Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day 92, April 28

The troops of the AEF were made up of a comparatively small number of regular soldiers and Marines, large numbers of National Guard soldiers, and an even greater number of Americans drafted into the armed forces.

 By the fall of 1918, the AEF numbered 43 infantry divisions in France. At the time of the Armistice, a total of 8 Regular Army, 17 National Guard, and 18 National Army divisions had arrived in France. Americans of the AEF would fight in France with much of their heavy equipment – artillery, tanks and aircraft – furnished by the France and Britain.

As the AEF built up its strength through the first months of 1918, American troops in France went into the front lines in "quiet" sectors to gain combat experience. Some troops fought under British and French command, though General John "Blackjack" Pershing, Commander of the AEF, was determined that American troops in France would fight as a homogenous army.

 By the spring of 1918, the AEF began to take part in heavy fighting on the Western Front. Major battles fought by American Doughboys in France included Cantigny, Belleau Wood, St. Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

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