1st Division in the 2nd Phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, October 4-31, 1918

History has little to do with speculation, yet it is interesting and possibly instructive to wonder what might have been the results, had lack of success attended the efforts of an army at a critical time in a certain war or campaign. Had the First and Second American Divisions failed in their efforts at Soissons,…

Operations of the 37-mm Gun Platoon, 26th Infantry, 1st Division, Oct. 1-12, 1918

This narrative pertains to the happenings during combat of a small unit attached to a battalion. There are no broad interpretations of Principles of War involved. Rather in the preparation of this paper the author endeavored to point out situations and conditions of battle experienced personally and which may invite consideration from the standpoint of…

Operations of 37-MM Platoon, 166th Infantry, 42nd Infantry Division (U.S.), October – November 1918

In order to present this subject, it will be necessary to go back to the fall of 1917, when the 42nd Division was organized. It was made up of National Guard troops from twenty-six different states and the District of Columbia. It received the alternate name of the “Rainbow Division” by which it was more…

Harlem Hellfighters: Red Summer

Melville Miller was only sixteen when he enlisted with the Regiment that would become the Harlem Hellfighters.  “Everybody’s head [was] held high,” he recalled decades later in an interview in 1977, “we were all proud to be Americans, proud to be black, and proud to be in the 15th New York Infantry.” (Wang) Awarded the…

Harlem Hellfighters: Ambassadors of Jazz

The 369th Infantry Regiment brought more than bravery in battle to France; it brought a musical marvel, a unique, syncopated sensation that some historians consider as “America’s greatest cultural gift to the globe.” (Maloney) Grown from the ragtime roots of the African American community, this revolutionary kind of music became an instant phenomenon across Europe:…

Operations of the 108th Infantry, 27th Division (U.S.), in the British offensive towards Maubeuge, Sept. 27-30, 1918

The allied plans for the last week in September, 1918, included an American attack in the Meuse-Argonne sector, a French attack in Champagne, a Belgian and allied force advance in Flanders, and a British offensive along the Somme in the direction of Maubeuge. These attacks were to be synchronized, for obvious reasons. It is with the British…

Operations of the Western Detachment, 1st Brigade, Tank Corps (US), September 26-October 11, 1918

In order that the operations of the Western Detachment, 304th Brigade, Tank Corps, may be intelligently discussed, it will be necessary to go back to the organization of the unit and deal with the history of its elements, and discuss briefly their struggle for a place in the sun, – that is, the privilege of…

Operations of the Supply Section, 3rd Battalion, 58th Infantry, 4th Division, in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, September 26- October 6, 1918

At dawn September 26, 1918, the final conflict of “The War to end Wars” was launched. This offensive was a challenge to the service of supply. One of the outstanding questions in the minds of the higher allied commanders was, “Can the service of supply be maintained.” (more) CPT Benjamin B. Bain

Meuse-Argonne Offensive, 1st Phase, 26 September – 3 October, 1918, General Operations (Attack of Defensive Zone)

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive opened on the morning of September 26th with force and enthusiasm characteristic of the American troops. The various troops were finally assembled in the new sector and distributed in their position. In spite of the shortage of transportation during the move all units had arrived intact except for some artillery. The secrecy…