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American Battles in WW1

Woodrow Wilson

American Battles in WW1: Woodrow Wilson was the 28th American President who served in office from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921. One of the most important events was the role of America in  WW1 and the American Battles fought by the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in thirteen campaigns.

Definition and Summary of the American Battles in WW1
Summary and definition:
The American Battles in World War One were fought during engagements in 13 campaigns. The most famous American battles of WW1 were the Battle of Cantigny fought on May 28, 1918, Chateau-Thierry fought on June 3, 1918, the Battle of Belleau Wood fought between June 6, 1918 - June 26, 1918, the Battle of St. Mihiel that was fought on September 12, 1918.

Then on to the Meuse-Argonne campaign aka Battle of the Argonne Forest (26 September - 11 November 1918). Fighting during World War One ceased when an armistice went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month on November 11, 1918.

Facts about American Battles in WW1 for kids: 1917, Americans arrive in France
The First Division landed at the ports of the French town of St. Nazaire in late June 1917. The sight of the fresh American soldiers had an amazing effect on French morale. The allied commanders arranged for a grand reception for the Americans on the Fourth of July in Paris. The Second Battalion of the First Divisionís 16th Infantry, headed by General John J. Pershing, marched through the streets of Paris on July 4, 1917.

Jubilant Parisians assembled at the tomb of the Marquis de Lafayette, who had famously fought in the American Revolution. The arrival of the rest of the American Expeditionary Force started soon after. The Second Division began arriving in small numbers in late August 1917 and were still arriving in the spring of 1918. Americans played a small part in the  Battle of Cambrai in 1917 but the majority of American Battles in WW1 were fought in 1918. 

Facts about American Battles in WW1 for kids: Summary of the US Campaigns at the Western Front
On March 21, 1918, the Germans launched a massive attack along the Western Front and American troops played an important role in containing the German offensive. American troops joined the Aisne-Marne Campaign (27 May - 5 June 1918) and fought in the Battle of Cantigny. Theywent on to the town of Chateau-Thierry for their next battle and successfully held their ground.

On July 15, 1918 the Germans launched one last massive attack in a determined attempt to take Paris and Americans went on to fight in the Battle of Belleau Wood and Battle of Noyon. The battle of Saint-Mihiel was followed by the Meuse-Argonne campaign, aka the Battle of the Argonne Forest, that began on September 26, 1918 between the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest. Over 600,000 American troops commanded by General Pershing faced the Germans. The US troops suffered heavy casualties during the Battle of the Argonne Forest but the Americans succeeded in shattering the German defenses, opening a hole in the German lines. The fighting finally ended when an armistice went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month on November 11, 1918. 

Facts about American Battles in WW1 for kids: The 13 US Campaigns
The following fact sheet on American Battles in WW1 includes information about the conflicts and troops in the thirteen campaigns during the Great War.

Cambrai (20 November - 4 December 1917): The Battle of Cambrai was fought at Cambrai, France and was the first use of large numbers of tanks in combat at the Western Front. The 11th, 12th, and 14th American engineer regiments were deployed to help in construction activity behind the British lines at Cambrai. The Battle of Cambrai took a terrible toll on the British and the US engineer regiments were called upon to help the Allies on the last day of the Battle of Cambrai and became the first A.E.F. units to meet the enemy on the front lines of World War One.

Somme Defensive - Operation Michael (21 March - 6 Apri1 1918): On 25 March 1918 General Pershing provided support to the French consisting of four American divisions of of about 2200 men including the 6th, 12th, and 14th Engineers and the 17th, 22nd, and 148th Aero Squadrons

Lys (9 - 27 April 1918): The Germans attacked the narrow front along the Lys River in Flanders. Approximately 500 American troops participated in the Battle of Lys including the 69th Infantry Regiment, the 16th Engineers, 28th Aero Squadron and 1st Gas Regiment.

Aisne-Marne Campaign (27 May - 5 June 1918) and the Battle of Cantigny: The Germans crossed the Aisne River and rapidly advanced westward, coming within 50 miles of Paris. The Battle of Cantigny took place near Montdidier and was the first sustained American offensive of the war fought on 28 May 1918, the second day of the massive German offensive comprising the Third Battle of the Aisne. 4,000 US troops of the American 1st Division, commanded by Major-General Robert Lee Bullard, captured the village of Cantigny, held by the German 18th Army 

Aisne-Marne Campaign (27 May - 5 June 1918) and the Battle of Chateau-Thierry on Jun 3, 1918. The Americans attacked the Germans at Chateau-Thierry, a battle that extended into the larger Battle of Belleau Wood.

Aisne-Marne Campaign (27 May - 5 June 1918) and the Battle of Belleau Wood. The Battle of Belleau Wood was fought by U.S. Marine Corps and began on June 6, 1918 and ended on July 1, 1918. The Americans suffered 10,000 casualties but succeeded in the expulsion of the Germans and the capture of Belleau Wood.

Montdidier-Noyon (9 - 13 June 1918): The Battle of Noyon was fought by French and a small contingent of American troops supported by tanks. The Germans were pushed back from the lines and halted their offensive.

Champagne-Marne (15 - 18 July 1918): Three German armies and 52 divisions were directed to the Champagne-Marne offensive which was ended on 18 July by a massive French counter-attack launched by four French armies, with American, British and Italian divisions in support.

Aisne-Marne (18 July - 6 August 1918): The Aisne-Marne campaign was the second phase of the Second Battle of the Marne around Rheims. After 3 weeks of heavy fighting in the Second Battle of the Marne, the Allies scored a decisive victory by stopping the advancing German army. This was a major American battle in WW1 involving American 1st and 2nd Divisions consisting of 250,000 men.

The Hundred Days Offensive was the final period of the First World War, during which the Allies launched a series of offensives against the Central Powers on the Western Front from 8 August to 11 November 1918. The presence of almost 2 million American troops on the Western Front by the autumn of 1918 gave the Allies a critical edge over Germany. Commencing with the Battle of Amiens, the Hundred Days Offensive ended with the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918.

Somme Offensive (8 August - 11 November 1918): The Somme Offensive was the drive to breach the main Hindenburg Line. About 54,000 Americans participated in the Second Battle of the Somme.

Trench warfare was a major strategy of WW1 with troops in the trenches wearing obligatory gas masks in case of attack in which poison gas was used. Chemicals used included tear gas that caused pain, vomiting, and even blindness and devastating mustard gas that caused large blisters on the exposed skin and in the lungs.

Oise-Aisne (18 August - 11 November 1918): Buffalo Soldiers of the 92nd US Infantry Division and 93rd US Infantry Division were involved in the Oise-Aisne campaign. This offensive consisted of a series of drives which extended about 90 miles (140 km) from Reims westward through Soissons to Ribecourt on the Oise River.

Ypres-Lys (19 August - 11 November 1918): About 108,000 Americans of the American 37th Division participated in the Ypres-Lys Campaign.

St. Mihiel (12 - 16 September 1918): The Battle of St. Mihiel September 12, 1918 began as 300,000 American troops of the American First Army under the direct command of General Pershing attacked the German lines and cleared the German-held salient south of Verdun.

Meuse-Argonne aka the Battle of the Argonne Forest (26 September - 11 November 1918): General Pershing stated in his report on the Meuse-Argonne Campaign that "Between 26 September and 11 November, 22 American and 4 French divisions, on the front extending from southeast of Verdun to the Argonne Forest, had engaged and decisively beaten 47 different German divisions, representing 25% of the enemy's entire divisional strength on the western front. 117,000 Americans were killed and wounded during the Meuse-Argonne Campaign

Vittorio Veneto (24 October - 4 November 1918): About 1,200 American troops took part in the last great offensive against the Austro-Hungarian army in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto.

Fighting during World War 1 ceased when the WW1 Armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month on November 11, 1918.

The "Great War" officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Palace of Versailles in France on June 28, 1919.

The United States Congress passed a resolution on June 4, 1926 that officially recognized the end of World War I and announced the commemoration of Armistice Day as a legal holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace.

"The war to end all wars" was a catchphrase for World War I, but it was not to be - WW2 and the Korean War soon followed. On October 8th, 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" to honor the Veterans of all US wars.

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