as the. Alternate warrior kind of holds up in the American army. They're put in some of the most dangerous positions in the American army as runners or as reconnaissance Sanders assistant engineer is their job. He's an he's a combat engineer. But he's not there to build things. He's there to blow things up or to preach the line. And this is the four Lon hope of the of World War One. He's given wire cutters and told the snip individual strands of mountains of barbed wire to breach it to make a hole to allow the advancing troops to break through. He's present at the big battle that is to come the Musar gone before and during and after Musar gone, they send the combat engineers in. I I know this very well. Patrick knows it very well. Because my father was a combat engineer in the second walls, and we talked to him on the sixtieth anniversary his job on d day was the gap assault team thirteen to breach the German obstacles. Auto Maho beach. That's exactly the job Sanders has he wasn't landing in a landing craft. He's to go in front of the assault battalions on his belly. I can imagine and cut the wires. So not only the infantry can come through. But also the tanks. Absolutely. His first real action is my fights at bellawood any fights the Swiss on, but his first significant action is at San Miguel where the Americans go on the offensive to reduce a salient that had been created there. Since the beginning of the war and Saunders is pushed out front along with September. Yes. And I pushed out front to breach the barbed wire and the German commander on the other side is given orders to all of his men to shoot any if they ever site Indians on contact immediately, focus all sniper fire on them. So he's really a target. If he's if he's able to be if they identify him, but he's. Out there in front, and he's just sustaining sniper fire artillery fire, and he's cutting this wire, but they breached the wire, the, you know, the infantry follows behind them, but they're out front the small group to men, and they they push into toward San Mahal that San Mateo into the salient. And they they make their way into a small town where they. There's a German strongpoint, which is actually an old French Chateau, and they enter the strong point. And they keep they start taking prisoners the small two men. Start taking prisoners I ten then fifteen eventually Saunders captures over sixty sixty three German prisoners. Singlehandedly Saunders is live. He goes home. And he dies in nineteen forty seven. Patrick is provided. What we what we can know of the body of errors. He lives almost entirely in the west San Antonio, Texas, and he's buried at the Golden Gate national cemetery for anyone who is concerned about his fate and wants to go. Find a native American combat hero from the first war who was one of the body bears. Now, Harry Taylor also from the wild west and participating in the wild west division. Born nineteen o one for Yellowstone, Wyoming. If there are some regional sense of how they chose these men, although I note. That they all had to be within six feet tall. Right. That was that was one of the requirements, but it was general Pershing that actually had the final selection on all these men the army in in the navy in the Marine Corps cold through all the files in that was given to general Pershing to finally selected them. And then Pershing wanted decorated heroes. But also he wanted to tell the story of the af through each of the branches of service. The army the navy the Marine Corps, and then the combat specials af is American. Expeditionary force was called the whole military commitment by the United States racked. And that's what these body bears. Do they provide us the story of the af through the individuals wild west division is the ninety first division. It also fought valiantly in the second war. My memory is the ninety. I know that was the ninetieth the breakout of Normandy. But September twenty six twenty seventh the ninety first with its jumps off the three hundred and sixty seconds. Regiment, is is a Harry Taylor's regiment, plows into what is called the bloody Gulch. What is that? This is part of the muse Argonne offensive. And if you picture the scene I like to look at it. He's also been there. Diane the same today. It's it's battle-scarred. And you know, it's something else. But I mean World War One if you picture the opening scene of saving private Ryan. It was bunkered positions everywhere. And these are men that are going over the top with just ten Brodie helmets. No body armor in wool uniforms and pushing forward into a hailstorm frontal assault fixed positions had been a quiet sector for years. The Germans were deeply dug in and the American summer all was one of the American commanders and Pershing through division after regiment after company after battalion against machine gun positions that were deeply buried. Deeply buried, and it was over open ground, and it was a bloodbath in the wild west divisions called that. Because most of these men were from the western states or key Canadian. I mean, sorry Alaskan territory, these are loggers these guys that, you know, hunters in even some interestingly enough men from California. So there are some Hollywood guys in this in this unit is well, you say that the assault on guests nee was suicide. It was it was a deeply held German strongpoint. These men had to go over nearly a mile of open ground just to get to the town and their machine gun, nests everywhere artillery that was fixed and these men had to cook it cross it. And it's it's it's an unbelievable story is the title of the chapter is the charge of the light brigade in Taylor was actually part of a mounted unit a headquarters unit within the ninety first. And in some points. The battle actually was on horseback. Sergeant Samuel would fill sergeant Samuel woodville who becomes a Lieutenant. But then is reduced to Sergey thirty five years old born eighteen eighty three and he is Musar gone as well, and is near to patent who leads the tank, assault and bazaar gone would fill is a very brave, man. He's wounded he's near the lost battalion as well. All of these all of these very famous events make appearances in Patrick's book has he's putting together because we're following the body bearers, they touched upon all the battlefields would fill is also very brave man who marries and has a very good life on a farm afterwards. What does he do that? Dan, Musar gone. I call him Pershing's one man's story. That's the story. I wrote and Breitbart because it's extraordinary. He's given the task of a probing attack with his company into the heart of. Of of death. I mean, it's the Hindenburg line. It's more of these fixed positions that are bunkered. There's machine gun nests everywhere there sniper positions, and there's the gas which is omnipresent, and they push in into this is death. This meat grinder is death factory. And would fill is their leading his men and all of a sudden ten of his men are wiped out by machine gun. Nests would feel springs into action is as men kind of hold back any pushes forward on his own and takes out the machine gun nest with with accurate rifle fire from Springfield. He's an he's a hunter before the war, and a crack shot takes out that machine gun. Nests keeps pushing forward lands into a shell hole, which is filled with mustard gas. The mustard gas candidates like sits there. It's persistent in many cases in the gases picture. It's more of an oily like a little droplets. It gets on your skin. If it gets in your lungs. It can kill you. And it just irradiates everything. He catches a face full of this mask of this gas, but keeps pushing forward even though his eyes are irritated any takes out of nother machine. Gun nest kill several Germans as they try to reoccupy it, and then he's pushing forward even though he can hardly see and encounters. Another nest kills several men with his forty five which suddenly jams and. He's about to be killed by a German. That's lunging at him. And he picks up a pick. That's next to the machine gun and in Gore's. The man is he's is springs. Adam the book is the unknowns were telling the story of the body bears the combat units and the.