On the morning of November 3, 1917, George Marshall, who was then the staff of the division headquarters of the first division of the US Army, was driving to the French command.
The general of Panxing division, who had been in the same battle in the West French area for one month, ordered to fight side by side with Panxing division in the West French area.
It’s not so much fighting as fighting the enemy.
In a muddy and annoying swamp.
It is crisscrossed with barbed wire, separating the American, French and German armies.
Although the cannons of both sides fired a certain number of shells every few hours, it seemed that both sides agreed to avoid causing casualties to each other.
These soldiers tired of war don’t want to kill each other anymore.
Not only that, the American soldiers were also instructed by the peak to avoid causing trouble as long as possible, and they were strictly prohibited from making a surprise attack from the first barbed wire in the trench beyond the no man’s land.
However, this order was not issued to the US artillery just transferred into the defense area in time.
The Gunners were eager to kill the enemy.
After circling the enemy’s position and terrain on the map, they set up artillery and bombarded the target.
The Germans were caught off guard by the shelling and became angry.
Then they learned that it was the work of the newcomers and took immediate retaliatory measures.
Marshall is coming for it.
Before his car turned into the gate of the French command, General Henry boldo, a member of the French staff, hurried out.
“Have you heard?” He shouted in French, “the first Americans were killed.
” Accompanied by the general, Marshall immediately drove to the US Infantry Brigade headquarters.
He learned from there that at about 4 a.m., German artillery fired at the defense hub of a US artillery group, killing three US soldiers and wounding more than 12.
Just as Marshall learned about the situation, the brigade telegraph operator intercepted the daily radio Bulletin of the German government.
The communique contains such a paragraph: 14 North Americans were captured in a successful attack on the North American military defense area beyond the Rhine Mann canal.
Only then did they realize that this was not only an artillery barrage shooting, but also an enemy action against the US Army.
At Marshall’s suggestion, he and the French general decided to set out to find out what had happened.
They parked their cars at the regiment headquarters and entered the US military positions through intricate traffic trenches.
After climbing over a pile of collapsed trenches and craters shelled by the German army, they soon reached a gap in a barbed wire fortification blasted by the enemy with a blasting barrel.
On the other side of the no man’s land, there was a narrow road leading to the back.
After the German attack was successful, they withdrew from there to their own trench.
At another gap in the front of the trench, the traces of the battle remained.
The bodies of the three Americans who died first in the war, corporal Gresham, private Slater and Hai, had just been carried away from where they fell, and one of them had his throat cut.
Seeing the bodies of three dead American soldiers lying on the mud in American infantry uniforms seemed to make general Bordeaux realize for the first time that the Americans were indeed fighting on French land.
His eyes were filled with tears and his face was very excited.
After they climbed back to the regiment headquarters through the trenches, Marshall knew that the relationship between the French and American forces had changed.
As they parted, general boldo hugged him tightly.
After the list of the first batch of war dead was sent back to China, it greatly stimulated the American people’s feeling of participating in the war.
At the same time, the Wilson government mobilized many speakers, writers, artists, actors and scholars to carry out the largest publicity campaign in American history.
The German army is portrayed as a devil who eats people and doesn’t spit bones.
It is an enemy trying to plunder Europe and extend its rule to the Western Hemisphere.
Later, this anti German sentiment extended to all German things and Germans.
For a time, many States banned the teaching and worship of German.
German kimchi was renamed “free kimchi”, German rubella was renamed “free rubella”.
More interestingly, Cincinnati stipulated that the snack bar in the bar should stop serving German style Pretzels.
At this time, rudendorff had been in charge of the German general staff for a long time.
As a successful strategist, rudendorff certainly knew what the American participation in the war and the upsurge of war sweeping the United States meant to Germany.
Therefore, he strives to end the war in Europe before the United States transports enough troops.
Just at this time, the Bolshevik Party led by Russia took power and announced its withdrawal from the war, which made it possible for Germany to significantly adjust its main forces from east to west, leaving only a few divisions in Russia to supervise the continuous transportation of grain plundered from Ukraine to Germany.
The German Supreme Command is increasingly aware that the only hope of victory is to launch a quick land war in 1918.
If this year is missed, the participation of Americans in the war is bound to affect the war process.
In 1918, in the face of the strong offensive to be launched by the Germans, the heads of the Allies urgently hoped that the United States would send more soldiers.
They watched carefully the formation of the American Expeditionary Force in 1911 and 37 months, but they were still uneasy about the current situation of the American Expeditionary Force in 1911.
The Allies were worried about the ability of the United States to equip and transport an independent field army.
They also doubted whether the U.S. commanders and staff officers were able to organize and command such a force to fight the experienced Germans.
In fact, the Allies wanted to integrate American forces into the existing military establishment of France and Britain respectively.
When negotiating with the United States on the requirements of mixed production, the treaty countries have some strong “capital”, which is the shipping capacity owned by Britain and various equipment owned by France.
The reason why Britain and France take such a position is not unreasonable militarily.
Their soldiers have much more experience in modern warfare than Americans.
They can send professional officers and staff officers who are very familiar with the scheduling of large forces to guide the US military.
And in any case, the U.S. military needs to rely on them to provide artillery, aviation and other support.
There is no doubt that the best way for American recruits to learn to fight is to serve in experienced divisions.
Therefore, integrating the US military into the allies in some form can speed up the end of the war and reduce personnel sacrifice.
Out of this analysis, British and French military leaders decided that Pershing would not object.
But Pershing opposes itSample.
He believes that if people treat Americans with an unbearable gift attitude, will Americans still fight with their original enthusiasm and determination? If the US government acquiesces to the view that American soldiers are unable to fight with the German army alone, what will be the morale of the US Army? Won’t the combination with the war weary British and French forces make the US military tired and discouraged? If the United States expends so much effort, but no American Army appears on the battlefield, how much role can the United States play in the peace talks in the future? Perhaps a different commander may give less embarrassment and achieve the same result.
Pershing is not easy to get along with even when he is in the best mood, and when he is fighting for an independent US Army, he knocks on the table and says harsh rude words.
The French and British governments sometimes tried to cross Pershing and directly coerce the US president to make concessions, because they felt that Wilson’s attitude was relatively gentle and did not care about and pay attention to specific military issues.
However, President Wilson did not give in on the issue of principle.
French Prime Minister George Clemenceau repeatedly tried to force field marshal Fuxu to transfer Pershing, but Fuxu was afraid to annoy the Americans and never dared to open his mouth.
What makes Americans more moved and proud is that although the British have always doubted the usefulness of transporting an independent American combat force to France, Pershing still carried out the preparations tenaciously.
His goal is to build an American field army with its own theater.
In these difficult days, Pershing has successively made several major decisions to achieve the above goals.
In terms of staffing system, Pershing determined that an American division must have 979 officers and 27000 soldiers.
With the support force, the total force is about 40000.
At that time, the official establishment of each division in Britain, France, Germany and other countries was 12000 people.
When field marshal Xiafei visited the United States at the beginning of the declaration of war, he suggested that the United States adopt the establishment of the same scale, because European officers believed that 12000 combatants were the largest force that a general and his staff could command.
Pershing dismisses this.
He firmly believes that in order to enable the American divisions to carry out sustained operations and ensure that they do not hesitate and return without success like the British and French divisions, 40 American divisions must be equivalent to 80 divisions of any other big country.
Later, it proved that Pershing’s decision was very far sighted.
Then, Pershing spent a lot of energy on training.
He established some staff and combat officer schools in France to train U.S. officers to make up for the lack of courses taught by the U.S. domestic army academy system.
Schools run by the armed forces train both commanders and soldiers.
Other schools train instructors for military schools.
There are also special schools for the staff departments, supply departments and arms of the army.
The role of these schools in training wartime talents and improving the quality of officers was soon reflected on the battlefield.
At the same time, due to the rigid promotion system of seniority before the war, Pershing found that many American division commanders were too old, and their physical strength and energy were difficult to adapt to the protracted trench war.
Therefore, he mercilessly removed those who did not meet the health conditions and other conditions, and replaced them with a group of “daring Samurai figures”.
After this purge, the US expeditionary force has become more rational, its commanders more capable, and its combat effectiveness has been significantly improved.
To this end, Pershing proudly declared: “The fact is that our officers and soldiers are certainly much better than the exhausted Europeans.
Senior allied officers have derogated from our poorly trained staff officers and senior commanders, and our personnel have been patient with them for a long time.
Now I have told the allies in quite strong language that we can no longer tolerate this humiliating status, so I hope to hear no more such nonsense Nonsense.
” Pershing’s remarks came at a time when the Allies were losing ground and under overall strain.
In February 1918, Ludendorff concentrated 178 divisions on the western front, with a total of 1.
23 million infantry, 24000 cavalry, 5500 heavy field guns and 8800 light field guns, against 173 divisions on the side of the allies, with a total of 1.
48 million infantry, 74000 cavalry, 6800 heavy guns and 8900 light guns.
In terms of air force, the allies are about three times stronger than Germany.
However, the weapons equipped by Germany in the infantry division, such as machine guns and mortars, are much stronger than those of the treaty countries.
In order to offset the disadvantage in the number of aircraft, the German air force used a wide range of maneuver tactics and concentrated their aircraft where needed.
German infantry, at a disadvantage in quantity, made up for the shortage of troops with advanced tactics.
They invented infiltration tactics in trench to base warfare, and formed assault infiltration forces with infantry battalions or units slightly smaller than battalions.
These troops were all joined by some capable young and strong personnel with rich combat experience.
According to the scheduled plan, they used the gaps and weak parts of the treaty national defense forces to break into the depth of the treaty national defense forces before the battle began.
After the battle started, the large forces launched an attack on the front enemy, while the infiltrating forces cut off their defense system from the back and then attacked the front-line defense positions that have become isolated strongholds.
The use of this tactic is not difficult to say, and it may not be very clever to say that it is advanced.
It only played a considerable role under the excellent use of well-trained German officers and soldiers.
The German general staff launched an attack codenamed “operation Michael” on March 20, aiming at attacking the British army of the Royal pillar of the treaty defense.
In this battle, Germany used poison gas again.
In the first day of the attack, the infiltration tactics played a role.
The German army broke through the first line of defense of the British army and forced the British army to retreat to the line of Somme river.
At the same time, the German army sent another division to take Paris, the capital of France, but returned halfway due to the lack of sufficient reserve forces.
The campaign, codenamed “operation Michael”, lasted eight days.
Germany broke through the treaty defense position and embedded a 40 mile long and 60 mile wide protrusion in the British Expeditionary Force’s defense line.
The British army lost 16550 casualties, captured 70000 people, captured 1100 field guns, and even 2 million bottles of whisky that could not be transported from the British position in time, It has also become the booty of the Germans.
The French army lost 77000 people.
The Allies learned the lesson of this failure and established a single headquarters to exercise unified command over the armies of the Allies participating in the war.
At the proposal of the French Prime Minister, the Allies unanimously agreed that on April 14, general fousch of France was appointed commander-in-chief of all the Allied forces fighting in France.
Still dreaming of winning the war earlier, Germany decided not to give the Allied forces a chance to breathe, and then launched an offensive in Flanders on May 27.
In order to disperse the enemy’s defense forces, he decided to take a feint in another place called shemandedam.
At this time, the Allies had developed flexible defense tactics against the German infiltration tactics, that is, to change the previous practice of putting the main troops in the front of the defense position, but only put about 13 troops in the front of the defense position and the other 23 in the depth of the defense, so as to prevent more casualties by the German army, Second, it can be conducive to rapid mobility to places infiltrated by the German army.
However, after the German army launched the attack, the French commander deshena, who was responsible for the defense of shemandedam area, mechanically copied the defense tactics in the infantry textbook and put the heavy troops in the front, resulting in the success of the German infiltration tactics again.
Less than an hour after the attack, the German army broke through the line full of defenders’ bodies and advanced towards the rear of the French army.
According to the original plan of the German command, the attack here is only a containment attack.
After advancing to a certain distance, the main attack will be launched in Flemish, which defends the emptiness.
However, it was unexpected that the troops acting as the feint were progressing so smoothly due to the wrong command of the French army.
Rudendorff immediately changed the original plan and ordered the German army to continue to advance from virtual to real attack in shemandedam.
A few days later, the German army pushed forward to the place where they lost Maicheng a few years ago – the Bank of the Marne River, only 37 miles from Paris.
The French retreat once again exposed Paris to the range of German artillery.
At this time, the expeditionary army led by General Pershing was ordered to stop the German advance.
Two American divisions (equivalent to four British and French divisions) rushed to the theater by train to start a fierce battle with the German army.
This was the first independent operation of the U.S. military.
The seasoned German army was repulsed by the fledgling U.S. expeditionary force.
The German army received a heavy psychological blow and had to end the offensive on June 6.
The best performance of the US military is the 4th marine brigade of the 2nd division.
In a place called belleo forest, the French army guarding the area had retreated and advised the advancing U.S. Marines to retreat with them, but the U.S. commander Captain William, who led the Marines, had the demeanor of a cow in the west of the United States.
He scolded rude words, While commanding his brothers to recapture the line of defense occupied by the Germans.
After three weeks of hard work, the Marines finally recaptured the forest at the cost of heavy casualties.
Even the German soldiers, the enemy who fought with them, had to admire their indomitable and courageous spirit and call them “Eagle dogs”.
Of the 9777 casualties of the US second division in this battle, 5338 were Marines participating in this battle.
It can be seen that the battle was tragic.
In recognition of the heroic deeds of the U.S. Marine Corps, the French government named the forest that has been turned into a bald mountain as “Marine Corps forest”.
Now the forest has grown again and is nominally owned by the U.S. government.
It has become a resort to commemorate the U.S. soldiers killed in continental Europe in world War I.
A small test of the edge and a victory in the first battle made the British and French armies look at the Americans with new eyes.
In order to strengthen the control over the divisions fighting on their own, Pershing established the military headquarters and ordered several elite divisions of the man river assault headquarters to take unified action and prepare to participate in the counter offensive planned by the French supreme command in mid July.
Pershing began to realize that French generals were nothing more than that.
He worried that their “temporary borrowing” of American divisions in the French army would become a permanent arrangement.
Fortunately, when the Allies’ counterattack on the ENA man river began on July 18, the American Expeditionary Force was finally able to appear as the main force.
The eight US divisions operating within the US military establishment launched several attacks and drove the German army back to the defensive positions along the eina River and the wesser river.
At the same time, the reorganized British Expeditionary Force also launched a series of punitive attacks, which continued until early September.
On August 8, the German army on the defensive began to collapse across the board.
The German command, which was tired of human and financial resources, mobilized young people and older people to join the battle at home.
On the side of the allies, the forces Nouvelles, including tanks, fighters and bombers, are constantly adding to the front line.
The German army realized that it was impossible to win the armistice negotiations that were more conducive to Germany, not to mention victory.
Rudendorff wrote in his diary: “This period was a bleak time for the German army.
Morale was no longer what it used to be, and the enemy seized many documents of immeasurable value to them.
Every time the retreating troops met an army that had recently come into battle, they shouted to them: troublemakers, you are delaying the war! The officers lost the ability to control their soldiers and allowed themselves to be pushed away .
The situation will inevitably become more and more unfavorable as more US troops participate.
” In such a favorable environment, US officers and soldiers are even more energetic and courageous.
In breaking through the German fortifications, the US military used blasting barrels for the first time.
The shape of the blasting barrel is a long iron pipe filled with trinitrotoluene.
Engineers use it to blast the snake belly shaped barbed wire mesh in front of the position.
American infantry also carry wire cutters and sharp steel axes, which are most suitable for dealing with anti infantry obstacles.
With the help of these equipment, the American soldiers became even stronger and the speed of breaking through the German defensive positions was greatly accelerated.
This practical and innovative approach of the Americans has aroused the curiosity of the host French.
Hundreds of French officers can’t help but praise after visiting the soldiers’ on-site operation.
Some unconvinced French officers said that the reason why Americans are faster than the French is mainly because Americans have long legs and big feet.
The US military also used a 12 mm shotgun on the battlefield.
In order to carry it conveniently, the US military sawed the butt of the gun short.
The caliber of this shotgun is twice that of the rifle used by German infantry.
It is very suitable for close combat in a short distance.
This shotgun used to be used only for hunting in the United States.
After suffering a lot, the German army claimed that the use of this weapon by the U.S. military violated the law《The Geneva Convention, but where will American soldiers who can afford to kill take this set into account? Still go your own way.
When the situation of counterattack across the board was beginning to take shape, Pershing announced that the first group army of the United States was about to enter the battle.
At the same time, five French and 15 American divisions belonging to the first group army were gathered near the St.
miyer protrusion in the southwest of the ENA Man River battlefield.
Pershing not only intended to cut off the protrusion at one stroke, but also launched a fierce attack on the main German defense positions facing mace once the German resistance was weak.
At this time, the Allies had other plans.
Inspired by the victory of the British Expeditionary Force, field marshal Haig suggested forming a huge “compression” encirclement of the German army.
One wing of the encirclement is the British Expeditionary Force, which swept Belgium and northern France to the East.
The other wing will be the US 1st army and the French army, crossing the Meuse River and Argonne forest area to the north.
If the first right-wing forces of the allies could break through the five German lines of defense and cut their way through the no man’s land of about 40 miles, they could cut off the main German railway supply lines in shadang and mezier and force the German army to retreat along both sides of the rugged Arden area.
As marshal fauchi of France had no other tricks, he adopted Haig’s suggestion.
Pershing agreed to redeploy his troops in preparation for the Merz Argonne offensive at the end of September.
This will be the largest operation in the history of the US military.
600000 US troops and 4000 artillery were transferred to the front line from 60 miles away.
After the front line, 40000 tons of ammunition and the same amount of other supplies were stored.
This move alone is enough to prove that the technical level of planning and logistics management of the US staff team has reached the level of its European counterparts.
In a battle command room surrounded by transparent maps, artillery fire plans and force sequence lists, Pershing approved a three Army (nine Division) attack between mez and Argonne forest.
French troops will support U.S. troops in the west of the forest and east of the Meuse River.
The U.S. military in the middle will be the main force, driving straight through montfocon mountain and inserting the German third line of defense in Rome, Geti and Kuner.
The left-wing army will sweep the forest and the El valley into granpue, which is also a main fortress in the German third line of defense.
The right-wing army will occupy the area between Kuner and Meuse River.
The attack is expected to spread over an eight mile wide area, breaking through the main German line of defense.
On September 26, the 1st group army of the US army launched the longest attack of the US expeditionary force.
After three hours of intensive barrage firing, the infantry rushed to the first designated targets in waves after waves.
The US military offensive continued until the armistice agreement was signed on November 11.
However, the offensive was not plain sailing.
Only four of the commando divisions fought fiercely, and four did not cooperate closely with the artillery at all.
The left-wing army was heavily shot in the open valley and dense forest, but most of the tasks were quickly completed by the left-wing army.
After two days of hard attack, the US army failed to attack the main position of German defense.
The two sides fought hard for another two days, and the situation has not changed.
At the same time, the German army urgently transferred six reinforcement divisions to the defense line of granpue romagne Kuner.
On October 1, Pershing admitted that the original plan had failed and used the US reserve.
He was determined not to lose the independence of the U.S. military, nor to give up the influence on the war process won by the U.S. expeditionary force.
Therefore, in October, he launched a series of attacks.
The new offensive began on October 4, as Pershing sent several divisions with the most combat experience.
The reinforcements of the German army were also a strong force experienced in many battles.
The two armies fought close to each other and fought hard.
Because the US Army had the support of the overwhelming artillery, the positions were broken one by one, and the main German fortresses collapsed.
On the eastern and Western lines, other US troops, in coordination with the French army, advanced to strong support points such as Mont Blanc and the Highlands east of the Meuse River.
The US Army broke through the German defense line through several night raids without artillery preparation in advance.
The first group army of the United States, which was taken over by lieutenant general hunt Liggett, broke through the Kremlin bildestylon line.
In a series of attacks from November 1 to before the armistice, the force won victories in a row.
At the beginning of the Merz Argonne campaign, Pershing sent the second group army led by Lieutenant General Robert Brad to open up another battlefield near mace.
On November 6, the US 1st group army arrived at the highland overlooking the Meuse River near Sadang and shelled the German railway line.
Several divisions of the 1st group army forcibly crossed the Meuse River east of Sadang.
At the same time, the second group army also made limited progress from November 10 to 11.
Between the positions of the 1st and 2nd groups of the French army and the offensive positions of the 1st and 2nd groups of the French army.
At the same time, the British Expeditionary Force dealt a heavy blow to the German group army on the North Road, forcing the German army to retreat to the Rhine River.
At the same time, the weak defense lines of the allies in Italy, the Balkans and Palestine also collapsed.
The German government had to accept the terms of the armistice in the face of the global defeat and the defection of Austria and Turkey.
On November 9, Hindenburg officially met with German Emperor William, told him that the German army had no strength to protect him, and persuaded the German emperor to abdicate and take refuge in the Netherlands.
German Emperor William accepted the advice and announced his abdication within 48 hours and replaced it with a republic to exercise state power.
On November 11, 1918, at 5 a.m. French time, the armistice agreement was signed.
At 11 a.m., the first salutes of all countries rang out, firing 101 rounds, announcing the end of World War I.
After the war, the Germans stubbornly believed that it was the domestic anti war revolutionary movement and Britain on the front line that defeated them.
The Allies’ Generals also completely forgot their sense of relief when a large number of American Expeditionary Forces arrived at the front line in 1918, but tried to belittle the contribution of the United States to the final victory.
These views are too biased and unfair.
But if Americans want to exaggerate their contribution to victory, they probably won’t boast so much when facing the following facts: in the war, the US army only killed more than 112000 people, while the Russian army killed 1.
7 million people, the French army 1.
38 million people and the British Army 900000 people.
Although it is true that the US military participated in the warIt’s late, but they may come at the right time.
Therefore, it is fair to say that Americans have made their due contribution in ending the human catastrophe of World War I.