The men in the 308th Regiment's 77th Division, have been drafted from diverse ethnic, economic, and social groups in New York. Two men are fighting Chinatown tongs, one is a burglar, another is a wealthy merchant's son in love with his father's stenographer, who dreams of becoming the greatest movie actress, another is a private in love with the merchant's ward, and finally there is "the Kicker," who finds fault with everything. After training in Yaphank and in France, the 463 men advance under the command of Lt. Col. Charles W. Whittlesey into the "Pocket" of the Argonne Forest, to help break down the supposedly impregnable German defense. Cut off from Allied troops and supplies, and surrounded by the enemy, the Division, nicknamed "The Lost Battalion," withstands six days without food or water. When the German commander asks for their surrender, Whittlesey replies, "Tell them to go to hell!" The Chinese rivals fight bravely side-by-side, while the burglar dies heroically. After their rescue, the survivors are given a parade in New York, and are reunited with their families and sweethearts.