CMH Forum

[WW I] New WWI Marine book

I've read retired Marine LtCol. Pete Owen's book and highly recommend it. I am doing this as a service to Pete--he is a real gentleman and a scholar. He is not a member of the Company of Military Historians(as yet).

Peter F. Owen
2047 Costero Hermoso, San Clemente, CA 92673

Texas A&M University Press has released my book, titled To the Limit of Endurance: A Battalion of Marines in the Great War.

The book is a critical analysis of the 2d Battalion, 6th Marines' performance in combat, looking at factors like doctrine, training, recruiting, leadership, weapons, replacements, etc. I think I did a good job of keeping it from being a dry academic work by weaving a large number of veterans' accounts into the story.

Since by many yardsticks this battalion came as close to an ideal organization as any, and because it saw as much brutal and varied fighting as any, 2/6 provides a case study on the readiness and resilience of AEF infantry battalions in the First World War. For USMC WWI buffs, I promise there is a lot of detail you have not seen before.

What my publisher says:

Scholars and historians offer several theories for the crippling losses suffered by the American Expeditionary Forces on the battlefields of World War I: inexperience, poor leadership, hasty expansion of duties, and others. But until now, most of these studies have focused at the
division level or higher. Now, with To the Limit of Endurance, Peter F. Owen offers a tautly worded, historically rigorous, and intensely human survey of the agonizing burden shouldered by the Second Battalion of the Sixth Regiment of U.S. Marines from its formation in Quantico, Virginia, in 1917 until the cessation of hostilities in November of the following year.

In places like Belleau Wood and Soissons, these young men, led by dedicated officers, died in staggering numbers—primarily because of the outmoded tactics they had learned. Owen shows how the battalion regrouped after these campaigns, however, and embarked on a period of intense retraining. By the time of the closing weeks of the war, the adjustments they had made allowed them to mold themselves into a coldly efficient military machine.

Drawing on a treasure trove of surviving first-hand accounts, Owen expertly combines these individual observations with military records and archival sources to create a mosaic that provides not only a case study of how one organization grappled with transformation but also a tightly focused, ground-level view of the lives—and deaths—of these courageous American military men. The grueling, ultimately triumphant odyssey of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines will appeal to
military historians, professional soldiers, and interested general readers.

This link will take you to the page in TAMU Press's catalog: The book is also available through booksellers, such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

For those who would like an inscribed copy, please send me a check and who/what you'd like inscribed to the address at the head of this page. The cost is $37.50 ($32.50 for the book plus $5 shipping – this is what my publisher charges).

Semper Fidelis,
Peter F Owen

Best Regards,
David C. Homsher
Battleground Productions
85 Tilton Avenue, # 4
PO Box 624
San Mateo, CA 94401
Email: daveh@battlegroundpro

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