Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood 1918: The AEF's Baptism of Fire on the Marne

Overview

In March 1918 of World War I (1914-1918), the Germans had successfully pushed the frontline to within 120km of Paris; the town of Chateau Thierry marking the tip of German advance. Nevertheless, in a daring counter-offensive on June 3, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) reinforced the French and threw the Germans back across the Marne River.

Exhilarated by this success, the 2d Marine Division was tasked with taking the strategically significant Belleau Wood. On the Marines ...

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Château Thierry & Belleau Wood 1918: America's baptism of fire on the Marne

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Overview

In March 1918 of World War I (1914-1918), the Germans had successfully pushed the frontline to within 120km of Paris; the town of Chateau Thierry marking the tip of German advance. Nevertheless, in a daring counter-offensive on June 3, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) reinforced the French and threw the Germans back across the Marne River.

Exhilarated by this success, the 2d Marine Division was tasked with taking the strategically significant Belleau Wood. On the Marines arrival the French were retreating in the face of the German onslaught, but the Marines defiantly declared "Retreat, hell! We just got here!" To take the wood the Marines marched through an exposed wheat field under fierce German fire, and suffered a staggering casualty rate.

The Marines, undaunted, reached the wood and bitterly struggled for 20 days, capturing and re-capturing it six times over, and finally securing the position against all odds, ending the last German offensive on the Western Front. The US forces suffered 9,777 casualties, took 1,800 German prisoners, and the wood was officially renamed Bois de la Brigade de Marine in honor of their courage and victory.

Discussing the strategy employed by the Allies and accompanied by original photographs and detailed maps, this book examines the two key battles that saw America's baptism of fire in World War I: Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Included in the recount are first-hand accounts, photos and maps - in both black and white and full color - lending to an outstanding survey for specialized, in-depth collections where World War I history is a focus." -Midwest Book Review

"This book makes you want to learn more about the initial American offensives of WWI... [it] is highly recommended for anyone interested in American's combat efforts in the First World War." -Indy Squadron Dispatch

"...is an excellent addition to the Osprey campaign series. It is recommended for readers who have interest in World War I as it covers the battles in question with superb descriptions and informative maps, pictures and color plates. Beyond the specific battles, the book covers the build up to the battles with pertinent insights into the makeup and goals of both sides as they approached the battle." -The Wargamer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846030345
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 1/30/2007
  • Series: Campaign Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 7.26 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

David Bonk is a lifelong student of military history and an historical miniatures wargamer. He has written for various wargaming publications, as well as the Osprey Military Journal. He is a member of the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society and served 6 years on the Board of Directors for that organization. He is very interested in the history of the American involvement in World War I and has been wargaming this period for some time. He lives in North Carolina. The author lives in North Carolina, USA.
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Table of Contents


Origins of the Campaign     7
Chronology     11
Opposing Commanders     12
American Commanders
German Commanders
Opposing Armies     15
The Americans
The Germans
The French
Orders of Battle
Opposing Plans     22
German Plans
American Plans
America Enters the War     24
First Blood
Cantigny
Operation Blucher
Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood     41
Chateau-Thierry
Belleau Wood
Hill 142
Attack on Belleau Wood
Vaux
Aftermath     91
The Battlefield Today     93
Bibliography     94
Index     95
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 21, 2009

    Americas first major battle of World War I and how the U.S. Marines got their nickname"The Devil Dogs"

    This book gives a comprehensive look into some major battles that the A.E.F.(U.S. ARMY AND U.S. MARINES)took part in during the spring/summer of 1918.It was during the fighting in Belleau Wood that the Germans called the U.S. Marines "the devil dogs",a nickname that they proudly carry with them even today.

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