Military History essay - Essay Prowess

Military History essay

Introduction

Meuse-Argonne Offensive was one of the last battles during the First World War spearheaded by the allied forces. It took place during forty-seven days in the Western front from 26 September to 11 November, 1918. The allied forces launched an offensive against the Germans in the Argonne Forest and alonghg the Meuse River. The battle was very significant in the military history of the United States because it involved more than 1 million American soldiers[1]. In addition, it significantly contributed to the end of the World War One through the Hundred Days Offensive. Colonel George Marshall was the head of American logistics during this war. The American Expeditionary Forces worked in close collaboration with Allied forces such as France and Britain. They were engaging the German forces. It was a very complex offensive that involved many ground forces of the American Expeditionary Forces fighting on the hilly and rough terrain the Germans had fortified for several years[2]. The main aim of the battle was to seize the railway hub of the Sedan City. The latter was strategic object during the war and it facilitated the destruction of the railway network which supported the German forces in Flanders and France. Moreover, it compelled the German army to withdraw from the occupied regions and ultimately led to the end of First World War.

Since the Germans were defeated in the battle of St. Mihiel, they were determined to win in Argonne. The four-track railway strategically helped their forces, especially the army in the north. At the beginning of 1918, both German and Allied forces were on their final mile of the strength. Germany high commander Erich Ludendorff  changed his forces to the western front. The German forces had its 35 divisions strategically positioned for a great offensive towards French capital, Paris[3]. The German forces had a lot of experience due to the long period of war and applied new tactics. Subsequently, they realized huge gains that they had not accomplished since 1914. They easily defeated the French armies who were in complete retreat across the Allied lines[4]. The German soldiers initiated offensive towards Paris.

The American involvement in the Meuse-Argonne had substantial effects on the allies. They facilitated the breaking up of the German lines of defense in the Western Front. Most notably, what the allied forces attempted to achieve in about four years during the First World War, the American forces succeeded in only two months[5]. Therefore, the American Expeditionary forces were a useful tool for the allied forces against the Germans on the Western Front.

Initially, the American Expeditionary Forces were engaged in the battle of the St. Mihiel Salient and they later took part in Meuse-Argonne offensive. The battle of Meuse-Argonne forced the German troops to surrender on November 11. The underlying factor that contributed to the success of the Allied forces at the Albert and Amiens increased their morale to fight in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Approximately 37 American and French army divisions launched the attacks. The US First Army had 15 divisions prior to October 16[6]. The French and the American force contributions were remarkable in the war. Many of the European allies provided heavy equipment such as aircraft, artillery, and tanks. In the Meuse-Argonne there were 840 aircrafts, 380 tanks, and 2780 artillery pieces. The Americans and the French forces introduced reinforcements as the war progressed. Consequently, more than 22 divisions of the American forces were involved in the war. The allied Supreme commander during the First World War Ferdinard Foch asked General John Pershing to assume the command of the offensive[7]. The American expeditionary forces, therefore, were under the command of General Pershings and he conducted the attack.

During the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the divisions of Germany produced 50 percent of their initial strength during the St. Mihiel battle. In the 117th German division there were only 3 300 soldiers. German forces had bad morale as some of the forces had high morale while others had poor[8]. The offensive involved approximately 400 000 German soldiers under Georg von der Marrwitz.

The war zone had a harsh terrain which made it difficult for the transportation of more than 400 000 U.S soldiers during the battle at St Mihiel. The latter began ten days prior to the launch of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. The initial bombardment used about 800 phosgene and mustard gas shells[9]. In addition, it killed more than 270 German troops and injured approximately 10 000. The allied forces used 500 aircraft and

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