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The Lost Battalion

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The Lost Battalion
DVD cover
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Release Date 2001
Language English
Studio David Gerber Productions
Distributor A&E Television Networks
20th Century Fox Television
Main Cast
Character Actor
Maj. Charles W. Whittlesey Rick Schroder
Captain George McMurtry Phil McKee
Captain Nelson Holderman Adam James
Lt. James V.Leak Jay Rodan
Pvt. Nat Henchman Anthony Azizi
Pvt. Lowell R. Hollingshead George Calil
Pvt. Cepeglia Daniel Caltagirone
Pvt. Jacob Rosen Michael Goldstrom
Pvt. Abraham Krotoshinsky Arthur Kremer
Pvt. Lipasti André Vippolis

The Lost Battalion was a 2001 World War I television film that originally aired in the US on the A&E Network. The film chronicles the plight of an American World War I battalion that is trapped behind German lines in the Argonne Forest of France in October of 1918.

Note: There are two famous instances of 'Lost battalions' and people tend to get them confused. One is the World War I event portrayed in this movie, and the second is the World War II event, when 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry, 36th I.D. (Texas) became trapped behind German lines in France. In the World War II incident, the Japanese-American 442 Regimental combat team fought through to save them and this battle became particularly famous due to the massive losses incurred by the "Nisei". (442 RCT) I Company went in with 185 men only eight walked out. K Company began with 186 men and ended up with 17 men. As for the Lost Battalion, 230 men were rescued. The 442nd were all named 'honorary' Texans by the Texas state legislature for their actions.

In the World War One Incident, United States 77th Division (with 554 men) were surrounded by German forces. Of the total force, 197 were KIA, 150 were either MIA or POWs, and only 194 were rescued.

The following weapons were used in the film The Lost Battalion:


Colt M1911

The Colt M1911 is the main handgun carried by US officers in the film. The hammer spur is small enough to indicate that they got the weapons right for the period by using a Colt M1911 rather than a 1911A1. Used by Captain George McMurtry (Phil McKee) and Captain Nelson Holderman (Adam James).

Original Colt M1911 (dated 1913) - .45 ACP
Captain Nelson Holderman (Adam James) fires a Colt M1911, using the "Weaver grip" developed in the 1950s.
Captain George McMurtry (Phil McKee) opens up with an M1911.
A high amount of muzzle flash is visible as Captain Holderman fires.

Colt MK IV Series 80

Major Charles Whittlesey (Rick Schroder) appears to be armed with a Colt MK IV Series 80 in place of the more appropriate M1911. This is obviously an anachronism.

Blued Colt MK IV Series 80 - .45 ACP
Major Charles Whittlesey (Rick Schroder) carries a Series 80 as he leads the charge.
Major Charles Whittlesey (Rick Schroder) draws his Series 80.
Major Whittlesey with his Series 80. Note the relief cuts behind the trigger and the large "shelf" safety, both of which should not be present in the original M1911.
Major Whittlesey slides a new magazine into his Series 80. Note the relief cuts, the crimped magazine, and the flat mainspring.

M1917 Revolver

The M1917 Revolver is seen used by US officers including Lt. Leak (Jay Rodan).

Colt M1917 Revolver (Military issue with lanyard ring) - .45 ACP
Lt. Leak (Jay Rodan) fires his Colt M1917 revolver.

Luger P08

The Luger P08 can be seen used by one of the German soldiers firing on the messenger bird. A Luger P08 is also carried by a German officer as he shakes hands with a released US prisoner.

Luger P08 9x19mm. This is a 1917 dated handgun, thus it is a World War I firearm.
A Luger P08 carried by a German officer as he shakes hands with an American. Notice the black plastic grips.


M1917 Enfield

M1917 Enfields are used by the US troops. It is evident from the bolt handle which projects back and then down rather than out and down that it is a M1917 rather than a M1903. It's correct to see them carrying M1917s as M1903s were short in numbers so the M1917 was manufactured and massively produced in World War I. ( Real life U.S. Soldiers in World War I were armed with either M1917 Enfield or Springfield M1903 )

M1917 Enfield - .30-06
A pair of M1917 Enfield's used by US troops.
The shape of the bolt handle on Pvt. Lipasti's (André Vippolis) Enfield is obvious here, distinguishing it from the M1903.
Major Charles Whittlesey (Rick Schroder) with the Enfield.

Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I

Several soldiers use Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk Is, and while it would be possible for an American to use a No. 1 Mk III, the use of the WWII-era No. 4 is an error for use in this period film.

Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I - .303 British
A Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I carried by a US soldier. Notice hole in bolt handle and length of hand guard. Also you can just see the mag behind the sling by his hand.

Mauser 98/22

Used by the German troops. These have long hand guards and flat tangent sights, suggesting they're Czech Model 98/22 rifles rather than actual German Gewehr 98s. This is a better substitute than the more commonly used Turkish model.

Mauser Model 98/22 - 7.92x57mm Mauser.
German soldiers climb out of their trenches with Mauser 98/22 rifles. The straight bolt handle is visible on the rifle on the right.
Line of German troops firing their Mauser 98/22 rifles with fixed bayonets.

Mauser Gewehr 1898

The German sniper appears to be armed with a genuine Mauser Gewehr 1898. It seems to be equipped with a Carl Zeiss Jena Zielacht x8 scope of WWII-era.

Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A German sniper aims his Mauser Gewehr 1898. The prominent Lange-Visier rear sight suggests an authentic Gewehr 1898 rather then a Czech Mauser.
The sniper presents the rest of his rifle and himself, presenting a nice target for sharpshooter Pvt. Bob Yoder (Rhys Miles Thomas). Note that the scope are shifted forward, which apparently suggests that this rifle is actually a regular infantry version, which retained the straight bolt handle.

Machine Guns

M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun

M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Guns are seen used by US machine gunners Pvt. Nat Henchman (Anthony Azizi) and Pvt. Lowell R. Hollingshead (George Calil).

M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun with Tripod - 8 x 50mmR Lebel
Pvt. Nat Henchman and Pvt. Lowell R. Hollingshead firing an M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun at charging German soldiers.

Maxim MG08

The Germans are seen in machine gun nests armed with the Maxim MG08.

Maxim MG08 7.92x57mm Mauser on sled mount
The Germans are seen in machine gun nests armed with the Maxim MG08.


The Chauchat is first seen when Pvt. Cepeglia (Daniel Caltagirone) and Pvt. Jacob Rosen (Michael Goldstrom) show it to the new arrivals in the trenches, declaring it to be 'a piece of garbage' (a sentiment felt by those unfortunate enough to use it in combat). During the battle, Pvt. Abraham Krotoshinsky (Arthur Kremer) carries the Chauchat. The US carried it because of a shortage in LMG's.

Chauchat Light Machine Gun - 8x50mmR Lebel
The Chauchat is displayed by Pvt. Cepeglia and Pvt. Jacob Rosen to the new arrivals in the trenches, declaring it to be 'a piece of garbage' (a sentiment felt by those unfortunate enough to use it in combat).
The Chauchat, seen in the hands of Pvt. Abraham Krotoshinsky.


Flammenwerfer M.16

German troops are also seen using the Flammenwerfer M.16, the first ever version of the flamethrower.

Flammenwerfer M.16 - flamethrower
German troops are also seen using the Flammenwerfer M.16, the first ever version of the flamethrower.

Model 24 Stielhandgranate

German troops throw Model 24 Stielhandgranate grenades. They are fitted with belt clamps, to resemble the corresponding Model 17 Stielhandgranate.

Model 24 Stielhandgranate "Potato Masher" High-Explosive Fragmentation Hand Grenade
TLB 373.jpg

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