Few have heard of the CRB—the American-led Commission for Relief in Belgium. For nearly 10 million Belgians and Northern French facing imminent starvation behind German lines in World War I, the CRB was life-saving.
With the indomitable help of young, idealistic Americans, the CRB was responsible for initiating, organizing, and supervising the largest food relief the world had ever seen.
This is the story told in the narrative non-fiction historical book, 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 [Milbrown Press, November 11th, 2018], by historian and veteran writer Jeffrey B. Miller and releasing this fall on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I (and Veteran’s Day).
Realizing that Americans were in the dark about this incredible humanitarian chapter of U.S. history—and reflecting on his own personal connections to the story, which he holds close to his heart—Miller set out to make a significant contribution to the written record of this massive American relief effort, while also bringing attention to the all-deserving but rarely-praised President Herbert Hoover.
A thoroughly-researched and comprehensive telling, which follows Miller’s highly-praised Behind the Lines – part one of a planned three-part series – WWI Crusaders explores a variety of important facets from this groundbreaking contribution to humanitarian relief and war aid, including:
- The scale and awareness that this humanitarian effort really beholds
- The results and how Americans saved millions of lives
- The staggering obstacles of establishing and maintaining relief for nearly 10 million, all behind the German trenches
- Who the humanitarian crusaders actually were and their passion for service and relief
- Herbert Hoover’s own role in the food relief effort—during and after the war
- No one thought it was possible—private citizens of a neutral country saving from starvation an entire nation trapped in the middle of a world war
- Drama and tension in the story: The leaders of the CRB and CN created internal conflicts that often threatened the relief efforts, and how they persevered through crisis after crisis