The Doughboys: America and the First World War

Written by Gary Mead
Category: · History

More than three million American men, many of them volunteers, joined the A.E.F. in the first 20 months of US involvement in the First World War.

Of these, over 50,000 were killed on European soil.

These were the Doughboys, the young men recruited from the cities and farms of the United States, who travelled across the Atlantic to aid the allies in the trenches and on the battlefields.

Without their courage and determination, the outcome of the war would have been very different.

Why did America become involved in the First World War?

What was the fighting experience of the A.E.F. in France and Russia?

Most importantly, why has the vital contribution made by the Americans been largely neglected by historians of the Great War?

Drawing upon the often harrowing personal accounts of the soldiers of the A.E.F., this book establishes the pivotal role played by the Americans in the defeat of the central powers in November 1918.

In this fascinating study, based on original research, Gary Mead adjusts the balance of history in favour of these unsung heroes.

Drawing on a rich selection of engaging personal accounts, he brings us the stories of the young men whose courage and tenacity changed the course of the war.

Praise for Gary Mead:

‘The appearance of the Americans was decisive…the achievements of the doughboys were unfairly forgotten’ – John Keegan, Daily Telegraph

‘Gary Mead argues that Europeans, especially the British and French, have allowed a fog of ignorance and forgetfulness to obscure the decisive role of America’s doughboys…Their story is well worth telling’ – Charles Wheeler, Literary Review

‘Mead has done a good job in placing the AEF where it heroically belongs…[he] does well to set the record straight’ – Cal McCrystal, Financial Times

‘A fine account of the Great War…an impressive historical debut that gazes behind time’s curtain at the startling, pivotal experiences of the American fighting men of WWI’ – Kirkus Reviews

Gary Mead was a journalist for the Financial Times for ten years and has worked extensively with the BBC.



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