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Extended Audio Sample Betrayal at Little Gibraltar: A German Fortress, a Treacherous American General, and the Battle to End World War I, by William Walker Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Walker Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A vivid, thrilling, and impeccably researched account of America’s bloodiest battle ever—World War I’s Meuse-Argonne Offensive—and the 100-year-old cover-up at its heart.

The year is 1918. German engineers have fortified Montfaucon, a rocky butte in northern France, with bunkers, tunnels, trenches, and a top-secret observatory capable of directing artillery shells across the battlefield. Following a number of unsuccessful attacks, the French deem Montfaucon impregnable and dub it the Little Gibraltar of the Western Front. Capturing it is a key to success for AEF Commander-in-Chief John J. Pershing’s 1.2 million troops. But a betrayal of Americans by Americans results in a bloody debacle. Now William T. Walker tells the full story in his masterful Betrayal at Little Gibraltar.

In the assault on Montfaucon, American forces become bogged down, a delay that cost untold lives as the Germans defended their lofty positions without mercy. Years of archival research demonstrate that the actual cause of the delay was the disobedience of a senior American officer, Major General Robert E. Lee Bullard, who subverted orders to assist the US 79th Division. The result was unnecessary slaughter of American doughboys and preclusion of plans to end the war early. Although several officers learned of the circumstances, Pershing protected Bullard—an old friend and fellow West Point graduate—by covering up the story. The true account of the battle that cost 122,000 American casualties was almost lost to time.

Betrayal at Little Gibraltar tells the vivid human stories of the soldiers who fought to capture the giant fortress and push the American advance. Using unpublished first-person accounts, Walker describes the horrors of World War I combat, the sacrifices of the doughboys, and the determined efforts of two participants to pierce the cover-up and solve the mystery of Montfaucon. Like Stephen Ambrose and S. C. Gwynne, Walker writes compelling popular history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Walker focuses on World War I’s bloodiest battle: the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also referred to as Little Gibraltar on the western front…Combining secondary literature on the American Expeditionary Forces with extensive archival sources on the war, Walker’s reconstruction of the details of the battle is nicely balanced with the stories of individual participants. He creates a convincing argument for a postwar cover-up of Bullard’s actions. A military history for all.”

    Library Journal

  • “How strange that the Meuse-Argonne campaign in the last weeks of World War I is not better remembered: to this day it remains the largest and costliest battle American troops ever fought. William Walker’s Betrayal at Little Gibraltar should help dispel this national amnesia, for he has given us both a propulsive, closely observed war narrative and an engrossing murder mystery. The victims are thousands of needlessly killed American soldiers, the perpetrator a vain, glory-hungry general whose motives Walker artfully uncovers in a tale of low selfishness and high courage that casts fresh light on the timeless snares of military command while righting a tremendous century-old wrong.”

    Richard Snow, author of A Measureless Peril

  • “William Walker’s Betrayal at Little Gibraltar provides evidence of a deliberate misinterpretation of orders and of an army cover-up afterward. The cast of characters, from men like Pershing, Bullard, and Kuhn to common soldiers like novelist James A. Cain and Harry Parkin, is compelling…An exciting read.”

    Edward G. Lengel, author of To Conquer Hell

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