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Meuse–Argonne offensive

Military campaign during World War I / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Meuse–Argonne offensive (also known as the Meuse River–Argonne Forest offensive,[6] the Battles of the Meuse–Argonne, and the Meuse–Argonne campaign) was a major part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire Western Front. It was fought from September 26, 1918, until the Armistice of November 11, 1918, a total of 47 days. The Meuse–Argonne offensive was the largest in United States military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers. It is also the deadliest battle in the history of the United States Army, resulting in over 350,000 casualties, including 28,000 German lives, 26,277 American lives and an unknown number of French lives. American losses were worsened by the inexperience of many of the troops, the tactics used during the early phases of the operation and the widespread onset of the global influenza outbreak called the "Spanish flu".

Meuse–Argonne offensive
Part of the Western Front and Hundred Days Offensive of World War I
An American gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, 2nd Division, firing 37mm gun during an advance against German entrenched positions.
DateSeptember 26 – November 11, 1918
Near Montfaucon, northwest of Verdun (present-day Grand Est region), France
49°16′21″N 5°08′31″E

Allied victory

  • French forces advance 32km and liberate Le Chesne and Sedan
  • American forces advance 16 km
Flag_of_France_%281794%E2%80%931815%2C_1830%E2%80%931974%29.svg France
Flag_of_the_United_States_%281912-1959%29.svg United States
Thailand Siam[1]
Flag_of_Germany_%281867%E2%80%931918%29.svg Germany
Commanders and leaders
French Third Republic Ferdinand Foch
French Third Republic Paul Maistre
United States John J. Pershing
French Third Republic Henri Gouraud
French Third Republic Henri Berthelot
United States Hunter Liggett
United States Robert Bullard
German Empire Paul von Hindenburg
German Empire Erich Ludendorff
German Empire Wilhelm of Prussia
German Empire Max von Gallwitz
German Empire Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg
Units involved

French Third Republic Army Group Centre

United States American Expeditionary Forces

Flag_of_the_Siamese_Expeditionary_Force_in_World_War_I_%28Obverse%29.svg Siamese Expeditionary Forces[1]
German Empire Army Group German Crown Prince
German Empire Army Group Gallwitz
German Empire Army Group Duke Albrecht
United StatesFrench Third Republic: 1,200,000 personnel[2]
380 tanks
840 planes
2,780 artillery pieces
Flag_of_the_Siamese_Expeditionary_Force_in_World_War_I_%28Obverse%29.svg: 850 personnel[1]
450,000 personnel
Casualties and losses
Total: 192,000[3]

United States: 122,063
26,277 killed
95,786 wounded
French Third Republic: 70,000 casualties
Flag_of_the_Siamese_Expeditionary_Force_in_World_War_I_%28Obverse%29.svg: 19 dead[1]
Total: c. 126,000[4]
28,000 dead
42,000 wounded
26,000 POWs taken by Americans
30,000 POWs taken by French
874 artillery pieces captured by both[5]
Meuse-Argonne American Memorial is located in France
Meuse-Argonne American Memorial
Meuse-Argonne American Memorial
Location within France

The offensive was the principal engagement of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I. It was one of a series of Allied attacks, known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which brought the war to an end. It was the largest and bloodiest operation of World War I for the AEF even though, given the scale of other battles on the Western Front, its size was limited and the operation itself secondary, being far from the main offensive axis.