It was a bitter-cold morning on October 8, 1918. Six hundred American soldiers were surrounded by the German army near the Argonne Forest in France. Corporal Alvin York’s unit was ordered out of the trenches and into battle against an enemy armed with machine guns. York was eventually pinned down among his dead and injured comrades. What happened next was a feat of bravery and military skill that would amaze his countrymen, change his life, and etch his place in the history books. Born in a two-room log cabin in the hills of northern Tennessee, York was a bona fide backwoodsman who had taken numerous prizes at turkey shoots back home. His marksmanship served him well that morning in WWI. By the time he reached the U.S. position, York and his few remaining companions were marshaling a parade of 132 enemy soldiers. His feat knocked the wind out of a planned German counterattack. Not bad for a former conscientious objector. In this Christian Encounters biography, learn more about York’s struggles with being a Christian and a soldier and how this simple man showed a nation the meaning of the word hero.
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