Central Louisiana enjoys a unique role in the lives of all Americans, no matter where they call home, and in the lives of people everywhere who live in freedom. At no time has this been more pronounced than in the preparations by the United States to enter World War I and World War II, the focus of this pictorial volume.
It is here — in deep swamps full of quicksand, through thick stands of dense pine woods, across meandering and uncharted bayous, and along roads that were more mud than dirt — it is here where soldiers from every state and every background came to train, to learn to work as one, and to take their first steps into battles that shaped the world forever.
The “Louisiana Maneuvers” staged in Central Louisiana in 1940 and 1941 remains the largest peacetime exercise in American military history. Nearly 500,000 soldiers were stationed at Camps Beauregard, Claiborne, Livingston and Polk, while the city of Alexandria, the heart of Central Louisiana, served as General Headquarters for a veritable roll call of the nation’s top commanders: Bradley, Clark, Eisenhower, Embick, Marshall, McNair, Patton, Stilwell. These pages offer a glimpse of times past, times that shaped all that we know today.
Note: images on this promotional page may not appear in final product.