In August 1917, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) landed in France determined to break the stalemate between the British and French on one side and the Germans on the other. Attached to the First Infantry Division (the Big Red One), the First Regiment U.S. Engineers was trained under French officers in the Gondrecourt Sector of eastern France. From there they emerged as one of the most effective units in the war, fighting their way, battle by battle, from Cantigny to the Meuse-Argonne and the armistice. Dig or Die is the story of Sgt. Emmet (Judy) Redding and his comrades-in-arms, first as green troops, untested and unproven, then emerging as seasoned veterans. Here is trench warfare with all of its hardships ... mud, rats, lice, freezing temperatures and lack of food, to say nothing of the hazards of constant shelling, machine gun fire, hand grenades, flame throwers, mustard gas, tanks and automatic rifles, all developed during the industrial revolution to make killing more efficient and living more hazardous.
Judy and his buddies endure the adversity, grow as men and as soldiers, and experience the stark realities of modern warfare, destined to carry with them the scars, both physical and psychological, for the rest of their lives. A chance interlude in Paris introduces Judy to the French culture he is fighting for in the person of a beautiful but mysterious young French woman of high social and political status. Their destinies entwined, they move through the war hoping only to survive to live once more in peace.
About the Author: Kenneth Redline (1896-1970), an American soldier in the First World War, was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1916 to play baseball on the Army teams. Having been trained already, when war was declared in April 1917, he was among the first American troops to arrive in France. He participated in every major engagement of the AEF, including Cantigny, Soissons and Meuse-Argonne. Wounded once and gassed, he was the recipient of the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Silver Star. An avid reader and student of history, he wrote his novel during the dark days of the Great Depression but never had it published. He was the father of eight children, the youngest of whom has edited his novel for publication in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of American involvement in World War I.
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Warning: For mature audiences - contains graphic sex and language.
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