Memoir of a United States Marine in World War I

Louis C. Linn

Edited by Laura Jane Linn Wright & BJ Omanson

NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2007). Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index, 199 pp.

Louis Linn wrote his memoir of service with the Marine Brigade in France in 1918 about ten years after the end of the war. This is just when the great majority of memoirs, novels and books of poems about the First World War began to appear, in the late 1920s and early ‘30s. For nearly all the participants of the war, from whatever country, it took at least a decade before combat veterans could “come to terms” with the trauma of the war, and gain the perspective necessary to write about it with some clarity and dispassion.

"Linn's stories are as episodic and impressionistic as his art, devoid of the strategic or political tides of the war. To his credit, he restricts his focus to what he saw, heard, smelled, or thought within the proverbial '50-foot circle', whether on the march, in the assault, or standing watch. He speaks not of glory, heroism, or sacrifice, but takes pleasure in simple joys--- sharing purloined honey or cognac with fellow infrantrymen, sketching a lovely French nurse, a pair of dry socks, a day without dying . . ." Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret).


Table of Contents


1. In Training --- Norfolk and Quantico

~~ Reveille
~~ The Review
~~ Guard Duty
~~ Off for France at Last

2. A Village in the Vosges --- Germainvilliers

~~ Boxcar Pullmans
~~ In Billets
~~ At Half-Past Three in the Morning
~~ A Ghost Among the French

3. The Trenches --- Verdun Front

~~ A Ghost Among the Russians
~~ In Billets Again
~~ Movie Night at the "Y"
~~ ¯ The Lilliputian Train
~~ No Man's Land
~~ Horseradish
~~ Devil Rum
~~ The Cat

4. Toward an Unknown Front --- Ancemont, Heippes, Hargeville, Venault-le-Chatel

~~ That Girl
~~ A Ghost Among the Tommies
~~ An Assassination

5. Behind the Lines --- Beaugrenier

~~ Our Buglers
~~ Dizzy Lizzy

6. The Attack --- Belleau Wood

~~ An Endless Line of Refugees
~~ On the Grounds of a Great Chateau
~~ The Watch
~~ Holding Up the "Y"¯

7. The Line --- Soissons

~~ The Terrible Night March
~~ Hurrah for the Frogs!
~~ A French Band at an Old Chateau
~~ Caught in a Crossfire

8. Hospital --- Angers

~~ The Nurse
~~ Rudberg
~~ A Conversation
~~ An Idyllic Interlude on the Loire

9. With the Company Again --- Camp Bois de l'Eveque

~~ Back to Duty
~~ The Bee-Hive
~~ Marching in Strange Company

10. Going In Again --- Saint-Mihiel

~~ Wounded Again

11. Hospital Once More --- Neufchateau and Orleans

~~ Operation
~~ Jocko
~~ Armistice

12. Bits of Life and Death

~~ The Prisoner
~~ Benjy's Story
~~ At Loggerheads with Moler
~~ One Dead Soldier

13. In a Casual Company --- Orleans

~~ Paris at Last

Epilogue. Home --- USS Tiger and Quantico

~~ A Blow for the American Soldier

Coda: As It Might Have Been