WWI Crusaders: A Band of Yanks in German-Occupied Belgium Help Save Millions from Starvation as Civilians Resist the Harsh German Rule, August 1914 to May 1917

Jeffrey B. Miller. Milbrown, $24.95 trade paper (726p) ISBN 978-0-9906893-8-6
Miller expands upon his previous volume (Behind Enemy Lines) to provide the complete story of the Commission for the Relief of Belgium, a private American-led relief organization that supervised the import and distribution of food to the people of German-occupied Belgium and Northern France, from its beginnings in 1914 through America’s entry into the war. Much of the book focuses on the volunteer American delegates who worked inside Belgium under commission chair Herbert Hoover, and who were harassed by the German military and always in danger of arrest. Meanwhile, German submarines sank numerous CRB ships and threatened to shut down the relief effort; the Allied military was not in favor of the operation and at one point accused Hoover himself of spying for the Germans. Among many impressive characters, Hoover stands out as an incredible organizer and powerful personality without whose efforts 75% of the population of Belgium might have faced starvation. Though its length will be daunting for most general readers, those with a serious interest in WWI history or the life of Herbert Hoover will find this lively and engaging book fascinating. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2018
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