Reducing The Saint-Mihiel Salient, September 1918

Reducing The Saint-Mihiel Salient, September 1918
Reducing The Saint-Mihiel Salient, September 1918
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You can experience what life “in the trenches of World War I” must have been like by reading this highly descriptive, narrative history of one of the great battles of the war, and a turning point in the emergence of the U.S. Army as a globally recognized fighting force.

In June 1917,. French and British armies settled into a line of disease- infested trenches with the German Army occupying their own trench line but a short distance away. A line (about 420 miles long) that ran from the Swiss border all the way up to the North Sea. The Germans had maintained the aggressive initiative; while Allied forces were described as of low morale. Neither side had been able to dislodge the other while the Germans continued to hold a fortified “hernia” known as the Saint-Mihiel salient. (Defined as “an outwardly projecting part of a fortification, trench system, or line of defense.”)

The U. S. 5th Regiment of Marines joined the fray and morphed into the 4th Brigade, part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) commanded by the legendary General John J. Pershing.

Pershing and Commander in Chief of all Allied Armies, Ferdinand Foch, agreed upon a plan to have the American force enter into combat to cause a reduction of the Saint-Mihiel salient in Lorraine, France.

One of the military events of future consequence was the extent of American air power that came into play during this period of combat. At that time, Colonel Billy Mitchell was soon- to-be- recognized as one of America’s great air commanders He was given broad authority to design a plan that would result in the Allies’ ruling the skies and maintain full control to “prevent access to our lines by enemy reconnaissance aviation.”.

It was at Saint-Mihiel that the German high command first recognized the “doughboys” as tough fighters that could not be dismissed.  This was due to their recognition that thousands of fresh waves of doughboys were hitting the French shores every day.

The American Expedition Force success at Saint-Mihiel resulted in key changes in the Army’s war time role. The successful attack convinced the British and French on the American army as a fully independent force.

Reducing the Saint-Mihiel Salient September 1918, showcased in the U.S. Marines in WWI Centennial Commemorative Series, includes historic maps depicting various points of the battle operations and time-period photos will take you back in history.

By reading this book, you will learn:

  • Actions the Marine Corps took to prepare for the battle to reduce the Saint-Mihiel Salient
  • Marine skills for machine gun artillery expertise
  • Intensive infantry training for replacements
  • Medical preparations for attacking the Saint-Mihiel Salient, including individual acts of heroism by Navy Medical Personnel

And more

Finally, American Expeditionary Force, combining participation from US Army, Naval, and Marine forces, achieved success at Saint-Mihiel. One of the long-term achievements resulted in the opportunity for America’s military to be viewed as an equal player on the modern battlefield.

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Defense Dept., Navy, Marine Corps, History Division
  • Ford, Walter G.
Key Phrases:
  • U.S. Marines in World War I Centennial Commemorative Series
  • Marine Corps History
  • Naval History
  • World War I
  • France
  • Belgium
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