Sunday 24 April 2016

Sunday WW1 Remembered...Guest Author, Glen Craney

As part of my ongoing tribute during this centenary of WW1, I am delighted to feature the work of some excellent authors who have written novels set during The Great War

I am delighted to welcome the author


An unlikely American duo made history together twice. In France and fourteen years later on the tear-gassed streets of Washington, D.C.

In the Great War, courage had many fathers.

Joe Angelo, a second-generation Italian-American, volunteered as a private for the American Expeditionary Force in 1917 to prove his loyalty to his family’s new country. In contrast, his future captain, George Patton, a brash West Pointer who would become the controversial World War II tank commander, sailed for France eager to match his Confederate ancestors in glory.

Angelo and Patton could not have been more different in background, temperament, or motives for fighting. Yet they came together twice during the early twentieth century to play pivotal roles in U.S. history.

Angelo was as diminutive as Patton was imposing. A laborer in the dangerous DuPont Powder Works in New Jersey, Angelo enlisted at a time when many Italian immigrants still had family in the old country, where support wavered during the first year of the war between the Central Powers and the Allies. First and second-generation Italian-Americans like Angelo came under suspicion in the States, as did German-Americans, some of whom suffered harassment and even lynchings.

Joey Angelo

Patton, despite his aristocratic Virginia roots, saw potential in Angelo and chose him for his orderly. That decision would prove one of the most important in Patton’s eventful life. On a foggy day in September of 1918, he and Angelo stumbled into a desperate machine-gun fight in the Meuse-Argonne. When Patton took a shot to his upper leg, Angelo stayed at his side while the battle raged and managed to drag him to safety. Angelo’s heroism earned him the Distinguished Service Cross.

George Patton

After the war, Patton climbed the ranks to command the Third U.S. Cavalry, while his orderly returned to the tough streets of Camden. Despite his medal commendation, Angelo would likely have been forgotten to obscurity had it not been for one of America’s most shameful episodes fourteen years later.

During the summer of 1932, a charismatic, rail-riding hobo named Walter Waters led nearly 43,000 unemployed WWI veterans and their families into Washington, D.C. to demand advance payment of their deferred service annuity, popularly known as the Bonus. Angelo, nearly destitute, walked 150 miles to testify at a congressional hearing about his plight. He became one of the colorful champions of the Bonus Expeditionary

Force, the name adopted by the army of veterans that camped under the shadows of the U.S. Capitol and paced along its steps in a pitiful procession called the Death March. Months passed in the standoff. Then, at the end of a tense July, General Douglas MacArthur, the Army’s Chief of Staff, called out the infantry regulars from their barracks and drove the encamped veterans and their families from the city with tanks and gas. Patton led MacArthur’s cavalry in the attack down Pennsylvania Avenue. Amid the screams and smoke of the rout, Angelo sought out his former captain whose life he had saved in France.

What happened during their encounter would shock the nation and help decide the U.S. presidential election of 1932.

The Yanks Are Starving: A Novel of the Bonus Army unfolds the experiences of eight Americans who survived the fighting in France and came together again during the Great Depression to decide the fate of the nation on the brink of upheaval. It is the little-known story of the political intrigue and government betrayal that culminated in the only pitched battle ever fought between two American armies under the same flag.

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Thanks so much Glen for this fascinating post.
It's been a real pleasure to have you as our guest today.



  1. I just love this series about one of my favourite eras. Thanks so much.

    1. You're welcome,Linda. Thanks for being such a supporter.
      It's such a fascinating and poignant subject and there's such a wealth of knowledge to be shared.

  2. Thanks for hosting me on your wonderful series, Jo.

    Glen Craney

    1. It was a pleasure to have your company today Glen and thank you for sharing this fascinating guest post.


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