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A gut wrenching, page turning, historically accurate story of trauma, tragedy, a Medal of Honor and the triumph of democracy over tyranny in the nightmare of the Somme.
The 4th of July, 1918, Wolfsberg Ridge, Le Hamel on the Western Front. The battle for French liberty is swallowing 10,000 men a day.
An unconventional US Army Colonel hatches an unapproved plan to gain combat experience for untried US Army infantry before they are thrown into the hellfire of the Great War alone. A rookie US Army Captain and his team of Illinois Doughboys are sent forward to face the fury of the Western Front embedded within an elite Australian Anzac Infantry Battalion.
At the Front, the Aussies and Americans confront Kaiser Wilhelm's Stosstruppen storm troopers, launch vicious trench raids, survive catastrophic chemical attacks, fighting bleeding and dying together like brothers. To everyone's amazement the notoriously uncooperative Anzacs take to their new American 'mates'. More surprisingly, the insular Aussies include the Yanks in the top secret attack being prepared by the Australian military genius John Monash, a revolutionary plan that aims to smash the Kaiser's so far unstoppable advance on Paris.
On the very eve of the famous Battle of Hamel on Independence Day 1918, General 'Black Jack' Pershing intervenes in the last moments before the men go 'Over the Top'. US Captain Teddy Makepeace and his Doughboys face a nightmare choice, obey orders and abandon their battle hardened Aussie mates to slaughter. Or, honour their pledge to the Anzacs, mutiny and stay and fight regardless of the consequences.
Their heroic decision still echoes down through the decades...
John Hunter Farrell is an Australian Accredited War Correspondent/ Photojournalist and founder and Managing Editor of Australian & NZ Defender magazine, Australia's largest defence news media outlet. Farrell has covered the Australian Defence Force and New Zealand Defence Force on operations in Somalia, Rwanda, the Arabian Gulf, Timor Leste, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands and throughout Australia since 1993. He is best known for his war reporting and photojournalism for Australian & NZ Defender and The Sydney Morning Herald and his non fiction photographic histories of recent Australian Defence Force operations. John Hunter Farrell comes from a long line of Anzac military officers, his paternal grandfather Lt Colonel John Farrell won the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership in the assault on the town of Le Hamel on July 4, 1918 when Commanding Officer of the 43rd Battalion Australian Imperial Force.