Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Following the successful Amiens and Albert offensives Marshal Ferdinand Foch decided to order an attack at Meuse-Argonne in an attempt to cut-off the entire German Second Army. General John Pershing was given overall command of the operation and American Expeditionary Force (AEF) was given the main attacking role. Colonel George Marshall, had the difficult task of bringing 400,000 troops from the successful St Mihiel campaign to take part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive on 26th September, 1918.

The US First Army, led by General Hunter Liggett, used more than 300 tanks in the offensive. The advance was supported by General William Mitchell and 500 aircraft from the United States Air Service. Two-thirds of the soldiers involved in the advance had just arrived from St Mihiel and the exhausted troops only advanced 3km along a 64km front on the first day. Progress remained slow and the offensive eventually came to a halt on 30th September.

The Meuse-Argonne offensive was resumed on 4th October. The German Army, many suffering from the influenza epidemic, held on until 4th November when they began to retreat. Fresh US troops were moved to the front and had advanced 32km when the Armistice was announced.