Mark Grotelueschen's The AEF Way of War: The American Army and Combat in World War I has been the gold standard on the American Expeditionary Force since its publication in 2006. Subsequent works by Richard Faulkner and David Woodward have also been necessary correctives to the longstanding myths about the AEF. There have also been several books about the Meuse Argonne Offensive, including a recent Palgrave book, A Companion to the Meuse-Argonne Campaig, edited by Ed Lengel, which is excellent. There is also some garbage, but I won't go into those here.
Anyway, Lengel released a new volume entitled The School of Hard Knocks: Combat Leadership in the American Expeditionary Forces, which is a fantastic volume covering the initial American engagements up through the Aisne-Marne Campaign and then concluding with a chilling discussion of the Battle of Fismes and Fismette, where the 32nd and 28th Division engaged in an extremely difficult campaign which included significant streetfighting -- unusual for WWI (BTW, Lengel probably offers the best description of Fismes and Fismette in 80 years). The book also highlights Franco-American cooperation (or lack thereof), and the constant American effort to steer blame for their own failings onto the French. There is a great line in the book discussing the conclusion of the Aisne Marne Campaign, noting that "the Americans were courageous and had much to learn," while "the French were courageous and had much to teach." The French were willing to teach. Institutionally, the Americans did not want to learn their lessons (though lower level commanders and units did so).
If one wants to read about the AEF's initial combat, this is the best place to start. For Americans who have a view of the AEF heading to Europe and saving the day (especially at Belleau Wood), be prepared to have your ideas disabused. Also be prepared to get angry at the incompetence of commanders who refused to learn lessons that their Allies were willing to teach and which they should have figured out on their own after initial encounters.
Last edited by The Ibis on 16 Jan 2017 18:53, edited 2 times in total.
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengel