The Lost Battalion

The Lost Battalion (2001)

The true story of Major Charles Whittlesley and the men of the 77th Infantry, “The Lost Battalion” is the story of their fight against all odds deep behind enemy lines and their improbable survival.

Whittlesley is ordered on what he calls a suicide mission to spearhead the Allied advance into the Argonne forest.  The American and French forces on his flanks are at first unable to keep up with his desperate push and are ultimately turned back by German forces, leaving his battalion alone.  Ordered to continue their drive to their objective and unaware of the true situation, Whittlesley and his men reach their goal as the German forces close ranks behind them.  Surrounded and alone, their communications cut and with no means of relief or resupply, they dig in and withstand a five day siege by the superior German army.  Less than half of the men survive the assault, but once the Allied forces find and break through to them, the German lines are broken for good – the war ended a few weeks later.

The acting is strong and the film is done as well as one would expect from the A&E team.  The brutality and rawness of the film was a bit surprising – not to say that it’s graphic – and really did a great job of highlighting the desperation of the film and the coldness of war.  Definitely recommended for WWI film buffs.

Stars: 4/5



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