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100 Years On – Belleau Wood

Alternate Title – “Retreat? Hell, we just got here!”

In early June, 1918, elements of the American Expeditionary Force, including the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments,  halted an attack by several German divisions that threatened to cross the Marne River and threaten Paris.  By the end of the month, at a cost of almost 2000 dead, the Marines had cleared the Germans out of Belleau Wood.

Fighting was close, vicious, and intense.  On multiple occasions, combat was reduced to fists and bayonets.  In one instance, an American attack went the wrong way in fog, got cut to pieces by German defenders, yet still managed to wreck the units opposing them.  Several American units lost most, if not all, of their officers and sergeants, yet the soldiers and Marines fought on.

On June 26, Belleau Wood was finally cleared of German resistance, ending a protracted, bloody battle.  Allied casualties came to almost 10,000 dead and wounded, while total German casualties are not known.

 

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2 Comments

  1. OldNFO

     /  June 1, 2018

    Truly a horror story… And fought at bad breath range by Americans who were already pissed off…

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