Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Friday, November 15, 2013

A Real-life Hero’s Profile From the First World War by Julie Rowe

Welcome to History Undressed, guest author, Julie Rowe! We're happy to host Ms. Rowe during her Aiding the Enemy virtual tour! Now onto a fascinating piece...

A Real-life Hero’s Profile from the First World War

by Julie Rowe

Former President Theodore Roosevelt called this man one of the “five bravest Americans” to serve in World War I.

Henry Johnson, the first American private to be awarded the Croix du Guerre, France’s highest military honor, in the First World War – was 5”4 and weighed 130 lbs. He was a porter at a train station in New York before he enlisted in the all-black 15th New York National Guard Regiment, renamed the 369th Infantry Regiment upon shipping out to France.

Henry and he fellow Harlem Hellraisers as many called them were poorly trained and worked at first at menial jobs such as latrine digging and unloading ships. The French army was short of men, however, so the Hellraisers were lent to them. They were given French helmets, weapons and a few useful words then put on sentry duty.

On Henry’s first night as a sentry, at about two am, a German raiding party made its way through the barbed wire. Henry and fellow Hellraiser Needham Roberts were stationed in a forward fox hole and heard their wire cutters. They began throwing grenades at the Germans. Return fire was fierce and Needham was wounded bad enough that he couldn’t do much more than hand Henry grenades. Henry was also wounded, but not as bad as his friend. When they ran out of grenades, Henry fired at the Germans until his rifle jammed. By this time the Germans were in their fox hole and were attempting to cart Needham off. Henry beat at them with the butt of his rifle until it broke. Then he pulled out his American bolo knife and hacked and slashed until the Germans dropped Needham and retreated. By then Henry had been injured several more times.

Dawn revealed the extent of the fight. Henry had killed four German soldiers outright and injured 10 to 20 more.

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Publication Date: October 7, 2013
Carina Press

Book three of War Girls

German-occupied Brussels, Belgium
December 1915

Rose Culver is in grave danger. For months the Red Cross head nurse has been aiding Allied soldiers caught behind enemy lines, helping them flee into neutral Netherlands. It's only a matter of time until she's caught. Which makes it the wrong time to fall in love with a handsome German military doctor as devoted to the sanctity of human life as she is.

The Great War has caused Dr. Herman Geoff to question everything he once believed. He knows Rose has been hiding British soldiers in her hospital—he's even treated some of them, refusing to go against his own Hippocratic oath. As a doctor, he admires Rose's skill and conviction. As a man, he can no longer deny his attraction to her. But when Rose is arrested for treason, Herman must choose between love for her and duty to his country...

For more tales of love and war, download Saving the Rifleman and Enticing the Spymaster, available now!

About the Author

Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!”. In addition to writing contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing and Carina Press, Julie has a short story in the Mammoth Book of ER Romance (releasing Sept 15, 2013). Her book SAVING THE RIFLEMAN (book #1 WAR GIRLS) won the novella category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today’s Parent, and Romantic Times Magazine.

For more information please visit Julie Rowe's website.  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

For more chances to win, check out the other tour stops on the Aiding the Enemy Blog Tour!

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