BUY OUR BOOK!
That is right! Our long promised book hits the streets today. As in right now. Get your butt over to Amazon.com and get a copy, available in both paperback and for kindle:
A couple of format notes and a bit of advice: the kindle version includes a couple of maps/graphics with some color. These are not available in the print version, to add them would have quadrupled the cost, and frankly it wasn't worth it. Plus, if you buy the print version ($17.01 USD) you can buy the Kindle version at a deep discount ($2.99 instead of $7.99), which is the best value. For exactly $20 USD, you get both a print copy and a kindle/ebook. If you buy them the other way around, it would cost you $25!
Oh, and by the way, if you are a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber you can download and read the kindle version for free. Yes, FREE!
About the Book
The book includes Rexmond Cochrane's original drafts incorporated with a LOT of new material, to include explanatory notes, maps, photos, appendices, and a host of other great stuff. You can obtain the original drafts for free from a variety of places online including the CGSC's CARL Digital Library. There are also a bunch of unscrupulous operators posting up really bad "print on demand" copies of the originals at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. This is neither of those. Cochrane wrote a draft. I have tried to finish it, while preserving his original material.
When I decided to write this book, I figured it would be fairly straightforward. My original goal was just to create searchable text for my own research. That proved problematic. The quality of the available scans and the idiosyncratic nature of the original typewritten copies made it near impossible to use OCR alone. That meant having to hand correct what Adobe screwed up. That process took months.
Somewhere along the way, I decided to turn it into a publishable book. That led me to re-edit the text again, adding in extensive footnotes and other material. That process blossomed into a major headache. I'd never published a book online before, so the learning curve proved quite steep. More and more edits followed, along with finding public domain photos and maps. Then my other job pulled me away to write another book (one I hope to share links to when it is posted by the client - it will be available for free from them when it goes up sometime later this year or early next year).
In any case, all of the hard work and formatting challenges are complete. I literally just finished the dang thing about 5 minutes before I wrote this. By the time you read this, a couple days will have passed, but by then, I'll be back to working on the second in the series, among other projects. Hopefully this one will take a shorter journey to press.
Over the next month I'll be posting up a lot of supplemental material related to the book, so if you get a copy, look for that. Right now I'm working on a piece about the origins of the Marine Corps-Army rivalry and its consequences, a lot of which originates at Belleau Wood and Chateau Thierry. I'll also have links to some great source material out this week, including photos and maps not in the book.
Oh, and I'm going to run a trivia contest based on the book and give away some free swag, so get reading.
In the meantime, enjoy, and if you read it and like it, please take the time to post a review (hopefully a good one) on Amazon. I can't offer anything for that (legally) except my thanks, but if you click some stars and offer a few kind words, you will have my eternal gratitude. If you don't like it or find a problem with something, you can always contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, either way I'd appreciate the feedback.
Here is the "blurb" for the book, feel free to copy and share!
Just in time for the centennial anniversary of the battle at Belleau Wood in 1918, CBRNPro.net is pleased to announce the publication of our new book, the first of a series on chemical warfare in World War I. Gas Warfare at Belleau Wood, June 1918 by Rexmond Cochrane was originally written in draft form during the 1950s. Now, for the first time, this draft study is updated and offered by CBRNPro.net in book form with extensive new material.
This new collection of Cochrane’s work attempts to bring it to a wider audience, in a more accessible format. Cochrane’s work is published for the first time in true book format by CBRNPro.net, a website devoted to the exploration of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons history, professional practice, and knowledge. This is a significant “update” of Cochrane’s work, offering better maps, pictures, references, bibliographies, and plenty of supplemental material to aid the reader who may be unfamiliar with some of the military minutiae Cochrane explores. This collection is newly annotated, offering additional insight and guidance reflecting the current state of scholarship, updating that of Cochrane’s day. The annotations are extensive and provide significant insight and references for those unfamiliar with the topics Cochrane addresses. In essence, this is an entirely new book.
Belleau Wood echoes through the history of the U.S. Marine Corps and the United States military. It was one of the first major battles fought by American forces in World War I. From it emerged many legends including two time Medal of Honor recipient Dan Daly’s famous charge and the origin of the phrase "Devil Dogs" among a host of other myths and stories about the battle. These stories are recited from Parris Island to Okinawa and remain an important part of Marine Corps identity. Yet, many of these stories are more legend than history.
The true history has a darker side, from mistakes on the battlefield that cost the lives of many, to the origins of Marine Corps and Army inter-service rivalry that created many problems in the Pacific during World War II. Few historians have written on Belleau Wood, even fewer on the role of chemical warfare in the battle. This book looks at Belleau Wood and aspects of the larger campaign, prelude to the Aisne-Marne offensive campaign in 1918. Instead of an exclusive focus on the 4th Brigade of Marines, Cochrane looks at the entire 2nd Division of the American Expeditionary force, of which the Marines were only one brigade. In particular, this account looks at the role of chemical warfare, a feature that defined the battle.
The historian Rexmond C. Cochrane, co-author of the official history of the Chemical Warfare Service in World War II, wrote 20 draft historical studies for the US Army Chemical Corps Historical Office at the Army Chemical Center, Edgewood, Maryland in the 1950s. These were never completed or published other than in their draft form.
In the 2000s, the US Army Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) Digital Library at Fort Leavenworth began digitizing its collection of historical documents. Among those were Cochrane's draft studies, which are available (for free) via the CARL website and at several other places on the internet. These documents remain in delightfully low tech draft form – typewritten pages, with the occasional typo or punctuation error, idiosyncratic footnotes, all featuring penciled notes and/or corrections, hand-drawn diagrams and maps, encapsulated in unsearchable PDF files of varied quality.
This edition is a new version of the old work, containing both public domain and extensive new, original material. It belongs on the bookshelf of every historian and student of World War I and for those engaged in professions related to chemical warfare, CBRN weapons, national security, and defense. The book is supported by additional material available on CBRNPro.net, including links and a “living” copy of this book's extensive "Further Reading" annotated bibliography.