After a bitter debate over how best to use American troops in World War I, it was determined that they would serve under General John J. Pershing but accept the final strategic authority from the Allied Supreme Commander, Marshall Ferdinand Foch of France. Initially, American troops were used piecemeal to plug up holes and to drive Germans back when possible. By 1918, American troops were fully engaged. They secured their first victory at Cantigny, just north of Paris, in May. They suffered terrible losses in June at Belleau Wood, but still claimed victory.
The real turning point came at the second Battle of the Marne, in July, where the combined efforts of the French, British, Italians, and Americans counteracted the German offensive and drove the Germans eastward. Notably, Americans soldiers, fresh to the war effort and not weighed down by years of fighting, provided a decisive edge. In the fall of 1918, Pershing lost over 100,000 men as he and the other Allied leaders continued to push the Germans back. By October 1918, Americans were behind German lines cutting supply lines, and in November 1918, Germany surrendered.
Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper in which you describe the specific role played by American troops in the Second Battle of the Marne and in the months that followed between the battle and the German surrender in November 1918.
Include the following points in your paper:
- Analysis of the role played by American troops in the Second Battle of the Marne and subsequent engagements with the Germans
- Discussion of weaponry used by soldiers in World War I, including but not limited to bayonets, flamethrowers, machine guns, pistols, mustard gas, rifles, tanks and trench mortars
- Discussion of the soldier’s experience, including but not limited to fighting in the trenches, the smell, boredom, lice, rats, food, common injuries, and battlefield engagement