“A Perfect Hell” : Utah Doughboys in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, 1918
Utah and the Great War : The Beehive State and the World War I Experience
Salt Lake City, UT
University of Utah Press. Copublished with the Utah State Historical Society.
"Soldiers from all nations most often compared the experience of war with Hell—that place where eternal torment and punishment reigned in full measure, all hope was lost, and the abandoned souls endured the unendurable. The following article looks at the experience of Utah soldiers during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive—named for the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest—in northeastern France, not far from the French-Belgian border. The campaign began on September 26, 1918, and concluded with the armistice that ended the war less than seven weeks later on November 11, 1918. Utahns were among the more than one million Americans who participated in the campaign, which left 29,277 dead and 95,786 wounded. Using contemporary letters published in local newspapers and other firsthand accounts by Utah servicemen, Brandon Johnson gives us a glimpse of the nature of com-bat and its long-lasting impact on those who served in the decisive campaign of “the war to end all wars.” [Editor]