Forgotten Soldiers of World War I: America's Immigrant Doughboys [Barnes]


The United States is a nation of immigrants, and the US Army during World War I certainly reflected this. Irish, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, Cuban, German, Armenian, Greek, Russian, and Turkish immigrants, among others, all had come to America in search of work, citizenship, or both. As a result, they too became part of the US military during the war. For some, military service was a ready-made path to citizenship while others were much less enthusiastic about taking up arms. Nonetheless, in May 1917 the draft became the law of the land and all men between the ages of 18 to 45 were subject to it.

The story of the "aliens" in the AEF is compelling and points to a further definition of what citizenship implies. To date, the story of the 800,000 foreign born men and women who served in the US Armed Forces has remained largely untold. The detailed research in this book will serve historians for years to come as the definitive reference on this topic.