The Americans of the Great War in Meuse

Troupes US près de Suippes le 17 juillet 1918
During World War I, the Meuse saw the largest military engagement of the U.S. Army, which attempted several defensive operations.

A major military commitment  

The Americans’ first operation was targeted at the Saint-Mihiel Salient. It took place from September 12 to 16th, 1918.

216,000 ‘Sammies’ (nickname of the American soldiers in reference to Uncle Sam) and 48,000 other soldiers supported by 3,000 artillery pieces, more than 1,400 planes, and 300 tanks pushed back the 60,000 Germans and Austrians who occupied this part of the front.

The success, however, was facilitated by the withdrawal of the German army. The Sammies captured 15,000 prisoners, 750 machine guns, and 443 cannons, but lost 7,000 men.

The second operation was the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which was conducted from September 26 to November 11, 1918.

400,000 American soldiers supported by 2,800 cannons, 400 tanks, and more than 800 aircraft regrouped against the German positions established from the Argonne massif to the left bank of the Meuse River.

Due to German resistance and logistical problems, the American progression remained slow until the end of October 1918.

During this operation, the American army lost 26,000 men, and nearly a hundred were wounded.

US soldiers writing messages in the trenches of France in 1918.
US soldiers writing messages in the trenches of France in 1918.
African-American unit of the US Army on the march to Verdun.
African-American unit of the US Army on the march to Verdun.
US troops near Suippes on July 17, 1918.
US troops near Suippes on July 17, 1918.

Discover other sites of memory

And more information...

Back to all topics