The Argonne forest provided a good shelter to the Germans, where they could rest without the risk of being attacked. It was so because the area was lined by guns, mines and trenches and supported by artillery fire. There was no place, on the western front where the German army could think itself more safe and sound than the Argonne forest. This was probably the reason, for the Allies, to think the battle at this field as a decisive one. With a fresh American army on the southern flank of the western front, the Allies could now think of an offensive on the German troops in the Argonne forests.
At 5:30 on the afternoon of September 26th, the American 1st Army jumped off with the French holding their flanks. The U. S. army and the French 4th Army shared the Meuse-Argonne offensive which proved to be the biggest and the deadliest one for the American Expeditionary Force in the World War I. The French General Mariano Goybet, commanding the 157 Red Hand Division, indulged in the Meuse-Argonne offensive on 28th September.
(“Meuse-Argonne Offensive”) 371 and 372 were two of his African American regiments. During the first nine days, the 372 regiment progressed through 4.8 miles of enemy defense. They captured 600 prisoners, 15 heavy guns, 20 Minenwerfers and about 150 machine guns. (“Meuse-Argonne Offensive”) The 372 regiment’s part was very important in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The regiment suffered total casualties of 500 men. Similarly, the 371 regiment also contributed to the victory of the Allies in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive by capturing many German soldiers, 47 machine guns, 8 trench engines, three 77 mm.
field pieces, ammunitions depot, many railroad cars and an enormous amount of lumber and hay. (“Meuse-Argonne Offensive”) At the Verdun sector, the U. S. army played its main role in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The 27th and the 30th division fought under the British command far to the north, directly alongside the exhausted Australian troops. Despite some early failures, the three nation’s joint forces were able to capture their objectives. The Allied forces faced an opposition from German forces only. The German Divisions procured 50 percent or less of their strength during this period.
All of the German troops on the western front, unlike the troops on the eastern front, showed loose morale. This was probably the reason; why they retreated despite the presence of strong battlements. The objective, the capture of the railroad/train station hub at Sedan which would break the supplies to the Germans fighting in France, was achieved in three major steps.
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