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2020-11-11 12:12:02
VAN PELT (Captain David B.)
[Trench diaries and ephemera]
AN AMERICAN SOLDIER IN THE CLOSING MONTHS OF THE WARManuscript in ink. Two vols. 16mo. Blue and red publisher's cloth. About 125pp in total. France, 16 July 1918 - 12 April 1919. [With] A group of post-war ephemera including medical records, marriage announcement his will, his obituary 1919.Van Pelt was an infantry officer in the 7th Division, which was the last Regular Army division to arrive in France. He was rushed through in-country training to the trenches near Villers-en-haye (in north-east France) in October, 1918. His division was immediately tasked with reconnaissance and preparation for a massive offensive toward Metz by the newly activated Second Army. The offensive began on November 10, though was cut short by the Armistice called the following day.Although composed in the final weeks of the war, there is no shortage of action. Van Pelt's division were under constant attack by a German army in the final throes of defeat: "Terrific bombardment kept us awake practically all night ... Trenches as muddy as the devil ... Enemy plane flying around and 'Archies' [anti-aircraft guns] got busy. Shrapnel dropped around us in trench and in front of dugout." The attacks weren't limited to bombardment: "Had a devil of a bombardment during the night and early the next morning the enemy opens up ... rifle and machine gun fire kept up at front for two hours." And, again: "Quite a bit of small arms fire during early morning. Shelling continued ... about 300 yards to our right ... We went over to outpost ... Capt and I get sniped at by a machine gun." Almost snuck into this accou … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Maggs Bros Ltd [United Kingdom]
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