Betrayal at Little Gibraltar: A German Fortress, a Treacherous American General, and the Battle to End World War I (PB) [Walker]
The year is 1918. German engineers have fortified Montfaucon, an elevated fortress in northern France, with bunkers, tunnels, and a top-secret observatory capable of directing artillery shells across the battlefield. Following a number of unsuccessful attacks, the French have deemed Montfaucon impregnable. Capturing it is the key to success for General John J. Pershing’s 1.2 million troops and his plan to end the war. But a betrayal of Americans by Americans results in a bloody debacle. In his masterful Betrayal at Little Gibraltar, William Walker tells the full story for the first time.
After a delay in the assault on Montfaucon, thousands of Americans lost their lives while the Germans defended their position without mercy. Years of archival research show the actual cause of the delay was a senior American officer, Major General Robert E. Lee Bullard, who disobeyed orders to assist in the direct assault on Montfaucon. The result was the unnecessary slaughter of American doughboys during the assault. 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 and full account of the battle that cost 122,000 American casualties was almost lost to time.
A "military history for all libraries" (Library Journal), Betrayal at Little Gibraltar tells of the soldiers who fought to capture the giant fortress and push the American advance. Using unpublished first-person accounts—and featuring photographs, documents, and maps—Walker describes the horrors of combat, the sacrifices of the doughboys, and the determined efforts of two participants to solve the mystery of Montfaucon. This is compelling history, important to be told, an "as valuable account as Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August" (Virginian-Pilot).