Lost Battalion Immortalised on Film

The Lost Battalion refers to a group of unfortunate soldiers in the First World War, who suffered numerous hardships during a chaotic attack. These men have now been immortalised in a Hollywood film that tells their story. It does not shy away from the more horrific and controversial moments of their fateful mission.

The unit was comprised of nine different companies. There were approximately 550 men altogether. In October of 1918, these soldiers became isolated after an attack that took place in the Argonne Forest, France.

US troops were under the belief that they would be supported by the French when this attack was launched. Unfortunately for them, this relief was stalled by unexpected enemy movements. This left the US battalion alone in the fight. They moved away from their allies to continue the battle, while simultaneously making sure they were not overwhelmed.

During the time before they were rescued, the unit endured many different setbacks. One of the most immediate ones was the constant fire from the German side. This resulted in around 197 deaths. 150 men were also captured or reported missing.

There was also a shortage of food during the days when the unit was lost. The only way to obtain water was to risk fire while crawling to a stream nearby. Eventually, the dwindling ammunition also became an issue. Men were ordered to conserve it as much as possible.

Due to mistakes in ascertaining coordinates, the battalion was shelled by its own side. This act of friendly fire is shown in vivid and devastating effect in the film adaption of the story. This attack led to even further casualties.

Eventually, the unit was saved thanks to a message delivered by a pigeon. Of the 550 men that made up the battalion, only 194 came out unharmed.


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