Monday, October 17, 2016

  Book Review: ”Five Lieutenants” by James Carl Nelson.

Nelson is the author of “The Remains of Company D”- a book about D Company, 28th Infantry Regiment in WW1. While researching that book, he found a number of diaries and letters from 28th Regiment officers, and felt they could tell a story. He’s right, they do.

Weaving material from a number of different sources, he follows five lieutenants as they enter the Army, and go into combat with the 1st Division. In doing so a wealth of information on other junior officers of the 1st Division is presented, and actually some question I had had about some 28th men were answered. However the most important aspect of this book is that it shows you the life of a junior officer heading to France, and the early days of the war (most were killed or wounded before the end of the war).

It’s a different viewpoint than we have of senior officers sitting behind the lines in dugouts, and of enlisted men living in cold barns and constantly doing drill (and looking for food and drink).

Highly recommended for those interested in the 1st Division in WW1, and the life of a junior officer in the AEF.