An American Soldier in the Great War 

John DellaGiustina


The World War I Diary and Letters of Elmer O. Smith


ISBN: 9781555718213
Pages: 360

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In 1917, U.S. military forces deployed to France and contributed significantly to the Allied defeat of Imperial Germany along the Western Front in 1918. “The War to End All Wars”—World War I—was the largest, most destructive war in human history up to that point.

More than a century later, as the country looks back, it is important to develop a deeper connection to the hearts and minds of the two million American soldiers sent overseas to fight in this major conflict. Private First Class Elmer O. Smith of Michigan was one of those brave soldiers.

This book places Private Smith’s war diary and letters into historical context, describing how a typical American soldier underwent rigorous training and then fought bravely with his unit against a determined German army foe in the brutal conditions and carnage of the Western Front. Seriously wounded in an artillery attack on his third day at the front, Private Smith recovered from the injuries and returned to carry out his combat duties during the last crucial ninety days of the war.

An American Soldier in the Great War provides a well-researched annotation of an American soldier’s experiences as well as a succinct overview of U.S. Army wartime organizations, training,
major campaigns and operations.


“An American Soldier in the Great War: The World War I Diary and Letters of Elmer O. Smith” is an edited compilation of Private Smith’s writings and is a welcome and much appreciated contribution to the growing library of World War I literature. Very highly recommended, especially for academic library 20th Century American Military reference collections in general, and World War I supplemental studies reading lists in particular. —Midwest Book Review, Feb. 2016

Read the First 40 Pages Here!