Books: Memento Mori


by John Toland

Doubleday; 651 pages; $17.95

These days, American veterans who want to relive the horrid past make pilgrimages to Bataan or plan fraternal parties in Hürtgen Forest. But when it comes to war stories and patriotic gore, World War II trails well behind memories of another war, as John Toland amply proves in this plodding yet passionately detailed resurrection of 1918.

In the spring of that year, General Erich Ludendorff launched the greatest military assault in history (62 divisions, more than 600,000 men, a 6,000-gun artillery barrage), and after years...

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