"General, these are American regulars. In a hundred and fifty years they have never been beaten. They will hold."—Colonel Preston Brown to General Degoutte, June 1,1918
"Retreat, hell. We just got here."—Captain Lloyd Williams, USMC to a French major, June 3, 1918
"We now stood facing the dark sullen mystery of Belleau Wood . . . That the wood was strongly held we knew."—Colonel Albertus Catlin "The first day I was at camp I was afraid that I was going to die. The next two weeks my sole fear was that I wasn't going to die. And after that I knew I'd never die because I'd become so hard that nothing could kill me."—from Kemper F. Cowing and Courtney R.Cooper, Dear Folks at Home
On June 5, 1918, the 2nd Division, made up of soldiers and marines, launched an offensive on German lines at Belleau Wood. Using sources on both sides of the Atlantic and personally interviewing many of those who fought at the wood, Asprey combines excitement with detail and accuracy in telling of this major battle of World War I. He describes the hardships, the combination of tactical ingenuity and pure guts which ultimately enabled Major Maurice Shearer to report to Brigadier General Harbord on June 26th, "Belleau Wood now U.S. Marine Corps entirely."