By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. It was a very complex operation involving a majority of the AEF ground forces fighting through rough, hilly terrain the German Army had spent four years fortifying. The colossal battle of the Argonne, fought 75 years ago, started with a shouting match between General John J. Pershing and his immediate commander, French Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch. In the Meuse-Argonne offensive a few weeks later, Patton was badly wounded by a machine-gun bullet. The Meuse–Argonne offensive also involved troops from France, while the rest of the Allies, including France, Britain and its dominion and imperial armies (mainly Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), and Belgium contributed to major battles in more North-Western sectors of the western front, including the Hindenburg line. The point that they come the closest to Paris is Château-Thierry, and just about five miles away is Belleau Wood. In six weeks the AEF lost 26,277 killed and 95,786 wounded. It’s only special significance was that it was largely fought by American troops demonstrating their impact on the Allied war effort. On their left the French had advanced 30 km (19 mi), reaching the River Aisne. Dead gunner in a German machine gun nest, Villers-devant-Dun, France, November 4, 1918. Aiming to cut off the entire German 2nd Army, Allied … The 79th Division finally captured Montfaucon and the 35th "Santa Fe" Division captured the village of Baulny, Hill 218, and Charpentry, placing the division forward of adjacent units. On September 29, six extra German divisions were deployed to oppose the American attack, with the 5th Guards and 52nd Division counterattacking the 35th Division, which had run out of food and ammunition during the attack. The battles of the Meuse-Argonne were the final confrontations on the Western Front in World War I. [12], The German counterattack had shattered so much of the 35th Division—a poorly led division, most of whose key leaders had been replaced shortly before the attack, made up of National Guard units from Missouri and Kansas—that it had to be relieved early, though remnants of the division subsequently reentered the battle. Resistance grew to approximately 200,000–450,000 German troops from the Fifth Army of Group Gallwitz commanded by General Georg von der Marwitz. The V and III Corps met most of their objectives, but the 79th Division failed to capture Montfaucon, the 28th "Keystone" Division's attack virtually ground to a halt due to formidable German resistance, and the 91st "Wild West" Division was compelled to evacuate the village of Épinonville though it advanced 8 km (5.0 mi). The American forces initially consisted of 15 divisions of the U.S. First Army commanded by General John J. Pershing until October 16 and then by Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett. The hilly massif rarely exceeds 650 feet (200 m) in elevation but is slashed with numerous deep valleys formed by watercourses associated with the Aire and Aisne rivers, which constitute a barrier to transportation. The American troops captured German defenses at Buzancy, allowing French troops to cross the River Aisne, whence they rushed forward, capturing Le Chesne (the Battle of Chesne (French: Bataille du Chesne)). [7] The September/October Allied breakthroughs (north, center, and east) across the length of the Front line – including the Battle of the Argonne Forest – are now lumped together as part of what is generally remembered as the Grand Offensive (also known as the Hundred Days Offensive) by the Allies on the Western Front. On September 26, the Americans began their strike north toward Sedan. The forest had no roads over which tanks and troops could easily move. It was fought from September 26, 1918, until the Armistice of November 11, 1918, a total of 47 days. Concerning armored support, the 35th Division was completed by the 1st Tank Brigade (under George S. Patton) with 127 American-crewed Renault FT light tank and 28 French-crewed Schneider medium tanks. Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat at the German Army in World War I (New York: NAL, Caliber, 2016), This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 22:38. "Collier's New Encyclopedia: A Loose-leaf and Self-revising Reference Work". What was the significance of the Battle of Argonne Forest? Select the two correct answers. The American forces reorganized into two armies. On October 8, 1918, United States Corporal Alvin C. York reportedly kills over 20 German soldiers and captures an additional 132 at the head of a small detachment in the Argonne Forest … The Battle of Argonne Forest was part of what became known as the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the last battle of World War I . It was a massive attack along the whole line, with the immediate goal of reaching the railroad junction as Sedan. Why was the battle of argonne forest so important? Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The two U.S. armies faced portions of 31 German divisions during this phase. Omissions? They brought more troops supplies tank / equipment and support. - Treaty of Versailles The Battle of the Argonne Forest The German forces were now at a stall, and the French and American forces saw an opportunity too end the war. He lay in a shell hole for hours before it was safe to evacuate him, but he refused to be taken to the hospital until he had reported to his commander.…, …army group engaged in the Meuse-Argonne campaign, he led a large bombing force in a behind-the-lines air strike. Most of the heavy equipment (tanks, artillery, and aircraft) was provided by the Allies. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The 3d US Tank brigade with 250 French-crewed tank was also involved supporting the V Corps. It is the second deadliest battle in … [9] The initial progress of the French forces was thus faster than the 3 to 8 km (2 to 5 mi) gained by the adjacent American units, though the French units were fighting in a more open terrain, which is an easier terrain from which to attack. After suffering heavy casualties, they shattered the German defense. That month he was promoted to temporary brigadier general. It was the only defeat of the American military during WWI It was the first U.S. battle against the Germany army It led to the death of General Pershing It was the largest military offensive in U.S. history and brought WWI to an end. XVII Corps during the second phase). While poring over these newspapers from 1918, I noticed a gradual, yet significant, change beginning with the early days of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The Meuse–Argonne offensive (also known as the Meuse River–Argonne Forest offensive, the Battles of the Meuse–Argonne, and the Meuse–Argonne campaign) was a major part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire Western Front. It was part of the general Allied offensive in the autumn of 1918. By October 31 the American forces had advanced 10 miles (16 km), the French had advanced 20 miles (32 km), and the Argonne had been cleared of German troops. Due to how long this battle is I will not be listing a timeline of events, rather I will be covering what the battle was, and why it mattered. [13][14] Part of the adjacent French attack met temporary confusion when one of its generals died. the Buffalo Soldiers of the 92nd Division and the 93rd Division) attached and serving under French command (e.g. Attack after attack edged deeper into the Germans’ defensive position. The Meuse–Argonne offensive was the largest in United States military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers. So o… The Meuse–Argonne offensive (also known as the Meuse River–Argonne Forest offensive,[6] the Battles of the Meuse–Argonne, and the Meuse–Argonne campaign) was a major part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire Western Front. During this period of the war, German divisions procured only 50 percent or less of their initial strength. The First, led by General Liggett, moved to the Carignan-Sedan-Mezieres Railroad. Eventually, 22 American divisions participated in the battle at one time or another, representing two full field armies. The Armistice was declared (November 11) before a final offensive against Germany itself could begin. Battles of the Meuse-Argonne, (September 26–November 11, 1918), a series of final confrontations on the Western Front in World War I. Attack after attack edged deeper into the Germans’ defensive position. These conflicts took place from September 26, 1918, until the armistice, or peace agreement, on November 11, 1918. The war ended less than two months after the battle began. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the greatest American battle of the First World War. Morale varied among German units. Find answers now! Continuous fighting was maintained along our entire battle front, with especial success on the extreme left, where the capture of the greater part of the Argonne forest was completed. "[11] The American attack began at 05:30 on September 26 with mixed results. Nevertheless, it was able to advance 15 km (9 mi), penetrating deeply into the German lines, especially around Somme-Py (the Battle of Somme-Py (French: Bataille de Somme-Py)) and northwest of Reims (the Battle of Saint-Thierry (French: Bataille de Saint-Thierry)). Battle information: The Battle of the Argonne was the last major offensive in the first world war. His plans for strategic bombing of the German homeland and for massive parachute invasions were cut short by the armistice, and he returned…, …use as telephone communicators during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. National Laboratory near Chicago, Illinois; Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of Argonne Forest, a World War I battle; Argonne, South Dakota, a ghost town in the United States; Argonne… Colonel George Marshall who managed to move American units to the front after the Battle of Saint-Mihiel (Saint-Mihiel is a town on the river Meuse, the most important water obstacle on the Western Front). Corrections? [3], The second phase began on October 4, when the first assault divisions (the 91st, 79th, 37th and 35th) were replaced by the 32nd, 3rd and 1st Divisions. British, French, and Belgian advances in the north-western sectors of the front, along with the French–American advances around the Argonne forest, is in turn credited for leading directly to the Armistice of November 11, 1918. Primary Documents - John J. Pershing on the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, November 1919 The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, jointly launched by U.S. and French forces on the Western Front in front of the Argonne Forest east of Verdun in late September 1918, comprised one of the key offensives of the war and by the armistice had successfully driven north up the west bank of the Meuse to the Belgian border. Hard fighting continued in the Meuse-Argonne sector during October. [9] The U.S. divisions of the AEF were oversized (12 battalions per division versus the French-British-German nine battalions per division), being up to twice the size of other Allies' battle-depleted divisions upon arrival, but the French and other Allied divisions had been partly replenished prior to the Grand Offensive, so both the U.S. and French contributions in troops were considerable. The 37th and 79th Division were augmented with a French tank regiment (Renault FT light tank) and 2 groups of medium tank (St-Chamond). Even though we historians know today that the Germans did not actually have Paris as a goal of their Spring Offensive, it’s easy to look at a map and see that they were progressively getting closer and closer. The Germans initially made significant gains, but were barely repulsed by the 35th Division's 110th Engineers, 128th Machine Gun Battalion, and Harry Truman's Battery D, 129th Field Artillery. It was one of a series of Allied attacks known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which brought the war to an end. The 91st Division was augmented with a equivalent force (1 light tank regiment and 2 groups medium tank). 1 Questions & Answers Place. (1 point) A. the end of labor unions B. increased production of war materials C. a reduction in the number of European immigrants D. an increase in number of female nurses (The Western Front was the battlefields west of Germany.) The Forest of Argonne is a long strip of mountainous and wild woodland in northeastern France, approximately 200 km (120 mi) east of Paris, France.In 1792 Charles François Dumouriez outmaneuvered the invading forces of the Duke of Brunswick in the forest before the Battle of Valmy. For the Meuse–Argonne front alone, this represented 2,780 artillery pieces, 380 tanks, and 840 planes. The Americans proceeded west of the Meuse River, the French west of the Argonne Forest. [10] Other French forces involved included the 2nd Colonial Corps, under Henri Claudel, which had also fought alongside the AEF at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel earlier in September 1918. It was also the deadliest campaign in American history, resulting in over 26,000 soldiers being killed in … Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... American gun crew firing a 37mm “pom-pom” infantry support gun during an advance against German positions during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). On the 11th day of the American offensive, the Germans recognized that they were outflanked and retreated to avoid capture. While the US troops were not battle tested, the introduction of over 1 million well armed troops into a battle that had exhausted armies … No. It was the final push by the Allies on the Western Front with the intention of forcing the Germans to capitulate after four years of fierce fighting. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, or Maas-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I … The opposing forces were wholly German. It was against Germany and France combined with the Americans. After the main 1918 German offensive that began well for them but ended with the disaster of Reims in front of the French army and at Amiens to British empire forces, The French and British armies launched "The Grand Offensive" or the "100 days offensive", systematically pushing back a German army whose efficiency was decreasing rapidly. Although the code talkers had been highly effective, little time remained in…. By October 31, the Americans had advanced 15 km (9.3 mi) and had cleared the Argonne Forest. British and French armies attacked across northern France on September 28. More than a million Americans participated in the battles, but the American Expeditionary Force’s casualties were heavy, and its largely inexperienced formations were becoming increasingly disorganized. On November 10 the Allies reached Sedan and cut the rail line there. The 1st Division created a gap in the lines when it advanced 2.5 km (1.6 mi) against the 37th, 52nd, and 5th Guards Divisions. In the words of Pershing, "We were no longer engaged in a maneuver for the pinching out of a salient, but were necessarily committed, generally speaking, to a direct frontal attack against strong, hostile positions fully manned by a determined enemy." On November 11, news of the German armistice put a sudden end to the fighting. The Americans estimated that they opposed parts of 44 German divisions overall, though many fewer at any one time. On their left the French had advanced twenty miles, reaching the Aisne River. Lasting 47 days, from September 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918, this battle was fought in the Argonne Forest, France. The Argonne Forest and its surrounding areas was one of the focal points of the battle in October, and the rugged, unpredictable terrain contributed to massive amounts of American casualties. Furthermore, the Germans had been in control of the area for the past four years and had well-fortified it.The other key challenge was logistical. The Americans faced the most difficult natural obstacle, the dense Argonne Forest. The Americans proceeded west of the Meuse River, the French west of the Argonne Forest. The French forces next to them consisted of 31 divisions, including the Fourth Army (under Henri Gouraud) and the Fifth Army (under Henri Mathias Berthelot). The German armies had occupied part of northern France since the early days of the war. 2. One was a joint operation in the Meuse valley toward the Mézière and Sedan rail centre. The logistic prelude to the Meuse attack was planned by then U.S. It is the second deadliest battle in American history, resulting in over 350,000 casualties including 28,000 German lives, 26,277 American lives and an unknown number of French lives. The Argonne Forest loomed as an impenetrable fortress to the east of a landscape of rolling fields with small hills and heights, bordered by the Meuse River to the west. Building on the success of earlier Allied offensives at Amiens and Albert during the summer of 1918, the Meuse-Argonne offensive, carried out by 37 French and American divisions, was even more ambitious. "During the three hours preceding H hour, the Allies expended more ammunition than both sides managed to fire throughout the four years of the [American] Civil War. As the battle progressed, both the Americans and the French brought in reinforcements. The Meuse-Argonne presented a number of challenges to the U.S. forces, which made up the largest part of the Allied Forces fighting. Why was the Battle of Argonne forest significant? The inexperienced 37th "Buckeye" Division failed to capture Montfaucon d'Argonne. The Meuse–Argonne offensive was the largest in United States military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers. At 5:30 on the morning of September 26, 1918, after a six-hour-long bombardment over the previous night, more than 700 Allied tanks, followed closely by infantry troops, advance against German positions in the Argonne Forest and along the Meuse River. The next day, British and Belgian divisions drove toward Ghent (Belgium). 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Two-seat German Hannover biplane forced down near Cierges, First phase (September 26 – October 4, 1918), Third phase (October 28 – November 11, 1918). The turning point battles of WWI were long in the past by the time of this offensive. The Americans launched a series of costly frontal assaults that finally broke through the main German defenses (the Kriemhilde Stellung of the Hindenburg Line) between October 14–17 (the Battle of Montfaucon (French: Bataille de Montfaucon)). After Chateau Thierry which stopped the German offensive, this battle pushed them back into their own borders. The French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, supreme commander of the Allied forces, ordered massive attacks against the … More than 1.2 million Americans took part in this 47 day offensive. Meanwhile, the French advanced steadily across the Aisne lowlands. The scale of the overall offensive, bolstered by the fresh and eager but largely untried and inexperienced U.S. troops, signaled renewed vigor among the Allies and sharply dimmed German hopes for victory. Gen. John Pershing’s opening surprise attack advanced 5 miles (8 km) along the Meuse River but only 2 miles (3 km) in the difficult Argonne Forest sector. What led to a significant increase in the number of factory jobs available to African American workers during World War I? Foch had appeared at the headquarters of the brand-new American First Army in Ligny-en-Barrois, 25 miles southeast of St. Mihiel, on August 30, 1918. Meuse–Argonne was the principal engagement of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) during World War I. Gen. John Pershing’s opening surprise attack advanced 5 miles (8 km) along the Meuse River but only 2 miles (3 km) in the difficult Argonne Forest sector. The Battle of Argonne forest was significant because it helped Allied powers won the war. The Meuse–Argonne battle was the largest frontline commitment of troops by the U.S. Army in World War I, and also its deadliest. It was fought from September 26, 1918, until the Armistice on November 11, a total of 47 days. [8] The logistics were planned and directed by then Colonel George C. Marshall. Newspapers of the time — the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Public Ledger, and the Catholic Standard and Times – have been my most valuable resource in this search. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was one of the most significant military operations of WWI. The battalion was rescued by an attack by the 28th and 82nd Divisions (the 82nd attacking soon after taking up its positions in the gap between the 28th and 1st Divisions) on October 7. [vague] It was during this phase that the Lost Battalion affair occurred. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I ranks as one of America’s most significant battles in terms of men and equipment engaged, the numbers of dead and wounded, and the strategic consequences. [3] It was during the opening of this operation, on October 8, that Corporal (later Sergeant) Alvin York made his famous capture of 132 German prisoners near Cornay.[15]. Command was coordinated, with some U.S. troops (e.g. Advancing through the Argonne Forest. The Second Army, led by Lieutenant General Robert L. Bullard, was directed to move eastward toward Metz. The cost was later calculated to have been $180 million, or $1 million per minute. Argonne may refer to: The Forest of Argonne, France; Argonne National Laboratory, a U.S. D.O.E. Battle of the Argonne (1918) begins . By the end of October, U.S. troops had advanced ten miles and cleared the Argonne Forest. The ensuing battle lasted from September 26 up until the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also known as the Maas-Argonne Offensive and the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire Western Front. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the largest operations of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I, with over a million American soldiers participating. The subsequent day, September 27 most of the 1st Army failed to make any gains. The Allied objective was the capture of the railway hub at Sedan that would break the railway network supporting the German Army in France and Flanders. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/battles-of-the-Meuse-Argonne, HistoryNet - Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I, First World War - Path of Fire: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 1918, battles of the Meuse-Argonne - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), battles of the Meuse-Argonne - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The Germans were unable to make sense of the Choctaw language (of Muskogean linguistic stock), which was unique to the North American continent and had a small number of speakers. what was the historical significance of the battle of Lexington and concord a. the outcome proved that the colonists army was no match for the British … troops b.british gave up any attempt to keep any of its North American colonies c. the fighting signal the start of the American revolution The 117th Division, which opposed the U.S. 79th Division during the offensive's first phase, had only 3,300 men in its ranks. Following the German retreat from the Marne River in July, Gen. Ferdinand Foch and the Allied high command designed a series of convergent and practically simultaneous offensives against the shaken German armies. Updates? It was fought from September 26, 1918, until the Armistice of November 11, 1918, a total of 47 days. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, or Maas-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I … This was the last major battle of WWI. The US had over 1 million troops now available to fight. When thinking of a forest, one might expect dense vegetation, poor visibility, and a generally difficult position to attack. The Americans faced the most difficult natural obstacle, the dense Argonne Forest. Three factors combine to make the Battle of Belleau Wood a significant event in the American memory. The Americans began their offensive in the region between the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest. For example, divisions that served on the Eastern front had high morale, while conversely divisions that had been on the Western front had poor morale. The Argonne is about 40 miles long and 10 miles wide (65 by 15 km). Just to briefly recap, Antietam was the single, bloodiest day in American history. It was the largest and bloodiest operation of World War I for the AEF even if, given the scale of other battles on the Western Front, its size was limited and the operation itself secondary as it was far from the main offensive axis. 1922. U.S. losses were worsened by the inexperience of many of the troops, the tactics used during the early phases of the operation and the widespread onset of the global influenza outbreak called the "Spanish flu". Over 4,000 people died, and Antietam was a signature victory in the Civil War for the North, for Abraham Lincoln, and the forces of the United States. First, the overgrown, bushy, terrain of the area was difficult. Argonne, wooded, hilly region in eastern France that forms a natural barrier between Champagne and Lorraine. 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