Essay about The St. Mihiel Offensive
The St. Mihiel Offensive began on September 12, 1918. It was the first operation of World War I performed and commanded solely by an American Army. The whole idea of the operation was to reduce the size of the German salient, a part of their battle line that jutted out towards allied territories. Though delayed at first by other occurring battles, the operation began on August 10, 1918 when the American First Army headquarters was set up.
August 30, 1918, the First Army, under the direction of General Pershing took command of the battle front between Port sur Sielle and Verdun (see Map 1). The battle line ran from East of Verdun, South to St. Mihiel and turned West to Port sur Sielle (see Map 1). The Area itself …show more content…
“I can no longer agree to any plan which involves the depression of our units....Briefly, our officers and soldiers alike are, after one experience, are no longer willing to be incorporated in other armies....The danger of destroying by such depression the fine morale of the American Soldier is too great.”1
550,000 Americans and 110,000 French were involved in this offensive. The amount of tanks and aircraft desired by the American force for an operation of this size was, very much lacking, so the majority of the tanks and aircraft were brought in by the French. Yet some of the French equipment was to be manned by Americans. By the start of the battle there were in the area, 1,481 aircraft, 3,000 artillery pieces and 3,300,000 artillery rounds.2 Finally after weeks of planning, the American First Army was ready.
At nightfall on September 11, infantrymen along with tanks and all other equipment, began to make their way to the front line. Once arrived, the Americans noticed no visible sign of life from the German trenches. 0100 hours, the sky was lit by friendly artillery fire, with the intent to soften the area, and make the advance as easy as possible. The shelling lasted until 0500 hours, at which time the IV Corps stormed Montsec (see Map 2).
While making their way