Vernon E. Kniptash, an Indiana national guardsman who served in the Rainbow Division during World War I, observed firsthand some of the Great War's fiercest fighting. As a radio operator with the Headquarters Company of the 150th Field Artillery, he was in constant contact with French and British forces as well as with American troops, and thus gained a broad perspective of the hostilities. He describes the experiences of an ordinary soldier thrust into the most violent conflict the world had seen. He tells of his enthusiasm upon enlistment and of the horrors of combat that followed, as well as the drudgery of daily routine. He renders unforgettable profiles of his fellow soldiers and commanders, and manages despite the strains of warfare to leaven his writing with humor. Because Kniptash was called to remain with the Army of Occupation in Germany after his unit was shipped home, his diaries cover the full extent of American participation in the war.
From Indianapolis to the Western Front, April 26, 1917-February 19, 1918 -- Stemming the German offensives, February 20-July 20, 1918 -- From Château-Thierry to the armistice, July 21-November 11, 1918 -- The march to the Rhine and the occupation of Germany, November 12, 1918-April 1, 1919 -- "This guerre is sure finis," April 2-May 9, 1919 -- Epilogue -- Appendix: Roster
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