It was not uncommon for American soldiers to fight among the ranks of British allies during World War I. However, the relationship between the two forces was less than ideal, as the Americans and British saw themselves superior to the other. Arthur Guy Empey is an American machine gunner who ends up fighting for a British battalion. Over the Top is a story directed towards American soldiers to alleviate misconceptions of superiority in the American ranks, and share Empey’s immersion in the British Military.
Empey utilizes colorful language drawn from British and American Military slang. He refers to his ambiguous relationship with the British soldier as his relationship with “Tommy Atkins.” Tommy has a code, and every page is filled with a new revelation or encounter with Tommy.
Over the Top crosses the line between British and American ideologies and provides a detailed account of Empey’s individual growth through his experience as an American soldier fighting alongside Tommy Atkins, the British soldier.
Sample a chapter from Over the Top here.