ABMC Releases Digital Version of WWI Battlefield Companion
The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) has released its World War I Battlefield Companion in digital format. Free to download, this book serves as a guide for visitors to Europe who want to learn more about American involvement in World War I, and see the geographic locations where major events occurred. From ABMC cemeteries and memorials, to private monuments large and small, more than 50 different stops are highlighted.
Seventeen sections in the book take the reader from the onset of hostilities in 1914, through the American declaration of war in 1917 and the major American offensives, to the Armistice. Sections also focus on operations in Italy and Russia, the role of women in the war as well as the courage and sacrifice of African-American soldiers, and much more. This book, grounded in history but seen through a 21st century lens, includes colorful driving maps with directions that point readers to precise World War I locations. Modern-day photos coupled with historic Signal Corps photography help bring these geographic sites to life. And the text places these locations into historic context, and explains what happened “here.” Readers, whether in-person or online, can gain a better understanding of European World War I sites that are an integral part of American history.
Born out of the Great War, ABMC’s history is intricately tied to America’s role in this conflict. In fact, this is not the first time ABMC has produced a World War I guidebook. ABMC’s founding Chairman, General of the Armies John J. Pershing, guided the agency in drafting the history of American forces in World War I, making it accessible to the American public. American Armies and Battlefields in Europe, published in 1927 with a second edition in 1938, serves as both a comprehensive history and as a travel guide, directing visitors to historic sites, battlefields, monuments, and cemeteries. This 500+ page book, now considered a definitive resource for historians and anyone exploring the World War I commemorative landscape, was a pivotal piece of ABMC history.
Copies of the World War I Battlefield Companion are available for purchase from the Government Printing Office.
Established in 1923 by Congress, ABMC is a U.S. government agency charged with commemorating the service, achievements and sacrifice of the U.S. armed forces where they have served overseas since 1917. ABMC administers our nation’s commemorative cemeteries and federal memorials overseas.