The Western Front Gallipoli Invasion to Liberation Jane Austens England
St Mihiel
The First Ypres
Fromelles Memerial
St Mihiel Cemetry
Thiepval Memorial
Messine Ridge
Longueval and Delville Wood

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St Mihiel - The September Retreat 1918


On the 13th September the American First Army now composed of 1.5 million men attacked the St Mihiel salient south east of Verdun. The Germans were in the process of withdrawing when attacked by Pershing's men (among whom were Colonel George Patton and Commander of the 42nd Rainbow Division Douglas MacArthur) following a 3,000 gun barrage. In one day the Americans advanced 13 miles and captured 16,000 prisoners along with 450 guns, to American losses of 7,000 men.

The Argonne offensive came next and Pershing moved half a million men and 4,000 guns with 40,000 tons of ammunition north to the entrenched German strong points within the Argonne Forrest. The plan of attack was executed by General George Marshall. The Americans attacked with a superiority of 8:1. By day's end along the front, only Montfaucon remained in German hands. During the attack Patton was wounded but Private Harry Trueman was spared. The British, meantime were advancing 25 miles on a 40 mile front, during which time both they and the French each lost 190,000 men. Ahead lay the Hindenburg Line.