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Title: The Americans in the Great War; v 1. The Second Battle of the Marne
Author: Michelin & Cie
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Americans in the Great War; v 1. The Second Battle of the Marne" ***

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                      MICHELIN ILLUSTRATED GUIDES
                    TO THE BATTLEFIELDS (1914-1918)

                             THE AMERICANS
                                IN THE
                               GREAT WAR

                               VOLUME I.
                    THE SECOND BATTLE OF THE MARNE
                 (CHÂTEAU-THIERRY, SOISSONS, FISMES.)

                   MICHELIN & Cie., CLERMONT=FERRAND
         MICHELIN TYRE Co. Ltd., 81 Fulham Road, LONDON, S. W.
             MICHELIN TIRE Co., MILLTOWN, N. J., U. S. A.


[Illustration: You don’t know what a =Good Road Map= is, if you haven’t
used the =Michelin Map=

Scale: 1:200,000 (3.15 Miles to the inch.)

On Sale at Michelin Stockists and Booksellers

The tourist finds his way about easily _in a town_, if he has a plan
giving the names of the streets.

He gets about with the same ease and certainty _on the road_, if he has
a =Michelin Map=, because it gives the numbers of all the roads.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Michelin Wheel

BEST of all detachable wheels because the least complicated

[Illustration]


_Elegant_

It embellishes even the finest coachwork.


_Simple_

It is detachable at the hub and fixed by six bolts only.


_Strong_

The only wheel which held out on all fronts during the war.


_Practical_

Can be replaced in 3 minutes by _anybody_ and cleaned still quicker.

It prolongs the life of tires by cooling them.

AND THE CHEAPEST

       *       *       *       *       *

THE “TOURING CLUB DE FRANCE”


WHAT IS IT? WHAT ARE ITS USES?

The “Touring Club de France” (founded in 1890), is at the present time
the largest Touring Association in the whole world. Its principal aim is
to introduce France--admirable country and one of the loveliest on
earth--to French people themselves and to foreigners.

It seeks to develop travel in all its forms, on foot, on horseback, on
bicycle, in carriage, motor, yacht, or railway, and soon in aeroplane.

Every member of the Association receives a badge and an identity ticket
free of charge, as also the “Revue Mensuelle” every month.

Members have also the benefit of special prices in a certain number of
affiliated hotels; and this holds good for the purchase of guide-books
and Staff (Etat-major) maps, as well as those of the “Ministère de
l’Intérieur,” the T. C. F., etc. They may insert notices regarding the
sale or purchase of traveling requisites, in the “Revue” (1 fr. per
line). The “Comité des Contentieux” is ready to give them counsel with
regard to traveling, and 3,000 delegates in all the principal towns are
able to give them advice and information about the curiosities of art or
of nature in the neighborhood, as well as concerning the roads, hotels,
motor-agents, garages, etc.

Members are accorded free passage across the frontier for a bicycle or
motor-bicycle. For a motor-car the Association gives a “Triptyque”
ensuring free passage through the “douane,” etc.


ONE TRAVELS BEST IN FRANCE WHEN A MEMBER OF THE “TOURING CLUB DE
FRANCE”


  +===========================================+
  |              IN MEMORY                    |
  | OF THE MICHELIN WORKMEN AND EMPLOYEES WHO |
  |   DIED GLORIOUSLY FOR THEIR COUNTRY       |
  +===========================================+



                             THE AMERICANS
                                IN THE
                               GREAT WAR

                               VOLUME I.

                    The Second Battle of The Marne

                  (CHÂTEAU-THIERRY, SOISSONS, FISMES)


                            _Published by_
              Michelin & Cie, Clermont-Ferrand, (France)

                  Copyright, 1920, by Michelin & Cie

       _All rights of translation, adaptation or reproduction
                    (in part or whole), reserved
                          in all countries._



FOREWORD


_When the United States of America declared war on Germany, it was not
known exactly what shape their intervention would take_--i.e., _if their
help would be limited to aiding the Allies financially and industrially
and tightening the blockade, or if they would take an active part in the
military operations. Opinions on this point were much divided, and if
many were in favour of an unrestricted participation in the war, others
were for a more moderate programme._

_When, at the beginning of April, 1917, President Wilson announced that
America’s help was to be unrestricted, the army of the United States
comprised some 9,000 officers and 200,000 men--a mere “drop in the
ocean,” as numbers go in modern warfare._

_Marshal Joffre’s visit to the United States aroused great enthusiasm;
the Conscription Bill was promptly passed, and the American War
Minister, Mr. Baker, and Marshal Joffre studied the organization and
transportation to France of a powerful expeditionary force._

_With wonderful rapidity recruits were raised, regiments formed, and
training camps built. French and British instructors co-operated
heartily, and, pending the creation of national war factories, France
equipped the first American army with her famous 75mm. guns, 155mm.
howitzers, machine-guns, etc._

_By March, 1918, the American Army had grown to more than 110,000
officers and 1,400,000 men, with sixteen immense training camps, besides
special technical schools and up-to-date aviation camps._

_When, on March 28, in the name of the American people, General Pershing
offered to place the whole of the forces under his command at the
disposal of Marshal Foch, who had just been made “Generalissimo of the
Allied Armies,” part of the new American army had already landed in
France, and several divisions were facing the enemy on the Lorraine
front._

_Meanwhile, the American Army continued to grow apace. In August,
thirty-two divisions of fighting troops, besides the staffs of the
non-combatant services--in all, more than 1,300,000 men--had landed in
France. In October this number had swelled to 1,700,000, while more than
2,000,000 men were training in American camps._

_The German U-boats failed to check America’s gigantic effort for the
“New Crusade,” and each month 250,000 American soldiers reached France,
with their arms, equipment, and baggage. It was estimated that in 1919
the American forces in the field would be numerically equal to the
entire German army._

_The victorious termination of the war prevented this formidable
American army from demonstrating its full strength, but that portion
which took part in the fighting gave ample proof of its mettle._

_Long before the United States declared war, American Red Cross and
aviation volunteers had proved the fine qualities of the American
soldier. The expectations of the Allies were fulfilled; wherever they
fought the American expeditionary forces gave a good account of
themselves._ “We have come to kill and be killed, so let’s go ahead,”
_declared Generals Pershing and Bliss when, on March 28, they gallantly
offered to lead their troops into battle. And it is a fact that their
men did “go ahead” with a fine contempt for death._



THE SECOND BATTLE OF THE MARNE

(MAY-AUGUST, 1918)


The Causes of the German Offensive of May, 1918.

The two great German offensives of March and April both failed, despite
their extreme violence and the fact that the Allies were taken by
surprise. Neither Amiens on the Somme, nor Béthune and Ypres in the
north had fallen. Although in the course of these two offensives not
less than 152 German divisions had been thrown into battle, the enemy
failed to pierce the Allies’ front or break down their resistance.

During the offensive against the British front, French reinforcements
were brought up much sooner than the Germans expected. Moreover, the
battles of March and April gave the Allies the decisive advantage of
unity of command. To Marshal Foch was entrusted the co-ordination of the
Allied forces in the last act of the great drama, which was to see the
downfall of Ludendorff and Hindenburg.

To calm public opinion at home, where the people were clamouring ever
louder for that victorious peace so often promised, the Germans were
forced to make another attempt, and it was considered necessary to act
promptly while they still had numerical superiority--owing to Russia’s
defection--and win the final decision before the American intervention
could make itself fully felt.

Before attacking the British again, Ludendorff attempted to draw the
French reserves southwards, his plan being to wear them down and then
settle with the British alone. Hence the attack of May 27 on the Aisne
front, which was powerfully organised on the German side owing to the
great advantage they possessed in being able to bring up rapidly their
heavy artillery from the Somme. Moreover, the ground was familiar to the
enemy, who likewise knew that this part of the Allies’ front was only
weakly held. The Allies’ reserves being insufficient to cover the entire
front, and considering that the German offensive might be launched
against either the Lys, the Somme, the Oise, or the Aisne fronts, Foch
had concentrated his forces at the vitally important points covering
Paris, the channel ports, and other positions less easy to defend than
the Chemin-des-Dames.


THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE OF MAY 27, 1918.

The Plan of Attack.

On May 19, the enemy began their concentration, taking every conceivable
care and precaution. Most of their divisions reached the front by night
marches. The wheels of the gun-carriages and other vehicles, as also the
hoofs of the horses, were muffled.

Forty-two divisions under Generals von Boehn (7th Army) and Von Below
(1st Army) were concentrated between Pontoise and Berry-au-Bac and
between Berry-au-Bac and Rheims. In the centre, where their principal
effort was to be made, the Germans massed twenty-eight divisions of
picked storm-troops trained in the new methods of attack. Of these
twenty-eight divisions twenty-three previously formed part of General
Von Hutier’s famous “Army of Attack” which, in March, had broken through
the front of the Fifth British Army on the Somme. Since the middle of
April, all the picked divisions, except two, had been sent to the rear
and intensively trained in view of the coming attack. All the first-line
divisions, fifteen in number, knew the ground of the sector of attack,
having fought there in 1917. The objective of some of them was the same
as in the Battle of the Chemin-des-Dames in 1917.

[Illustration: THE OPPOSING FORCES DURING THE]

From June 5, five more divisions were engaged, making a total of
forty-seven divisions, or the equivalent of about sixty French divisions
(German regiments having three more companies than French regiments, and
divisions one more regiment). The enemy order of battle between the Oise
and Rheims on May 27, extended along three zones of attack--a central
zone, from Leuilly to Berry-au-Bac, which was the principal sector of
attack, and two secondary zones on the wings--between Pontoise and
Leuilly to the west and between Berry-au-Bac and Rheims to the east.

[Illustration: GERMAN ATTACK OF MAY 27, 1918.]

The plan of attack was similar to that adopted in the Battle of the
Somme. Each division had two regiments in the first line and one in
reserve. Each leading regiment had two battalions side by side in deep
echelon formation, with one supporting battalion. Battalions of
storm-troops, liquid-fire companies, independent detachments of
machine-gunners, companies of cyclists and mountain battalions were
added to each division.

Each regiment was provided with numerous heavy and light machine-guns,
mine-throwers, and accompanying guns. An idea of the huge numbers of the
latter may be gained from the fact that sixty-eight batteries of four
guns each were counted in two regiments.

The infantry attack was prepared and supported by a formidable
concentration of guns of all calibres. The artillery of the 7th German
Army on the Leuilly--Berry-au-Bac front was estimated at 1,450
batteries--_i.e._ fifty batteries per mile, of which twenty supported
the infantry. This artillery concentration greatly exceeded that of the
preceding German offensives of 1917 and 1918.

[Illustration: THE GERMAN ADVANCE ON MAY 27 AND 28.]


The Break-through.

The opposing Allied forces were much smaller. From Pinon to Craonnelle
the front was held by the 30th and 11th French Corps (6th Army, General
Duchesne) with head-quarters at Tartiers and Braine respectively. The
sector from Craonnelle to the outskirts of Rheims was held by the Ninth
British Corps which had been placed at the disposal of General Micheler,
commanding the French 5th Army. Rheims was held by the 1st French
Colonials, in _liaison_ on the left with the French 45th Division
forming the British right wing. Most of these troops had already been
engaged in the big battles of March and April.

After a terrifically intense artillery preparation which began at
midnight and included great quantities of gas-shells, the German
infantry rushed forward between 3.30 and 4 a.m., preceded by a powerful
creeping barrage and, in places, by tanks. The surprise was complete.
The French stood the bombardment heroically and made a desperate
resistance. Near Laffaux, the 21st (Territorial) Regiment fought to the
last man rather than fall back. However, in spite of heroic resistance
and heavy sacrifices, the German onrush bore down the Allies by sheer
weight of numbers.

To the west, a German corps with a division of reserves outflanked Pinon
Wood and converged towards Laffaux Plateau, but were unable to reach the
Aisne, whilst another corps gained a footing on the Chemin-des-Dames and
advanced slowly towards Vailly. In the centre, where the attack was more
furious and powerful, the enemy advanced rapidly, reaching the Aisne
before 11 a.m., between Chavonne and Concevreux. Another corps reached
the river in the morning, between Concevreux and Berry-au-Bac. To the
east, a third corps attacked from north to south and maintained its
positions level with those of the neighbouring corps on the right.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the afternoon, the advance continued south of the Aisne, being more
rapid in the centre than on the wings. The River Vesle was reached
towards 7.30 p.m. in the neighbourhood of Bazoches and Magneux, Fismes,
and Braine fell into the hands of the enemy.

       *       *       *       *       *

By the evening of the 27th it was known that German first-line divisions
alone had been engaged and that they had advanced from nine to twelve
miles in the centre without excessive casualties, driving back the 11th
French and 9th British Corps, which had fought with the greatest courage
and determination in an endeavour to make up for their deficiency in
numbers by superhuman bravery and endurance. The 64th Infantry Regiment
in particular covered itself with glory.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 28th, at day-break, the Germans resumed their attacks with
increased vigour, especially on the wings, where their success on the
previous day had been less marked. To the west, the 30th French Corps,
which had suffered heavily on the 27th, was reinforced by fresh
divisions, with orders to cover Soissons, which was in danger of being
encircled. This corps succeeded in checking the enemy to the north, on
the Cuffiès-Crouy-Bucy-le-Long line, but on the right the Germans
crossed the Vesle during the night, driving a wedge into the Murton
Valley and advancing eastwards towards Soissons. Some of their advanced
detachments reached the town, but were immediately driven out.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the centre, the 11th Corps was again compelled to fall back;
Mont-Notre-Dame, Bruys and Dôle Woods were taken by the enemy, who
reached Loupeigne.

       *       *       *       *       *

To the east, the fighting was also bitter. The British 9th Corps lost
the Saint-Thierry Hills and fell back, especially on the left, where the
Germans, advancing beyond the Ardre, got a footing on the tablelands to
the north of Arcis-le-Ponsart.

       *       *       *       *       *

However, the French 21st Corps (General Degoutte) came to the rescue and
on the extreme right, Colonials and Algerian troops of the 45th Division
prevented the enemy crossing the Vesle, west of Rheims.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Germans, whose casualties were heavy, had been compelled to engage
their second-line divisions.

[Illustration: GENERAL DEGOUTTE.]

[Illustration: THE GERMAN ADVANCE FROM MAY 29 TO 31.]


The Attack on the Wings.--The Race to the Marne.

The Kaiser, the Crown Prince, Hindenburg and Ludendorff held a war
council on the evening of the 28th, and in view of the results obtained,
altered the original plans. The battle, which was to have been merely a
diversion, previous to a general attack on the British front, was now to
form the principal offensive. Ludendorff accordingly ordered the attack
to be pushed vigorously on the wings and to exploit to the full the
success in the centre, in order to reach the Marne as rapidly as
possible and cut the Paris-Châlons-Nancy Railway.

From the 29th onwards, the battle developed. On the right wing, the
French divisions, which defended Soissons from the north, were
overwhelmed and compelled to fall back westwards without, however,
abandoning Cuffiès. Soissons, unprotected and in flames, was entered by
the enemy after fierce street fighting, in which they sustained heavy
losses. The Moroccan Division, which had arrived in the neighbourhood of
Chaudun at noon, was immediately sent to the western outskirts of
Soissons and along the Crise, in support of what remained of the
first-lines. Fresh divisions were also brought up to the south-east of
the town, with orders to check the German push at all cost, which they
did to the last man. The 9th Battalion of Chasseurs (4th Division, to
quote one example only) resisted heroically at Hartennes and Taux, in
which region the Germans were unable to make appreciable progress. In
the centre, the enemy’s effort southwards enabled two of their corps to
reach Fère-en-Tardenois and advance beyond that town.

Further to the east, they continued to advance along the Valley of the
Ardre. Driving back the 45th Division and the Colonials who were
defending the Vesle, they reached the Gueux-Tramery front-line in the
evening. Rheims was still covered by the impregnable “La Neuvillette”
lines.

Early in the morning of May 30, the enemy, supported by masses of
artillery, attacked to the west and south of Soissons towards
Villers-Cotterets Wood. North of the Aisne, where the 170th Division,
astride of the river, resisted the enemy’s furious assaults, progress
was insignificant.

On their right, the Moroccan Division on the Mercin-Lechelle front
resisted stubbornly, as usual. On the Montagne-de-Paris Hill, the
Foreign Legion stood firm. Zouaves and Algerian Tirailleurs, after
desperate indecisive fighting, which lasted until nightfall, succeeded
in checking the enemy on the Chaudun-Chazelle-Vierzy line.

Further to the south, at Plessier-Huleu, the Chasseurs of the 4th
Division stubbornly opposed the German advance which was very slow in
this region, thanks to the bravery and self-sacrifice of this division.
It was only with the greatest difficulty that the enemy advanced between
Parcy-Tigny and Grand-Rozoy, occupying Oulchy-le-Château after very hard
fighting.

In the centre, the Germans who had just been reinforced, were racing
towards the Marne. The first division to reach the river arrived at
about 2 p.m., the next at about 6 p.m., then pushed on towards
Château-Thierry, where the 10th Colonials (General Marchand) were just
organising the defence of the town. To the east of the salient thus
formed, the French front extended along the Verneuil-Ville-en-Tardenois
line, whence it linked up with the Janvry and Gueux positions.

The resistance of the French stiffened and became increasingly
effective. Ever on the watch, General Pétain, with that shrewd
discernment of which he had given numberless proofs since the Battle of
Verdun, realised that this was not a mere enemy feint, and brought up
reinforcements. Meanwhile, the Germans continued to engage their
reserves in the battle.

North of the Aisne the Germans succeeded in clearing the approaches to
Soissons as far as Courtil. On the south of the river, the Moroccan
Division held their ground until noon without flinching, and took part
in the counter-offensive by the 35th and 51st Divisions, which
re-occupied Courmelles and the banks of the Crise. However, at
night-fall, the Germans counter-attacked violently and forced them
slightly back westwards.

Lower down, the enemy progressed along the Ourcq Valley beyond
Neuilly-Saint-Front and approached Villers-Cotterets Wood, the outskirts
of which were stubbornly defended by the 2nd Cavalry Corps, fighting on
foot with the infantry.

To the south, the Germans made a dash for Château-Thierry, where they
were decimated by the 33rd Colonials fighting in the streets. Reaching
the Marne at Dormans and Vincelles, they approached Verneuil.

The enemy progressed slightly in the immediate vicinity of Rheims and
reached the line Saint-Brice-Ormes-Bligny. Fighting took place in the
suburbs near Tinqueux.

[Illustration: GENERAL BERTHELOT.]

[Illustration: THE GERMAN ADVANCE FROM JUNE 1 TO 5 (_between the two
continuous black lines_).]


The Westward Push.

On the evening of May 31, the German High Command held a new war
council, at which the Kaiser and Hindenburg declared in favour of the
continuance of the offensive. The push towards the Marne having absorbed
all the reserves of the corps engaged in the centre and to the east, the
enemy were unable to increase their efforts in the region of
Château-Thierry, where the French reserves were arriving in great
numbers. They therefore decided to push westwards.

Attacking at midnight, the enemy met with but little success in the
region of Soissons, but to the south-west of the town, where they still
had large reserves, they reached the Savières Stream and the
Dammard-Hautevesnes-Bussiares-Etrepilly line on the evening of June 1.
The 7th and 11th French Corps and the 2nd Cavalry Corps
counter-attacked, and made the enemy pay dearly for their advance in
this region.

On the same day, the Germans carried the northern side of
Château-Thierry, defended to the last by the French Colonial Division
(General Marchand) and the motorised machine-gun battalion of the 3rd
American Division which, later, prevented them from crossing the Marne.

On the east, the fighting was less fierce, but the 120th Division
(General Mordacq), in defending the wooded slopes in front of Cuchery,
sustained very bitter fighting. At the end of the line the Colonials
prevented any enemy advance in the direction of Rheims.

On June 2 the enemy’s plan was made clear. While their principal efforts
were directed westwards, south of the Aisne they reached Missy-aux-Bois,
and lower down heavy fighting took place in the afternoon on both banks
of the Ourcq. French cavalry, fighting on foot, drove back the enemy
with fine dash to the south of Dammard, but were compelled to fall back
in the evening, the enemy having received reinforcements.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 3rd the Germans launched a general attack against the
Villers-Cotterets Wood, between the Aisne and the Ourcq. All their
available reserves (three divisions of fresh troops) attacked with the
first-line divisions. To the north, they carried Missy-aux-Bois and
progressed beyond it, and after sustaining very heavy casualties reached
Amblény and Dommiers, where they were checked by French reinforcements.
Lower down, they reached Longpont, and advancing along the Ourcq, south
of the wood, progressed towards La Ferté-Milon _via_ Troësnes.
In the evening, after heavy losses, they were held up on the
Montaigu-Dommiers-Longpont line, thus leaving Villers-Cotterets Woods
still intact.

[Illustration: GENERAL FOCH (_on the left_) AND GENERAL FAYOLLE (_on
the right_).]

On June 4, the fighting was less fierce. Combats still took place, but
they had neither the scope nor the strategical importance of those of
the preceding days.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Crown Prince’s Army was now exhausted. On June 5, this army from the
Oise to La Pompelle numbered thirty-four first-line divisions. All its
reserves had been engaged, with the exception of seven divisions, of
which two were inferior troops and two fairly good. Eight divisions had
been withdrawn from the battle.

From June 5 onwards, enemy action was purely local, the Germans being
often compelled to defend themselves against French counter-attacks. To
the north, the Moroccan Division recaptured the Amblény positions by
night. Hard fighting continued all along the Savières Stream, from
Troësnes to Longpont, where the French recovered part of the lost
ground, and to the north-west of Château-Thierry on the
Dammard-Veuilly-la-Poterie-Belleau-Bouresches line, where the American
troops, co-operating with French divisions, gave signal proofs of their
courage and determination. On June 10, the 2nd American Division
recaptured Belleau Wood. Furious combats took place on the Mountain of
Rheims and in the neighbourhood of Bligny, Champlat, Sainte-Euphraise
and Vrigny, where French, British and Italian troops vigorously resisted
the German push.


American Units Engaged from June 1 to 10, 1918.

=2nd Division= =Major-General Omar Bundy.=

comprising:

  _3rd Infantry Brigade_                   _Brig.-Gen. E. M. Lewis_
  _4th_    “        “     (_Marines_)        “    “   _James G. Harbord_
  _2nd Artillery_                            “    “   _Chamberlaine_

This division was engaged west of Château-Thierry and opposite Belleau
Wood.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL OMAR BUNDY.

Commanding the 2nd Division.]


Mentioned in the French Army Order of the Day.

=4th Infantry Brigade= (=Marines=): “_Thrown into the thick of the battle in
a sector violently attacked by the enemy, gave immediate proof of
first-class fighting qualities. In liaison with French troops, this
Brigade broke up a powerful German attack at a very important point of
the position and afterwards carried out a series of attacks. Thanks to
the bravery, fighting spirit and tenacity of the men, who stoically bore
fatigue and losses, thanks also to the activity and energy of the
officers, as also to the personal influence of its commander, General J.
Harbord, the efforts of the 4th Brigade were entirely successful. Acting
in close co-operation, the two regiments and machine-gun battalion of
the Brigade advanced from 1,500 to 2,000 yards on a 2-1/2-mile front,
after twelve days of incessant fighting (from June 2 to 13, 1918), over
very difficult ground, capturing a large quantity of material and 500
prisoners, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy, and carrying two very
important positions, the village of Bouresches and the fortified Belleau
Wood._”

=3rd Division= =Major-General Joseph T. Dickman.=

comprising:

  _5th Infantry Brigade_    _Brig.-Gen. Fred W. Sladen_
  _6th_    “       “          “    “   _C. Crawford_
  _3rd Artillery_  “        _Colonel Wm. M. Cruikshank_

This division was engaged south of the Marne from Château-Thierry to
Dormans.


Mentioned in the French Army Order of the Day.

=7th American Machine-Gun Battalion=: “_Prevented the enemy from crossing
the Marne. In the course of violent combats, particularly on May 31 and
June 1, this battalion disputed the northern suburbs of Château-Thierry
foot by foot, inflicted severe losses on the enemy, and covered itself
with glory by its bravery and ability._”

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL JOSEPH T. DICKMAN.

Commanding the 3rd Division.]


The German Offensive of June 12 and 18, against the Villers-Cotterets
and Rheims Salients.

The two flanks of the “pocket” which the German Offensive of May 27 had
made, _i.e._ the Aisne salient around the Woods of Laigue, Compiègne,
and Villers-Cotterets; and the Rheims salient backed by the Rheims
Mountain, formed both an obstacle and a menace to the Germans, who
accordingly decided to take them at all cost.

The Aisne salient was attacked first. From June 9 to 11, Von Hutier’s
Army tried to break through from the north, but failed after
endeavouring in vain to take Compiègne.

On June 12, an attack was made against the other side of the Aisne
salient. After an exceedingly intense artillery preparation, which began
at 2.30 a.m. and levelled the French lines, the enemy attacked in great
force to the north and north-east of the Villers-Cotterets Wood along
the Retz Stream.

[Illustration: FROM JUNE 9 (9/6) TO JUNE 18 (18/6) THE GERMANS
UNSUCCESSFULLY ATTACKED THE AISNE AND RHEIMS SALIENTS.

_The Aisne Salient covered Compiègne and the road to Paris. The Rheims
Salient covered the left wing of the Army of Champagne._]

To the north, along the Aisne, in the neighbourhood of Amblény, the
Germans, despite very heavy losses, were unable to make progress, being
held in check by the Moroccan Division. To the south, in the region of
Longpont and Corey, they advanced only 400 to 500 yards. In the centre,
where the principal effort was being made, they succeeded, by means of
violent bombardments, in driving the French from the plateau, west of
Retz Ravine and, after capturing Cœuvres, St. Pierre-Aigle, and
Vertes-Feuilles Farm, progressed in the direction of Montgobert. On the
13th, they entered Laversine, but could neither debouch from Cœuvres
nor advance west of Vertes-Feuilles Farm. Once again they had failed.

On the 15th, a spirited French counter-attack cleared the Retz stream,
recaptured Cœuvres, and advanced the French line to the east of
Montgobert, the outskirts of Chaffosse and to the west of Chavigny.

The enemy unsuccessfully attacked the Rheims salient on June 18, from
Vrigny to La Pompelle (see the Michelin Guide: “Rheims and the Battles
for its possession”).


The German Peace Offensive (“Friedensturm”) of July 15.

The Germans, desirous of an early decision and hypnotised once again by
the vision of Paris--threatened on the north from the Oise Valley and on
the east from the Ourcq and Marne Valleys--decided on a new and still
more powerful offensive, which they named the “Friedensturm” or “Peace
Battle.”

The collapse of this offensive--final turning point of the war--was all
the more striking in that it was conceived and executed on truly
“kolossal” lines. The enemy attacked on a front still wider than that of
the Marne, extending from Château-Thierry to Massiges on the outskirts
of Argonne, and measuring fifty-four miles in length. (For particulars
of the Battle of Champagne, see the Michelin Guide: “Champagne and
Argonne.” French edition.)

By a frontal attack, Ludendorff aimed at separating the Allied Armies of
the north from those of the east, by outflanking Verdun (_via_ St.
Menehould and the upper Aisne Valley) on the one hand, and Rheims and
the Mountain of Rheims (_via_ the Marne Valley) on the other hand.

[Illustration: WHAT THE GERMANS EXPECTED FROM THEIR “FRIEDENSTURM.”]

Once this result obtained, the Germans would then march on Paris, which
would be unable to make a prolonged resistance. It was a re-staging of
Von Moltke’s dream, four years after the first Battle of the Marne!

To carry out this ambitious scheme, the enemy concentrated all the means
at their disposal in a supreme effort to snatch the victory. For a month
formidable quantities of tanks, storm-troops and batteries of heavy and
light artillery were concentrated. Ammunition depots were accumulated
right up to the first lines, and huge quantities of bridge-building
material collected. All these preparations were made at night, the
minutest care and every possible precaution being taken to ensure
secrecy.

Between Château-Thierry and Rheims the German aim was two-fold; firstly,
to cross the Marne and march southwards towards Montmirail and the Petit
Morin Valley, and secondly, to follow the river eastwards and attack
Epernay. The objectives for the first day were Epernay and points five
to six miles south of the Marne.

Before July 15, the enemy had seven divisions on the front of attack, to
which seven others were now added. On the Mountain of Rheims and on the
Marne, in the first line and in reserve, he had about thirty divisions
all told, including several of the most famous, _e.g._ the 1st and 2nd
Guards, 200th Chasseurs, etc.

On the Marne front the line of attack extended from Chartèves to Vrigny.

Despite the enemy’s minute precautions, the French were not taken
unawares. Thanks to their Intelligence Department and Aerial
Reconnoitring Service, the exact time and extent of the coming offensive
were known.

The artillery preparation began about midnight, the hour of attack
varying, from west to east, from 1.20 a.m., south of the Marne, to 4.20
a.m. at Chaumuzy.

During the night, the Germans had thrown bridges and pontoons across the
river, the two largest (25 to 30 feet in width) between Treloup and
Dormans, others in front of Courthiézy, Reuilly, Soilly, Chartèves, Mézy
and Jaulgonne. In spite of the dense smoke screens, these bridges were
promptly discovered by the Allied aviators who, bombing from a low
altitude, destroyed several of them, men and convoys being thrown into
the river. They also raked with machine-gun fire the German troops which
debouched on the southern bank of the river. In one day (the 15th)
French, British and American air-squadrons dropped over forty-four tons
of explosives on the bridges, inflicting severe losses on the enemy.
“_Rarely has a river been so ably defended_,” wrote the _Berliner
Tageblatt_ on July 17, and the defenders fully deserved this enemy
admission.

[Illustration: GENERAL DE MITRY (_in the centre_).]

Crossing the river before dawn, the Germans attacked the first-line
divisions holding the southern bank, from Chartèves to Mareuil-le-Port.
The American 3rd Division gallantly withstood the onslaught in the
region of Chartèves, Jaulgonne and Fossoy and, after fierce fighting,
forced the enemy back over the river, thereby helping to make the German
offensive a failure. The French defended the positions of Courthiézy,
Soilly, Chavenay, Nesle-le-Repons and Troissy with great stubbornness,
disputing the German advance foot by foot.

Among the numerous feats of arms performed in this region, that of the
33rd Colonial Regiment, which defended Mareuil-le-Port and stood firm in
Nesle-le-Repons Woods, was one of the most glorious. The enemy was
finally checked on the line: Celle-les-Condé, La Chapelle-Monthodon,
Comblizy (where the French reserves were already counter-attacking),
Oeuilly and Reuil.

North of the Marne, the enemy was held up on the first position
throughout the morning by two French divisions, and two Italian corps,
but succeeded, in the evening, in advancing as far as the second
position, where they were checked.

On the 16th, south of the Marne, French reinforcements continued the
counter-attacks begun on the previous evening in the direction of La
Chapelle-Monthodon, Chézy and Le Clos-Milon. Checked at this point, the
Germans attacked vigorously in the direction of Epernay. At about 4 p.
m., they launched a powerful attack to the east of Leuvrigny, and
succeeded in reaching the Chêne-la-Reine-Villesaint front. French and
Italian counter-attacks between the Marne and the Ardre were
unsuccessful, the attacking forces being thrown back on the
Belval-Venteuil line.

[Illustration: THE GERMAN ADVANCE TOWARDS EPERNAY ON JULY 16.]

Although Ludendorff had obtained slight tactical advantages to the
south-west of Rheims and on the Marne, he had entirely failed in
Champagne (see the Michelin Guide: “Champagne and Argonne,” French
edition). Abandoning his plan of outflanking Rheims from the east, he
now sought to turn the Mountain of Rheims from the south. A striking
success at all cost was considered necessary. Partly through temerity,
partly through an underestimation of the French strength, he resorted to
the dangerous manœuvre of concentrating his efforts against Epernay.
Recklessly throwing masses of men into the battle in an attempt to reach
his objective quickly by sheer weight of numbers, he launched five
powerful attacks in five different places. Considered in the whole,
these attacks were unsuccessful, while in the Ardre Valley the enemy was
vigorously counter-attacked. Meanwhile, four French divisions began an
offensive in the region of Dormans.

In spite of protecting smoke screens, the bridges across the Marne were
unceasingly bombarded by the Allied aviators and artillery, and
sometimes destroyed. The Germans accordingly reduced the number of these
bridges, and increased that of the less vulnerable foot-bridges. In this
way, thirty foot-bridges were built between Treloup and Reuil-sur-Marne.

The Allies’ resistance, so far from abating, stiffened, while each
attempt of the enemy to advance was checked with heavy loss. The Germans
were already beginning to show signs of exhaustion when on July 18 the
Allies’ great counter-offensive, which the German press had declared to
be impossible, was launched against the right flank and in the rear of
the German divisions, who were struggling desperately to reach Epernay.

[Illustration: THE ATTACKS AND COUNTER-ATTACKS OF JULY 17.]


AMERICAN UNITS ENGAGED FROM THE END OF JUNE TO JULY 18, 1918.

=2nd Division= (see composition, p. 12).

Relieved on July 10 by the 26th Division, after fighting a month without
intermission. Lost 1,250 killed, 8,500 wounded, captured Bouresches,
Belleau Wood, Vaux, and 1,400 prisoners belonging to five German
divisions.


Mentioned in the French Army Order of the Day.

=3rd Infantry Brigade=: “_During the operations south of the Marne from
June 1 to July 2, 1918, under the energetic impulse of its commander,
General Lewis, and brilliantly led by its officers, this brigade carried
Vaux village and La Roche Wood, set a fine example of attacking spirit,
abnegation and self-sacrifice, thereby playing an important part in the
victorious offensive, which resulted in the evacuation of French
territory and forced the enemy to sue for an armistice._”

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL JAMES G. HARBORD.

Commanding the 4th Brigade (Marines) in June, and the 2nd Division
during the offensive of July 18.]


=3rd Division= (see composition, p. 13).

Repulsed the “Friedensturm” on the Marne.


Mentioned in the French Army Order of the Day.

=38th Infantry Regiment=: “_This crack regiment, under the able and
energetic command of Colonel Mc. Alexander, displayed indomitable
tenacity during the German attacks of July 15, 1918. Although attacked
in front and outflanked on both sides, succeeded in holding its
positions on the banks of the Marne, driving back an enemy numerically
superior and capturing 200 prisoners._”

=30th Infantry Regiment=: “_Under the energetic and able command of
Colonel E. L. Buth, this old American regiment proved worthy of its
glorious traditions by withstanding the principal onslaught of the
German attack of July 15, 1918, on the front of the Army Corps to which
it was attached. In spite of a very fierce bombardment and heavy losses,
this regiment checked the German thrust and succeeded in recovering the
whole of its positions, capturing over 200 prisoners._”

=26th Division= =Major-General Clarence R. Edwards.=

comprising:

  _51st Infantry Brigade_      _Brig.-Gen. Peter E. Traub_
  _52nd_   “        “            “     “   _Chas. H. Cole_
  _51st Artillery_  “            “     “   _Dwight E. Altman_

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL CLARENCE R. EDWARDS.

Commanding the 26th Division.]


The Allies’ Counter-Offensive of July 18.

It has been seen that, from the end of June to July 15, the French, by a
series of local operations, had secured excellent positions of attack,
by clearing the Villers-Cotterets Wood and re-occupying the eastern bank
of the Savières. Moreover, the crisis due to the shortage of men had
been overcome. In a prodigious effort Great Britain had re-constituted
her armies; from eight to ten thousand American soldiers had been
landing daily in France since March; the victory on the Piave enabled
the Allies to retain a number of excellent Italian divisions in France,
so that Marshal Foch was at last in a position to assume the initiative
of manœuvre and offensive which until then had been impossible.

The French armies, representing 80 per cent. of the Allied forces
engaged in the battle, were as high-mettled as ever, the enemy’s push
having been powerless either to wear them down or to break their
spirit. They were, moreover, fully equipped with up-to-date armament,
including large numbers of the all-important tank, by now a supreme
weapon of attack. Their use on a large scale in support of the infantry
counter-balanced the effect of the enemy’s asphyxiating gas and storm
battalions.

Signs of apprehension began to manifest themselves in the enemy camp,
where several commanders of divisions on the Ourcq front in vain called
attention to the precursory signs of the coming big attack. The German
High Command, repeating Von Klück’s blunder of 1914 with regard to
General Maunoury’s Army, misjudged the Allies’ strength and, so far from
re-inforcing this sector, withdrew a number of reserve divisions in
favour of the Marne and Champagne fronts.

On July 12, Foch ordered a counter-attack to be made on the western
flank of the Château-Thierry salient. Leaving to General Gouraud in
Champagne, and to General Berthelot between the Marne and Rheims, the
heavy task of holding up the enemy “peace offensive,” Pétain organised
the concentration of the armies of Generals Mangin and Degoutte, which
were placed under the orders of General Fayolle. Thus, at the time the
Germans were concentrating towards the eastern flank of the salient, the
Allies were executing a similar manœuvre in the direction of the
western flank. These two moves explain the whole battle, for while every
enemy move was being closely observed and the bare minimum of troops
used to hold up their attack, the Allies’ powerful concentration in the
Villers-Cotterets Woods entirely escaped the enemy’s notice.

This admirably camouflaged concentration was completed in three nights.
To make the surprise still more effective, it was decided to attack
without artillery preparation, it being left to the tanks to make good
the deficiency.

[Illustration: GENERAL MANGIN.]

The objective was the Fére-en-Tardenois Railway, the only line of
communication of the hundreds of thousands of Germans massed in the
Château-Thierry “pocket.” Should this railway be captured or cut by
gun-fire, the German armies would no longer be able to maintain
themselves south of the Vesle.

From the Aisne to the Marne, the German front was held by part of the
7th Army (Von Boehn), _i.e._ twelve divisions in echelons and eight
divisions in reserve.

Opposing these forces, from north to south, were:--

The 10th Army (General Mangin), from the Aisne to the Ourcq, comprising
the 1st, 20th, 30th, and 11th French Corps, 1st and 2nd American
Divisions, and the 15th Scottish Division.

[Illustration: THE OPPOSING FORCES DURING THE ALLIES’ COUNTER-OFFENSIVE
OF JULY 18.]

The 6th Army (General Degoutte), from the Ourcq to Château-Thierry,
comprising the 2nd and 7th French Corps, and the 14th and 26th American
Divisions.

This gave, in all, the equivalent of about twenty-one divisions (one
American division being numerically equal to about two French
divisions).

At dawn, on July 18, without preliminary bombardment, and preceded by
hundreds of tanks and a formidable creeping barrage, the attack was
loosed along a twenty-seven-mile front. The surprise was complete and
the effect crushing. The enemy front was pierced, strongholds reduced
and organised woods and farms captured, their garrisons surrendering in
hundreds, while the agricultural detachments were taken at work in the
fields.

[Illustration: THE ALLIES’ ADVANCE ON JULY 18 AND 19 (18/7 AND 19/7).]

North of the Ourcq, General Mangin’s Army progressed rapidly on the
great Soissonnais Plateaux, the average advance being more than four
miles, and at the end of the day the line reached was as follows: The
high ground north of Fontenoy, Mercin, western outskirts of the
Montagne-de-Paris, the heights west of the Crise Valley, Vierzy,
Villers-Hélon, Louâtre, Ancienville, and Noroy-sur-Ourcq. Its left was
less than two miles from Soissons, while mounted patrols pushed forward
to the outskirts of that city.

South of the Ourcq, over rough, difficult ground, General Degoutte’s
Army advanced, on an average, three miles, and reached the following
line: East of Marizy-St.-Mard, the western outskirts of
Neuilly-St.-Front, Cointicourt, Courchamps, Licy-Ceignon, Givry and
Belleau.

Along the whole front, more than 10,000 prisoners, numerous batteries of
artillery, and huge quantities of material had been captured. The
unexpectedness of the attack prevented the enemy from organising serious
resistance, although they engaged four fresh divisions in the centre
and, towards 6 p.m., succeeded in retaking Vierzy, which, however, they
were unable to hold.

In the meantime, French and Italian forces continued their
counter-attacks on the other side of the “pocket” without, however,
making appreciable progress.

At 4 a.m. on the 19th the infantry and tanks attacked again. The enemy
was in a critical position as, were Soissons to fall and Mangin’s Army
to slip in along the Aisne, Von Boehn’s communications would be cut and
his army taken in the rear. The Germans engaged their last available
reserves (four divisions), and, clinging desperately to their positions
on the River Crise in front of Soissons, counter-attacked furiously.
They succeeded in advancing slightly along the Soissons-Villers-Cotterets
Road to a point east of Chaudun (the Moroccan Division was heavily
engaged there, and also at Chazelles), but were driven back everywhere
else, in spite of their frantic efforts to push forward. Mangin’s Army
reached Courmelles, the western outskirts of Villemontoire, Parcy-Tigny,
the western outskirts of Plessier Huleu and Rozet-St.-Albin.

[Illustration: COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF JOHN J. PERSHING.]

Degoutte’s Army captured Neuilly-St.-Front, the plateau east of Monnes,
and the heights north-east of Courchamps, progressing beyond the
Priez-Givry line. In two days about 17,000 prisoners and 360 guns were
captured.

The situation of the German Army was becoming more and more critical. In
the neighbourhood of Parcy-Tigny, the Allies were only about a mile from
the Soissons-Château-Thierry Road, and within nine miles of the
Fére-en-Tardenois Railway Station. The Germans were consequently no
longer able to use their main north-south road of communication, and
their only railway was within range of the Allies’ guns.

On the other hand, the activity of General Berthelot’s Army on the
Marne, which had recaptured Montvoisin, gained a footing in Oeuilly
south of the river, and advanced a kilometre northwards in the Roi and
Courton Woods, was causing the enemy great anxiety. The situation of the
Germans south of the Marne appeared particularly precarious.


AMERICAN UNITS ENGAGED IN THE COUNTER-OFFENSIVE OF JULY 18, 1918.

WITH GENERAL MANGIN’S ARMY.

  3rd Corps, Major-General Robert L. Bullard.

  1st Division          Major-General C. P. Summerall.

  comprising:

  _1st Infantry Brigade_           _Brig.-Gen. Geo. B. Duncan_
  _2nd_   “        “                  “    “  _B. B. Buck_
  _1st Artillery_  “

Mentioned in the French Army Order of the Day.

=18th Infantry Regiment:= “_This splendid attacking regiment, imbued with
an ardent fighting spirit on July 18, 1918, under the energetic impulse
of its commander, Colonel Frank Parker, aroused the admiration of the
neighbouring units by carrying with fine dash all the objectives
assigned to it. In spite of heavy losses, continuing the attack on the
following days, with the same dash and determination. In October, 1918,
under the able command of Colonel Charles A. Hunt, assisted by picked
officers, endowed with the same spirit of self-sacrifice made a series
of energetic attacks against powerfully-fortified positions, driving
back the enemy unceasingly by their indomitable will to victory._”

2nd Division Major-General James G. Harbord.

(_see composition, p. 12._)

Was withdrawn on July 20, after having taken 3,300 prisoners and 71
guns.

Mentioned in the French Army Order of the Day.

  =5th and 6th Infantry Regiments (Marines)=} “_Unexpectedly engaged in
  =9th and 23rd Infantry Regiments=         } the offensive of July 18th,
  =2nd Regiment of Engineers=               } 1918, in the middle of
  night, on unknown and very difficult ground, displayed remarkable ardour and
  tenacity, in spite of exhaustion and revictualling difficulties both for food and
  water, advanced 6-1/2 miles, capturing 2,700 prisoners, 12 guns and several
  hundred machine-guns._”

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL C. P. SUMMERALL.

Commanding the 1st Division.]

=12th Artillery Regiment:= “_Supported the attack by the 2nd Division on
July 18, S.W. of Soissons, with great audacity and ability. The guns
were boldly advanced, closely following the French infantry and
inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. After the relief of the infantry
of the 2nd Division on July 20, they bravely fought with the 58th and
12th French divisions, supporting the infantry during the unceasing
attacks by these divisions, and particularly during the attack against
Hartennes on July 21. The officers and men of this regiment displayed a
fine spirit of self-sacrifice, and by their bravery proved themselves
worthy of their Army’s finest traditions._”

=15th Artillery Regiment:= “_This regiment gave proof of remarkable
ability and audacity in supporting the infantry of the 2nd Division S.W.
of Soissons, on July 18, 1918. Boldly bringing up their guns immediately
behind the infantry, they inflicted very severe losses on the enemy. The
2nd Division having been relieved on July 20, this regiment successively
supported the French 58th and 12th Divisions, with which they fought
most gallantly. During the incessant attacks by these two divisions and
particularly in the attack on Hartennes on July 21. The officers and men
of this regiment displayed indomitable courage and devotion, proving
themselves worthy of the finest traditions of the American Army._”

=17th Artillery Regiment:= “_With indefatigable energy and courage this
regiment gallantly supported the 2nd Division in the attack of July 18,
S.W. of Soissons. Always eager to push forward their guns, in spite of
heavy enemy bombardment, it constantly overwhelmed the enemy by the
violent destructive fire of its 6-in. guns. After the relief of the 2nd
Division, this regiment, on July 20, remained in the line and gallantly
fought with the French 58th and 12th Divisions. Officers and men
displayed magnificent courage and energy in accomplishing all the
missions entrusted to them during the unceasing attacks by the French
divisions, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. In spite of dangers and
privations of all sorts, they always showed remarkable tenacity and
valour._”

=4th and 5th Machine-Gun Battalions:= “_On the evening of July 18, 1918,
near Vierzy, this battalion displayed exceptional courage and bravery in
withstanding the attack by the enemy’s 3rd Brigade. Advancing with the
attacking infantry waves the battalion, by adroit firing, crushed the
German resistance and destroyed strongly defended nests of machine-guns,
thereby giving effectual assistance to the infantry in the course of its
brilliant attack. By consolidating and tenaciously holding the conquered
objectives, in spite of strong German counter-attacks, the 4th
Machine-Gun Battalion greatly contributed to the day’s success._”

=6th Machine Gun Battalion:= “_Although greatly fatigued by a long journey
in motor-lorries and by a night march over bad roads, this battalion
rushed to the attack on July 18, 1918, near Vierzy and greatly helped in
consolidating and maintaining the positions reached that day. On the
morning of July 19 the battalion went gallantly forward over open
ground, under violent artillery and machine-gun fire, resolutely
supporting the attack on the reinforced enemy positions. Against strong
enemy resistance and unceasing counter-attacks, the battalion displayed
the finest courage in quickly consolidating and resolutely holding the
important position just conquered by the infantry._”


WITH GENERAL DEGOUTTE’S ARMY.

  1st Corps        Major-General Hunter Liggett.

comprising:

  _167th French Division._
  _26th American_ “           (_see composition, p. 21_).

  4th Division         Major-General George H. Cameron.

comprising:

  _7th Infantry Brigade_          _Brig.-Gen. B. A. Poore_.
  _8th_   “        “                “     “  _E. E. Booth_.

[Illustration: THE ALLIES’ ADVANCE FROM JULY 20 (20/7) TO JULY 25
(25/7).]


The German Retreat.

The German High Command now realised that the battle could not be
continued in the Château-Thierry “pocket,” where their communications
were in danger, and where they were compelled to engage fresh divisions
each day. Four days only had elapsed since the Germans were the
attacking party, yet they were now compelled to retreat. Although
unceasingly harassed by the Allies, their withdrawal was effected
methodically, in order to save as much as possible of the formidable
quantities of guns and material which had been accumulated in the
“pocket” since June. They fired many of their dumps and the villages
they had to evacuate were also destroyed after a systematic pillage.
Fires and explosions followed one another in quick succession inside the
German lines.

On the 20th the enemy withdrew a number of divisions from the
neighbouring armies and threw their 5th Guards Division against
Degoutte’s Army, and two other divisions reinforced by units from the
Marne against Mangin’s Army, in an endeavour to stop the latter’s
advance and drive it back further west of the Soissons-Château-Thierry
road. However, these repeated attacks, although supported by a powerful
artillery, broke down before the courage and tenacity of the Allied
troops, who everywhere progressed except to the west of Vauxbuin, where
some little ground was lost.

In the evening the front was as follows: Mercin, western outskirts of
Vauxbuin, Ploisy, Aconin, western outskirts of Villemontoire, of Tigny
and of Plessier-Huleu, Rozet-St.-Albin, Nanteuil, Sommelans, Monthiers,
and Bouresches.

South of the Marne the newly-formed 9th Army (General de Mitry),
attacked at 6 a.m. The enemy, fully occupied elsewhere, did not offer
serious resistance, and De Mitry’s Army reached the Marne in the middle
of the afternoon with comparatively little difficulty.

North of the Marne the 5th Army attacked on the St. Euphraise-Belval
front, with a British corps astride of the Ardre, and in spite of
vigorous enemy resistance and several counter-attacks, had advanced by
evening to the line: St. Euphraise, the western outskirts of Courmas,
eastern outskirts of Courton and Marfaux, Nappes, the northern and
north-eastern outskirts of Courton Wood, the eastern outskirts of La
Neuville and Belval, and to the south-east of Reuil.

On the 21st, the Germans made another powerful effort with four fresh
divisions. North of the Ourcq they counter-attacked Mangin’s Army with
three divisions supported by tanks, in spite of which, the French
continued to advance, occupying Berzy-le-Sec and reaching Chaudun.

North of the Marne the enemy energetically opposed the Allies’ advance
and counter-attacked on both banks of the Ardre, but were unable to
prevent the French, British and Italian troops from taking St. Euphraise
and Bouilly and progressing in the Courton Woods.

The situation of the enemy was still critical, as their divisions
engaged in the bottom of the Château-Thierry “pocket,” where the
pressure from Degoutte’s and De Mitry’s Armies was increasing, were in
danger of being cut off. A further retreat was therefore ordered.
Overcoming all difficulties, Franco-American battalions crossed the
Marne near Château-Thierry, now re-occupied by the 39th Division.
Harrying the retreating enemy and advancing in places as much as six
miles, they reached by evening the region of Brény-Chartèves.

On the 22nd, the front was quiet between the Aisne and the Ourcq, but
between the Ourcq and the Marne violent enemy counter-attacks
temporarily drove back the Allies. However, at the end of the day the
Allies had progressed beyond the Château-Thierry-Soissons road. On the
Marne, French troops, moving eastwards under enemy artillery and
machine-gun fire, enlarged their bridgehead on both banks. The slopes of
Rozay, Passy and Marcilly and the Courcelles Signal were carried at the
point of the bayonet, while several detachments pushed forward to
Port-á-Binson and to the south of Vandières.

On the 23rd, from the Aisne to the Ourcq, the enemy resisted
obstinately, and the Allies made but little progress; numerous enemy
machine-gun nests were encountered at Villemontoire and Tigny, while
their artillery had also been reinforced.

From the Ourcq to the Marne the German resistance stiffened and
occasionally counter-attacks were made, notwithstanding which the
Franco-American troops progressed in the Fère and Ris Woods, and along
the narrow passage which separates them. An advance was also made higher
up the river near Reuil, but the attack by the 77th Division at this
point failed to drive back the enemy. Some progress was made in the
Ardre valley, in spite of enemy reinforcements.

On the 24th, between the Ourcq and the Marne, the Allies advanced three
and a half miles in the centre and about two miles on the wings, the
front in the evening, being: Nanteuil, the eastern outskirts of La
Tournelle Wood, Beuvardes, Le Charmel and Chassins.

On the 25th, north of the Ourcq, hard fighting took place around
Villemontoire, which was finally carried by the 12th Division. Elsewhere
the 11th Corps, forming the right of the 10th Army, recaptured
Oulchy-le-Château, Oulchy-la-Ville and Cugny after desperate combats,
the enemy having been reinforced by three fresh divisions. South of the
river progress was also made between Coincy and Le Charmel, while
Beuvardes was recaptured.

During the night and on the following day the French advanced along the
northern bank of the Marne and occupied Reuil, Anthay Mill, Jour Mill,
and Villers-sous-Châtillon.

From the Marne to Rheims the Allies’ advance continued slowly, being
retarded by enemy counter-attacks.

          =AMERICAN UNITS ENGAGED FROM JULY 20 TO 25, 1918.=

                     =WITH GENERAL MANGIN’S ARMY.=

               =1st Division= (_see composition p. 26_).

_Left the front on the 24th after having taken 2,950 prisoners and 75 guns._


                    =WITH GENERAL DEGOUTTE’S ARMY.=

                =1st Corps= (_see composition, p. 27_).

              =4th Division= (_see composition, p. 27_).

           Advanced 9 miles to the N.E. of Château-Thierry.


                    =WITH GENERAL DE MITRY’S ARMY.=

              =3rd Division= (_see composition, p. 13_).

   Crossed the Marne on July 20 and pursued the retreating Germans.

[Illustration: =MAJOR-GENERAL HUNTER LIGGETT.=

Commanding the 1st Corps.]

Vols. II. and III. of “_The Americans in the Great War_” complete the
present volume. They are entitled: Vol. II. “_The Battle of Saint
Mihiel_” (Metz, St. Mihiel, Pont-â-Mousson); Vol. III. “_The
Meuse-Argonne Battle_” (St. Menehould, Montfaucon, Clermont).

[Illustration: FROM JULY 27 TO 29 (27/7 TO 29/7) THE GERMANS RETREATED
AGAIN, THEN MADE A STAND UNTIL JULY 31.]


From July 26 to 29.

On the evening of the 26th and on the 27th, in consequence of the
Franco-American push threatening, from the east and south,
Fère-en-Tardenois, with its vital network of roads and railways, the
Germans again retreated, this time on a larger scale, to the south of
the Ourcq and north of the Marne. They were pursued by the Allies who,
on the evening of the 27th, lined the Ourcq as far as Fère and, to the
north of the Marne, occupied the line: Champvoisy, Passy-Grigny,
Cuisles, La Neuville-aux-Larris, Chaumuzy; the British capturing Bligny.
French mounted patrols pushed forward to the line Villers-Agron,
Romigny, Ville-en-Tardenois, where the enemy trenches, lined with
machine-guns, seemed to indicate that a stand was to be made.

On the 28th, the 62nd Division, in _liaison_ on its right with the 42nd
American Division, entered Fère-en-Tardenois. Meanwhile, north of the
Marne, Franco-American forces made good progress in the region of St.
Croix and near Neuville Castle. On the extreme right the Germans were
driven across the Vesle.

Withdrawing their exhausted divisions, the enemy, from the 28th to the
30th, engaging six fresh divisions, supported by numerous machine-guns,
made vigorous counter-attacks which retarded the Franco-American
advance. Only little progress was made on the 29th between Le
Plessier-Huleu and the Ourcq, the extreme points reached being Saponay
and Seringes. However, in the centre, the Ourcq was crossed from Fère to
Ronchères.

From Ronchères to Vrigny progress was again very slow. On the 30th and
31st the Germans counter-attacked north of Fère and in the valley of the
Ardre, where they burnt Poilly Village. However, the Americans captured
Cierges, while the French made progress towards Nesles Wood and in
Meunière Wood.


AMERICAN UNITS ENGAGED FROM JULY 26 TO 29, 1918.

WITH GENERAL DEGOUTTE’S ARMY.

=1st Corps= (_see composition, p. 27_).

The 26th Division was relieved by the:

  =42nd Division=      =Major-General Chas. T. Menoher.=

  comprising:

  _83rd Infantry Brigade_      _Brig.-Gen. M. J. Lenihan_
  _84th_    “       “              “     “   _Robert A. Brown_
  _67th Artillery_  “              “     “   _C. McKinstry_
  */

=4th Division= (_see composition, p. 27_).

Crossed the Ourcq on July 28 and fought desperate combats to the north
of that river.


WITH GENERAL DE MITRY’S ARMY.

  =32nd Division=      =Major-General William G. Haan=.

  comprising:

  _63rd Infantry Brigade_      _Brig.-Gen. W. D. Connor_
  _64th_    “       “             “    “   _Ed. B. Winans_
  _57th Artillery_  “             “    “   _Le Roy G. Irwin_

  =28th Division=      =Major-General Charles H. Muir.=

  comprising:

  _55th Infantry Brigade_      _Brig.-Gen. T. W. Darrah_
  _56th_   “        “            “     “   _Wm. Weigel_
  _53rd Artillery_  “            “     “   _Wm. G. Price_

The forces continued the pursuit of the retreating enemy.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL ROBERT L. BULLARD.

Commanding the 3rd Corps.]

[Illustration: BY AUGUST 4 (4/8) THE SALIENT HAD BEEN ENTIRELY FLATTENED
OUT.]


The Offensive of August 1.

Having established themselves on high dominating positions forming a
strong line of resistance, the Germans believed they would now be able
to check the Allies, who, after fifteen days of hard fighting, would, no
doubt, be exhausted. In a semi-official _communiqué_ addressed to the
German people, Hinderburg explained and justified his “strategical
retreat” and again promised victory, adding that the “decisive blow” had
only been “temporarily postponed.”

He was soon undeceived, however, supposing him to have been sincere. On
August 1, the battle began again, north of the Ourcq and at the gates of
Soissons. The Armies of Generals Mangin and Degoutte, so far from being
exhausted, attacked again between Tigny and the Ourcq, their objective
being to outflank and carry the wooded Hartennes Plateau, which formed
the key to the defences of Soissons in front of the Crise Stream. In the
Tigny-Hartennes region violent barrage and machine-gun fire somewhat
retarded the Allies’ advance. Between Plessier-Huleu Wood and Saponay
the enemy resisted and counter-attacked violently. However, progress was
made as far as the line: Grand-Rozoy, Cramaille, south-west of Saponay,
and, further to the east, Cierges, Meunière Wood, Goussancourt and
Romigny. On the right the Armies of Generals de Mitry and Berthelot,
continuing their advance, progressed beyond the Dormans-Rheims road,
encircled Ville-en-Tardenois, and advanced along the Valley of the
Ardre.

Hartennes fell on August 2, and Mangin pressed forward towards the
Crise. Von Boehn’s army fell back for the fourth time, the retreat now
being general. Soissons was evacuated, and in spite of enemy detachments
of machine-gunners left behind to retard the Allies’ advance, the
Chasseurs of the 2nd Division entered the city at 6 p.m. The Crise was
crossed throughout its length before nightfall, Ville-en-Tardenois
captured, and in the evening the following line reached: Soissons,
Branges, Tramery, Romigny, Gueux and Thillois.

The Germans hurriedly fell back on the Vesle, but the Allies harried
them vigorously and threw their rear-guard into disorder. On the evening
of the 3rd the pursuing armies reached the River Aisne as far as
Sermoise, the southern bank of the Vesle from Ciry-Salsogne to
Villesavoye, the southern outskirts of Fismes, the Villages of
Branscourt, Sapicourt, Courcelles, Rosnay and Gueux-Thillois, and the
Aisne Canal north of Courcelles.

On August 4 detachments crossed to the north bank of the Vesle at
various points, on which river the enemy was apparently determined to
make a firm stand, especially between Unchair and Fismes which, however,
the Americans and the French (32nd Division) captured. On the 5th the
Germans had only two bridgeheads south of the Vesle, one at Courlandon
and the other to the east of Muizon, but they stubbornly resisted the
Allies’ attempts to cross the river, re-engaging several of their best
divisions. Nevertheless the Allies succeeded on the 7th in gaining a
footing on the north bank, east of Braine and Bazoches, and strongly
occupied both banks of the river.

The counter-offensive was over. On August 6th Foch was made Marshal of
France, Pétain received the Military Medal (the second highest
recompense for French commanders), while the Grand Croix de la Légion
d’Honneur was conferred on General Pershing.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL CHARLES H. MUIR.

Commanding the 28th Division.]

    =AMERICAN UNITS ENGAGED FROM AUGUST 1
    TO SEPTEMBER 7, 1918.=

    =WITH GENERAL DEGOUTTE’S ARMY.=

    =1st Corps= (_see composition_, p. 27).

The 42nd Division was relieved by the 4th (_see composition_, p. 27) on
August 3.

The 4th was relieved by the 77th Division:

  =77th Division=                    =Major-General George B. Duncan.=

    comprising:

  _153rd Infantry Brigade_        _Brig.-Gen. E. Wittenmeyer_
  _154th_     “        “                   “    “   _E. M. Johnson_
  _152nd Artillery_               _Colonel Manus McCloskey_

The 1st Corps, which crossed the Vesle on August 6, was withdrawn from
the front on August 13. In twenty days it had advanced twenty miles and
combated twelve different enemy divisions.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL WILLIAM G. HAAN.

Commanding the 32nd Division.]

  =WITH GENERAL DE MITRY’S ARMY.=

  =3rd Corps =                           =Major-General Robert L. Bullard.=

  comprising:

  28th Division (_see composition, p. 32._)
  32nd    “      _   “       “        p. 32._
  3rd     “      _   “       “        p. 13._
  77th    “      _   “       “        p. 35._

  After establishing bridge-heads north of the Vesle, the 3rd Corps was withdrawn
  from the front on September 8.


=Mentioned in the French Army Order of the Day.=

=302nd Regiment of Engineers=: “_Under the command of Colonel Sherill this
regiment, on September 6, 1918, built a bridge in three hours across the
Vesle under artillery fire, thus allowing the French artillery to cross
the river at the beginning of the operations, contributing thereby to
the success of the offensive."_


The Results of the Allies’ Counter-Offensive.

In three weeks the Germans had lost all their gains of May 27th to July
15th, the Crown Prince’s salient made at terrible cost was flattened
out, while the Allies’ captures included more than 18,000 German
prisoners and 700 guns.

The French reserves, so far from being entirely used to make good the
losses in the ranks of the line troops, as the German High Command
believed, had taken the counter-offensive. Only a very small portion
(two divisions) of the British reserves had taken part in the battle.
Conversely, the Bavarian reserves had been rushed up from the region of
Lille to the Aisne. Finally, whilst Ludendorff was compelled to give up
his projected offensive in Flanders, Foch began a new battle between the
Oise and the sea. The second battle of the Marne had thus far-reaching
consequences. From that time until the Armistice, when they capitulated,
the Germans were everywhere out-manœuvred and beaten.

In the course of the battle the aeroplanes and tanks vied with the
infantry in valour and intrepidity. From July 15 to 20, French, British
and American aviators attacked the enemy unceasingly, flying in all
weathers, sometimes in violent storms, as on July 17. In less than a
week, in addition to the losses inflicted on the enemy infantry and
artillery, the Allied aviation services destroyed or drove down out of
control 137 German aeroplanes and 23 observation balloons, besides
dropping 222 tons of bombs on enemy objectives.

The French tanks, on their side, performed wonders, causing great havoc
and spreading demoralisation in the enemy ranks.

One disabled tank-driver (Corporal Chevrel) surrounded by Germans held
out for thirty-six hours, while another (Corporal Cellier), with the
help of fifteen Americans, captured 700 Germans, including fourteen
officers and a colonel, and two guns.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL CHAS. T. MENOHER.

Commanding the 42nd Division.]

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE H. CAMERON. Commanding the 4th
Division.]

The Allied troops, fighting shoulder to shoulder with the French
“poilus,” had a brilliant share in the victory. The British
distinguished themselves by their splendid resistance on the St. Thierry
Heights, the 15th Scottish Division covering itself with glory by
storming and capturing Buzancy, south of Soissons.

The Italian 2nd Corps successfully defended the approaches of the
Mountain of Rheims and distinguished itself in the defence of Bligny
Hill.

America’s young troops, who were the last to join in the battle, fought
admirably, eight of their divisions co-operating with the armies of
Generals Mangin, Degoutte and De Mitry in the battle and pursuit.

In paying this just tribute to the valour of all the Allies, it should
not be forgotten that the second victory of the Marne, like the first,
was a glorious manifestation of French genius and heroism.

[Illustration: AMERICAN TROOPS ARRIVING.]


_TRIBUTE TO THREE CHIEFS._

[Illustration: PERSHING.

Awarded the Grand’ Croix de la Légion d’Honneur August 6, 1918.

     “_ ... you arrived on the battlefield at the decisive hour...._”
]

[Illustration: FOCH.

Promoted Maréchal de France August 6, 1918.

     “_ ... the confidence placed in the victor at the Marshes of
     Saint-Gond and the glorious commander on the Yser and Somme, was
     fully justified...._”
]

[Illustration: PÉTAIN.

Awarded the Médaille Militaire August 6, 1918.

     “_ ... breaking and driving back the German onrush, he acquired
     imperishable right to the nation’s gratitude...._”
]


A VISIT TO THE BATTLEFIELDS

From Paris the tour can be easily made in three days.

=1st day.=--Paris--Château-Thierry--Belleau Wood.

=2nd day.=--Château-Thierry--Soissons.

=3rd day.=--Soissons--Fismes--Paris.

The roads are shown on the Michelin Map of France (scale, 1:200.000, _or
about 3.15 miles per inch_), sheets Nos. 11 and 6.

[Illustration]


DESCRIPTION OF THE TOUR.

(_See outline map, p. 39._)

The following itinerary includes practically all the places in the
battle area where the troops of the 1st and 3rd American Army Corps
distinguished themselves.

In May, 1919, deeply moving traces of the fierce fighting were visible
all along the road, and will probably long continue to exist.

The ruined villages are as the shells and bombs left them. Everywhere
are branchless trees and stumps, shell craters roughly filled in,
trenches, barbed wire entanglements, and shelters for men and
ammunition. Thousands of shells, shell casings, rifles, gun-limbers, and
machine-guns lie scattered about.

Corpses are occasionally seen.

Before the War this part of the country was one of the prettiest and
most interesting in France. In nearly every village there was either an
old church, a castle, or ruins of archæological interest.


1st day.--PARIS--CHÂTEAU-THIERRY.

_Leave Paris by the Avenue Jean Jaurès, Pantin Gate, and the National
Road N. 3._

(_At the Toll-Gate ask for a “bon de réintroduction” (free) for the
gasoline in the tank and reserve tins. This will enable the tourist, on
his return, to enter Paris with a similar quantity of gasoline free of
charge._)

N. 3 goes straight ahead and is easy to follow, the “milestones” being
plainly marked “N. 3.”

The localities of Pantin, Bondy, Livry, Villeparisis, and Claye are
successively passed through, =Meaux= being afterwards reached by the Route
de Paris and the Rue du Faubourg St. Remi.

(See the =Michelin Illustrated Guide=, “=The Battle of the Marne, 1914=,”
_for directions for visiting this beautiful, historical city, and for a
detailed description of the fighting in this sector_.)

_Turn to the right, pass under the railway bridge, continue straight
along the Rue St. Remi, skirt the Cathedral, then follow the Rue St.
Nicolas and the Rue du Faubourg St. Nicolas._

The following villages are next passed through without difficulty:
Trilport, St. Jean-les-deux-Jumeaux and Sammeron, after which the
tourist arrives at La Ferté-sous-Jouarre. _Turn to the left into the Rue
de Condé, and again to the left into the Rue du Faubourg, cross the
Marne, and continue straight ahead along the Rue du Pelletier and Rue du
Limon. Crossing over the railway the road turns to the right, rising
above the valley of the Marne._ Montreuil is next passed through.

Just before entering =Le Thiolet= (the first ruined village on the tour),
along the left side of the road, there is an American Cemetery.

Shortly after, =Vaux= is reached, but before coming to it, another
American Cemetery will be seen to the left of the road.

This village, which is situated in a hollow, was literally wiped out
(photo, p. 60). The ruins in the bottom of the valley, to the right of
the road, are most impressive. (_The tourist will visit them on his way
to Essommes, as per the Itinerary._)

The road skirts =Hill 204=, which dominates the surrounding country on the
right, and which was hotly disputed (p. 62).

Before passing under the railway bridge, on the high ground to the
right, will be seen the ruins of what was once the pretty village of
=Courteau=.

Château-Thierry is reached soon afterwards by the Avenue Clemenceau.


CHÂTEAU-THIERRY DURING THE WAR.

September, 1914.

On September 2, 1914, the town was almost encircled by the Germans.
While the German batteries posted above Courteau (_the tourist passed by
this village before entering the town, see above_) were firing on the
railway station and the Place-du-Champ-de-Mars, their troops debouched
by the Essommes and Paris roads at about five in the afternoon. The
French fell back at 11 p.m. On September 3, German troops pillaged the
town. On the 9th, the Franco-British troops relieved the town.


June--July, 1918.

On June 1, 1918, the town was retaken by the German Conta Corps, after
fierce street fighting, in which the French Colonial Infantry, gallantly
supported by American troops, inflicted severe losses on the enemy. The
defence of Château-Thierry is one of the episodes of which the Americans
are justly proud.

On May 31, sections of the American Machine-Gun Corps were placed at the
disposal of the French Commander, who was defending the town, which was
in danger of being outflanked. They were hardly out of the trucks, when
they were rushed into the battle in support of the French Colonials.

Throughout the long street fighting their fine marksmanship, cool
courage and clever manœuvring excited the admiration of their French
comrades. When night fell, thanks to their aid, the enemy had been
forced back to the outskirts of the town.

At 9 p.m. on June 1, the Germans, under cover of night, and protected by
a dense smoke screen, counter-attacked, creeping along the river-side
towards the great bridge, the defence of which had been entrusted to the
Americans, with orders to hold it until the Colonials, who were fighting
on the far side of the river, should fall back. This they did until the
last of the French troops had passed over, when they withdrew. When the
Germans debouched in front of the bridge, the latter blew up, and the
few who had succeeded in crossing before the explosion were taken
prisoners by the Americans, who had calmly posted their guns on the
south bank of the river.

[Illustration: AMERICAN MACHINE-GUNS DO DEADLY EXECUTION IN THE GARDENS
OF CHÂTEAU-THIERRY.]

Throughout June and the first half of July, stiff fighting took place
around the town, especially in =Courteau Wood= at the top of Hill 204.
After being retaken by the Allies on June 6, this hill was constantly
disputed, and repeatedly changed hands. The Germans, who were preparing
their offensive of July 15, between Château-Thierry and Rheims, attached
great importance to this position, which covered their right flank and
dominated Château-Thierry. From July onwards the Allies, by a series of
local operations, approached the town. On the night of July 1-2, the
Americans captured the village of Vaux (_which the tourist passed
through before entering Château-Thierry_), taking 400 prisoners
belonging to the 201st German division. Enemy counter-attacks failed to
win back the village.

The Americans also advanced to the east of Hill 204, and finally
recaptured it on July 9 during a night attack.

The Allies’ successful counter-offensive of July 18 completely cleared
Château-Thierry. On July 21, with their front pierced on the north and
east, the enemy was forced to abandon the town, which was then entered
by General Degoutte’s Army.


CHÂTEAU-THIERRY PLUNDERED BY THE GERMANS.

When the Franco-American troops entered Château-Thierry, the town had
been methodically =sacked=. The enemy emptied the houses of everything
portable, including mattresses, metallic articles, etc. The churches
were likewise despoiled. In the case of St. Crépin’s Church the Germans
had not time to carry off the whole of the plunder. The photograph, p.
43, shows what was hurriedly left behind, part being packed in cases,
the rest, including a fireman’s brass helmet stolen from the
fire-station, lying scattered about.

[Illustration: THE FRENCH PRIME MINISTER, M. CLEMENCEAU, CONGRATULATING
THE AMERICAN TROOPS ON THE BATTLEFIELD AT CHÂTEAU-THIERRY.

(_From “l’Illustration._”)]

[Illustration: BOOTY COLLECTED BY THE GERMANS IN THE CHURCH OF ST.
CRÉPIN.]

That portion of the population which had remained in the town was locked
up in this church on the night before the deliverance.

The houses had literally been turned upside down, as the Americans, who
entered the town with the French, can testify. Packing-cases full of
clothing, linen, and all kinds of objects had been got ready to send to
Germany, as the labels nailed on the cases prove. (_See official
photos._)

What the Germans could not carry away they broke, mutilated, or spoilt.
Here was another example of their practice of spreading systematic ruin
and desolation wherever they went.

To use the ex-Kaiser’s own expression, the entire region was left “a
barren waste.” Special detachments of troops had orders to collect and
remove all machinery, tools, raw materials, furniture, food, etc., in
the districts occupied.

[Illustration: AFTER A VISIT FROM THE GERMANS! ROOM IN HOUSE AT NO. 26
RUE ST. MARTIN.]

[Illustration: CHÂTEAU_THIERRY]


VISIT TO THE TOWN.

(_For particulars of the hotels, repair mechanics, etc., see inside of
cover._)

Dominated on the North by the ruined towers of its ancient castle,
Château-Thierry lies in the valley, between the wooded sides of which
winds the River Marne.

_Entering the town by the Avenue Clemenceau, keep straight on along the
Promenade-de-la-Levée, which leads to the Champ-de-Mars Square._

From here can be seen the ruins of a fine stone =bridge=, built by
Perronet in 1768, of which only a single arch remains. The others have
been temporarily replaced by a foot-way.

In front is a statue (by Laitié, 1824) of La Fontaine, the fabulist; the
lower part of the left leg was broken by a shell splinter.

The photograph below shows the destroyed bridge, and the Rue Carnot
which continues it. The Route de Montmirail (now Avenue du Président
Poincaré) is visible in the background, as also are barricades placed by
the Franco-Americans across the Rue Carnot.

[Illustration: CHÂTEAU-THIERRY BRIDGE AFTER IT WAS BLOWN UP.]

[Illustration: ITALIAN INFANTRY CROSSING CHÂTEAU-THIERRY BRIDGE, OF
WHICH ONLY ONE ARCH REMAINS.]

[Illustration: M. CLEMENCEAU ON CHÂTEAU-THIERRY BRIDGE A FEW HOURS AFTER
THE GERMANS HAD LEFT.

(_From “l’Illustration._”)]

_To the left of the Place du Champ-de-Mars, and in the direction of the
Hôtel-de-Ville, take the Rue du Maréchal Pétain._

On the right of this street is the =Belhan Tower= (Belfry), which was
formerly part of the Belhan Mansion (16th century). At the end of the
Rue du Maréchal Pétain, the =Hôtel-de-Ville= (of which the Palais is
Renaissance) comes into view. One of the turrets was destroyed by the
bombardments, while shell splinters have scarred the building. The
immediate surroundings suffered greatly from shell-fire. The photo below
shows the Rue du Maréchal Pétain in perspective.

The first enemy line of resistance was established at the entrance to
this street, in front of No. 27. Behind, barricades of paving stones and
earth were raised (see photo), the largest of which closed the end of
the street, making it possible to pass unseen from the Place de
l’Hôtel-de-Ville to the Rue du Général Degoutte.

On the right of this photo is seen the commencement of the Rue du
Général Degoutte.

[Illustration: THE RUE DU MARÉCHAL PÉTAIN AFTER THE GERMANS HAD LEFT.

In the background is seen a barricade.

(_From “l’Illustration._”)]

[Illustration: VIEW OF CHÂTEAU-THIERRY SEEN FROM THE TERRACE OF THE
CASTLE.]

To visit the =Castle=, _go up the wide steps on the left of the
Hôtel-de-Ville_, which lead to the Ramparts. The panoramic view above
was taken from these stairs.

In the foreground are seen: the Hôtel-de-Ville with its damaged turret,
the Hôtel-de-Ville Square (where the market is held), the Belfry, and
the Rue du Maréchal Pétain.

_At the top of the steps, turn to the right and follow the ramparts as
far as the entrance to the Park (photo below). Enter the latter_, which
occupies the entire site of the old castle, and go round it, to get a
general view of the town and outskirts. To visit the subterranean
passages, _apply to the keeper at the small lodge in the middle of the
park_.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE CASTLE PARK.]

_On leaving the park turn to the left_ to get a view of the Old Entrance
to the Castle, which consists of a pointed arch flanked by two large
circular towers (photo p. 64).

_Return to the Entrance Gate of the Park, then to the Hôtel-de-Ville_,
via _the Rue du Château_, in which is St. John’s Hospital (or
Hôtel-Dieu), founded by Jeanne, Queen of France and Navarre, in 1304,
and rebuilt in 1876.

_On arriving at the Hôtel-de-Ville, cross the Square, and follow the Rue
du Général Degoutte._

On the left are the Rue Dirigeon l’Ecart and the Rue Lefèvre-Maugras,
which were also barricaded by the Germans.

On the right of the Rue du Général Degoutte is the steep Rue
Jean-de-la-Fontaine, No. 13 being the house where the author of the
celebrated fables was born.

_Continue along the Rue du Général Degoutte, cross the Avenue du
Maréchal Joffre, then take the_ Rue St. Crépin, in which is the =church=
of that name. It was in this church that the Germans left behind a great
quantity of booty during their hurried retreat. (See photo, p. 43.)

Its heavy square tower, with carved buttresses, is 15th century. The
organ-loft, decorated with figures of the prophetesses and others, is
16th century.

The Rue St. Alpin is continued by the Rue St. Martin, which was sacked
by the Germans. The photograph below was taken at No. 26.

The visit to the town finishes at the end of the Rue St. Martin, _i.e._
at the junction of this street with the Avenue Clemenceau.

The excursion to Belleau Wood, described on page 49, starts from here.

(_Note for visitors arriving by train.--Leave the station by the Avenue
de la Gare, turn to the left into the Avenue de la République, follow
the latter as far as the Place Carnot, take the Rue Carnot (on the right
of the square), at the end of which is the bridge over the Marne, where
the itinerary above mentioned joins up._)

[Illustration: GERMAN VANDALISM. ROOM IN HOUSE AT NO. 26 RUE ST.
MARTIN.]


VISIT TO BELLEAU WOOD.

It was in the region that the tourist is about to visit that the
Americans performed, at heavy cost, one of their most glorious feats of
arms. The many graves seen on the way make the journey a veritable
pilgrimage.

_Leaving Château-Thierry by the Avenue Clemenceau (N. 3), pass under the
railway bridge_, taking another glance at the completely destroyed
hamlet of Courteau on the left. At the top of the stiff rise, _leave the
main road (which runs to the left), and go straight along G.C. 9 towards
Belleau and Torcy_. On the left the road skirts the Roches Wood, where
many shell-torn trees are lying on the ground. Numerous shell-holes are
visible on either side of the road.

The farm-houses around here are in ruins. The clumps of trees,
alternated with fields, which skirt the road, all bear marks of heavy
shelling. Shelters will be noticed all along the road. _Leave on the
right the “Chemin Vicinal” (poor condition), leading to_ Etrepilly,
which the Americans attacked and captured on July 20, 1918.

At about 2-1/2 miles from the fork where the tourist left the N. 3, =Hill
190= becomes plainly visible on the right. It is a bare eminence, full of
shell holes. The panorama on pages 50, 51 was taken from there.

(_To reach Hill 190, leave the car at “milestone” No. 4, where the road,
at the edge of a small wood, begins to descend. After following a
hawthorn hedge for about five minutes the top of the hill will be
reached._)

[Illustration: VISIT TO BELLEAU WOOD (28 miles).]

[Illustration: PANORAMA OF BELLEAU WOOD]

In the above photograph (from left to right) are seen: the village of
=Bouresches=, between two small hills; =Belleau Wood=, in the middle; the
villages of =Belleau= and =Torcy=; and the hamlet of =Givry= on the right.

This region was grimly defended on June 1, 1918, by the “Devil’s
Regiment,” as the Germans surnamed the 152nd French line regiment, on
account of its daring exploits. Outflanked on June 2, this regiment was
forced to withdraw from Torcy and Belleau to =Belleau Wood=, which was
abandoned only after a heroic defence, and when the position was on the
point of being turned. On June 3, after reforming behind the line of
support furnished by the Americans, they counter-attacked Belleau Wood,
advanced in spite of fierce counter-attacks by the enemy, and held all
gains until night-fall, when they were relieved by the Americans. On
June 7, =Bouresches= was retaken by the Allies. On the 8th, the Americans
repulsed a violent attack extending from Belleau Wood to Le Thiolet,
along a two-mile front. On the 9th, they broke up a new German attack
near Bouresches. From June 10 to 26, fierce fighting enabled them to
improve their positions. On the latter date they took 240 prisoners
south of Torcy and 264 in Belleau Wood. On the 25th, they completed the
capture of this wood.


THE CAPTURE OF BELLEAU WOOD.

It was on June 3, 1918, that the Americans took over the Belleau Wood
sector. Like the Priest Wood near Pont-à-Mousson, Grurie Wood in
Argonne, and the Sabot Wood in Champagne, Belleau Wood has become
famous. The broken, rocky ground lends itself naturally to defence, and,
by filling it with machine-guns, the Germans had made it well-nigh
impregnable.

[Illustration: SEEN FROM HILL 190.]

The attack was begun on June 10, 1918, by the American Marine
Brigade--the first of Uncle Sam’s units to land in France (June 27,
1917)--300 prisoners being taken. Operations were successfully continued
on the 13th, when a powerful German counter-attack, with orders to drive
out the Americans at all cost, was repulsed with heavy enemy loss.

It was from Belleau Wood that, on July 18, 1918, the 26th American
Division, which formed the pivot of General Degoutte’s army, set out on
the Great Counter-Offensive. Its eagerness was such that it had to be
restrained, to allow the wings to reach their assigned positions.

Its first objective was the Torcy-Belleau-Bouresches line (held by
first-class German troops: the famous 1st and 4th Guards and 6th
Bavarians), which was carried in a single rush. Organizing the conquered
ground, it there awaited the signal to advance on =Etrepilly=, given on
July 20 by General Degoutte. (_This village, which is situated on the
farther side of Hill 190, is not visible from where the tourist stands.
The road G. C. 9, leading thither, was crossed on the way to Hill 190._)
The attack on Etrepilly, which was to relieve the French (tenaciously
opposed to the north of Belleau), was executed with great vigour and
ability, according to General Degoutte’s report.

Three guns, one bomb-thrower, numerous machine-guns, and 200 prisoners
were taken, while the advance forced the Germans to abandon their
positions in front of the French lines.

After much bitter, indecisive fighting, and a further attack on the
26th, which resulted in the capture of 264 prisoners, the final assault
was made on the 29th. Two battalions deployed in four lines of
sharpshooters, fifty yards apart, closely followed by the storming
columns in waves, broke through the German positions after fierce
bayonet fighting. The enemy redoubts

[Illustration: AMERICAN OBSERVATION-POST IN BELLEAU WOOD DURING THE
FIGHTING IN JULY, 1918.]

were surrounded and reduced after hard hand-to-hand fighting. The
Americans, who had left off their coats and rolled up their
shirt-sleeves, advanced resolutely in spite of heavy losses.

The capture of this formidable position by the Marine Brigade won the
warmest praise from Marshals Foch and Pétain, and the heartfelt thanks
of the Mayor of Meaux, which city was thus saved from the enemy. The
French High Command decided that the wood should henceforth be called:
The Wood of the American Marine Brigade.

[Illustration: AMERICAN SOLDIER IN DUG-OUT IN BELLEAU WOOD.]

[Illustration: AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN BELLEAU WOOD.]

_Return to the car and continue towards the village of Belleau._

On the left side of the road are shelters for sharpshooters and
machine-guns.

_At the cross-roads, near the entrance to Belleau, a road branching off
the G. C. 9, to the right, leads into the village._

At this crossing there is an American cemetery.

On the left, a road which skirts Belleau Wood, leads to =Bouresches=.
About a mile from the crossing, along this road, there is another
American cemetery. On the right of the graves, an uphill road leads to
the wood, in which traces of the hard fighting are still
visible--trenches, shelters, barbed wire entanglements, branchless
trees, shell holes, etc.

A little further on, in the direction of Bouresches, is another American
cemetery.

After visiting that part of the wood which overlooks Belleau, _return to
the cross-roads and enter that village._

[Illustration: GERMAN CORPSES IN BELLEAU WOOD (April, 1919).]

[Illustration: BELLEAU CHURCH.]

_Descend as far as the_ Castle, which was badly damaged. Behind is the
Church, also in ruins. _In front of the Castle turn to the left, take
the first road on the right towards_ =Torcy=, _skirting the park_, the
walls and trees of which have been badly damaged. Torcy, entirely in
ruins, is reached shortly after.

_Continue as far as what was the_ 13th century church, now a heap of
ruins. The cemetery is a picture of desolation, the Germans having blown
up the underground vaults, which dated from the Middle-Ages.

[Illustration: RUINS IN BELLEAU VILLAGE.]

[Illustration: RUINS OF TORCY CHURCH.]

From the cemetery there is a pretty view of the valley. The photograph
below was taken from beyond the cemetery, in the old square now in
ruins.

_Retracing his steps, the tourist should take the uphill road visible on
the left of the photograph above, which he crossed before arriving at
the church, and return to G. C. 9. At the intersection of these two
roads is a_ large shed, the iron framework of which was torn and twisted
by shell fire. _Turn to the right and follow G. C._ 9 _towards_
Bussiares.

Before coming to Bussiares, the Tuilerie Farm, situated on a tiny hill
to the left, comes into view.

At the foot of this hill are German graves. The trenches and shelters on
its sides were heavily shelled.

=Bussiares= was less severely damaged than Torcy.

_After crossing the village take the first road on the right towards_
Hautevesnes. There are some French graves at the side of the road near
the fork. _Cross the railway (level crossing) and the bridge over the
small river Clignon_, which run side by side. Before coming to
Hautevesnes the road passes through shell-torn woods.

[Illustration: AFTER THE CAPTURE OF TORCY BY THE AMERICANS. THE VILLAGE
SQUARE, A HEAP OF RUINS.]

[Illustration: AT THE TOP OF A HILLOCK, THE RUINS OF THE CHURCH AT ST.
GENGOULPH STAND OUT TRAGICALLY AGAINST THE SKY.]

=Hautevesnes= was entirely destroyed.

_Cross the village, keeping a straight line towards_ the village of =St.
Gengoulph=, whose ruined church is at the top of a small hill on the
right (photo above).

_Leave St. Gengoulph on the right, without entering it, and a little
beyond the hill above-mentioned, turn to the right into the I. C. 34
towards Chevillon._

=Chevillon= was badly damaged. On leaving the village, the remains of
numerous trenches and shelters will be noticed on the left, while, in
the surrounding fields, thousands of shells have been collected into
heaps.

At the entrance to Chevillon, on the left of the road, there is an
American cemetery containing 240 graves of soldiers who fell on July 18,
1918 (photo below).

_After visiting Chevillon, return to I. C. 34, which follow, leaving St.
Gengoulph on the left._

_Shortly afterwards, turn to the left and descend to the_ badly-damaged
village of =Vinly= (photo, p. 57). _Turn to the left towards_
Veuilly-la-Poterie. _Cross the river Clignon and the railway
(level-crossing), continuing straight along the village, which visit._

[Illustration: AMERICAN CEMETARY AT CHEVILLON CONTAINING 240 GRAVES.]

[Illustration: AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN THE RUINS OF VINLY VILLAGE.]

The view below was taken a few hundred yards from the level crossing.

_Return to the railway, then turn to the right into G. C. 9, which runs
alongside the railway, on the right._

=Veuilly-la-Poterie= was taken by the Germans, but on debouching from it
they were checked by the Americans, who prevented further progress.

Passing through Eloup and Bussiares, the tourist arrives shortly
afterwards at the ruined shed previously seen opposite Torcy (p. 55).

[Illustration: PICTURESQUE VILLAGE OF VEUILLY-LA-POTERIE.]

[Illustration: RUINED CHURCH OF LUCY-LE-BOCAGE.]

This region was bitterly disputed. On June 6, a Franco-American attack
against the Veuilly-Bussiares line gave 270 prisoners, and the Americans
advanced a mile towards Torcy. Veuilly-la-Poterie was retaken on the 7th
and Eloup on the 8th, the Americans beating off all counter-attacks. On
the 9th the Bois d’Eloup and another wood to the south of Bussiares were
captured by the Allies. On the 10th, during several unsuccessful German
attacks east of Vinly-on-the-Clignon (to the north of Veuilly-la-Poterie),
the Franco-Americans advanced towards Bussiares, capturing 250
prisoners. On the 12th they took the southern part of Bussiares. On July
18, at the time of the great Franco-American Counter-Offensive, the
whole of this region was liberated with fine dash by the 1st American
Corps.

_At the crossing near Torcy leave G. C. 9 and take the I. C._ 32 to the
right. Near this fork, on the right, are American graves. The road
skirts the western side of Belleau Wood. More American graves are seen
before coming to =Lucy-le-Bocage=.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH AT LUCY-LE-BOCAGE.]

[Illustration: AMERICAN CEMETARY NEAR BOURESCHES.

In the background: the highest part of Belleau Wood.]

_Pass through the village, leave the church on the left, and take on the
left the road leading to_ =Bouresches=. About 200 yards from the village
there are more American graves.

On the left of the road the southern edge of Belleau Wood is visible.

Shortly before arriving at Bouresches are more American graves on the
left (photo above).

From here the tourist may cross the fields to the wood where there is a
path leading to Hill 181, its highest point. Numerous trenches,
shelters, etc., will be found there. In April, 1919, corpses were still
lying on the ground (photo, p. 53).

_Enter_ =Bouresches=. _Turn to the right in front of the Church, towards
Vaux._

[Illustration: BOURESCHES CHURCH.]

The road in front of the church leads: _on the left_, to Belleau, _on
the right_, to Vaux.

[Illustration: RUINS IN VAUX VILLAGE.]

_On the right_, American graves. _Enter_ =Vaux=. _Cross the National Road_
(N. 3) _and continue straight along the valley_. The ruins here are
particularly impressive (photo above).

Going towards Essommes, the tourist comes to =Monneaux=, whose cemetery is
on the left, at the entrance to the village. The wall nearest Vaux is
pierced with =loop-holes= for machine-guns. Along the left-hand side of
the road, American graves. _Cross the village_, which was much less
damaged than Vaux, _pass through Montcourt, and after leaving the
village cross the river_. _Continue straight along, pass through a
hamlet, after which_ =Essommes= _is reached_. This tiny village is one of
the oldest in the region. Its fine =church= was built in the 13th and 14th
centuries. The choir and transept are especially noteworthy.

[Illustration: THE NAVE AND CHOIR OF ESSOMMES CHURCH, WHOSE VAULTING HAS
FALLEN IN.]

[Illustration: THE CHOIR AND TRANSEPT SEEN FROM ONE OF THE AISLES.]

[Illustration: STAINED-GLASS WINDOW IN ESSOMMES CHURCH.]

Inside are admirable 16th century carved stalls and woodwork. The
keystones of the vaulting, a 16th century font, a monk’s tomb with the
carved figure of a crosiered abbot, and the fine stained-glass windows
are likewise remarkable. According to tradition, Queen Blanche de
Navarre, who was a generous patron of the region of Château-Thierry,
was buried in the Church.

[Illustration: KITCHEN AT NO. 4 AVENUE DU MARÉCHAL FOCH, AS THE GERMANS
LEFT IT.]

The village was damaged by bombardment.

_Pass in front of the Church, leaving it to the left, then turn to the
left into N._ 3, _which leads back to_ =Château-Thierry=, via _the Avenue
du Maréchal Foch_.

The photographs on this page, showing the effects of German plundering,
were taken at No. 4 of this avenue.

From Vaux, the road winds round =Hill 204=, which was so bitterly
disputed. In July, 1918, the Americans set out for the attack from the
various villages seen on the way, and after a week of severe fighting,
succeeded in driving out the Germans.

[Illustration: DINING-ROOM AT NO. 4 AVENUE DU MARÉCHAL FOCH, AS THE
GERMANS LEFT IT.]

[Illustration: ITINERARY OF THE SECOND DAY--70 MILES.]


2nd day.--CHÂTEAU-THIERRY--SOISSONS.

The following itinerary will enable the tourist to follow, step by step,
the course of the battle for the straightening out of the
Château-Thierry salient. It will also enable him to form a correct idea
of the German offensive of May 27, with its alternations of advance and
retreat around Soissons, the northern pivot of the battle.

_Leave by the Avenue du Maréchal Joffre, take the second street on the
right_ (_Rue Gare-des-Chesneaux_), whence there is a =fine view= of the
town and castle. _Do not cross the railway by the level crossing on the
right of the station, but continue straight ahead, leaving on the right
the street which leads to the entrance of the Castle (photo below). Pass
the “Octroi,” turn to the left about 100 yards further on_, under the
ruined bridge. The hospital on the left was badly damaged by shell-fire,
as were also the neighbouring embankment and houses.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE OLD CASTLE OF CHÂTEAU-THIERRY.

_The itinerary follows_ the road on the left.]

_Follow the G. C. 15_, to the left of which, hollowed out in the sloping
sides, are many ammunition shelters. _Pass under another_ damaged
railway bridge. Near the bridge over the small river which flows in
front of the village of =Verdilly= are numerous shell-holes and large
heaps of ammunition and rubbish.

_Pass through Verdilly, which was not severely damaged._

The Castle and park on the left received numerous shells. In Barbillon
Wood, on the right, huge quantities of abandoned shells were collected.

Further on, opposite the Breteuil Farm, were other ammunition dumps. In
the wood which borders the road, a little further on, are gun limbers
and artillery shelters.

Before coming to Epieds there is an American cemetery on the left of the
road.

=Epieds.=--This village was retaken by the Americans during their advance
in the middle of July, 1918. On July 22 a company of the 26th American
Division entered the village, after fierce hand-to-hand fighting, but
was unable to hold it, as the Germans counter-attacked in force on the
23rd and 24th. After two days’ fighting, the Americans finally captured
the village and Trugny Wood to the south-east, with many prisoners.
During this fighting, Epieds was taken and lost five times by the
Americans.

[Illustration: AMERICAN CEMETERY AT EPIEDS.

In the background: the Village.]

_In Epieds, turn to the right, and on leaving the village, take I. C. 30
on the left, which follows the left-hand side of the rive._ On the other
side of the river, on the hill-side, to the right, is Moucheton Castle
(photo below). A road, lined with poplar-trees, leads there.

The Castle, which was used as headquarters, first by the Germans and
afterwards by the Americans, dates from the 18th century. It has been
carefully restored in recent times.

In the wood, to the right of the road, were ammunition shelters.

_The tourist soon arrives at_ =Brécy=, where a German fifteen-inch
“Bertha” gun was installed. To visit the ="Bertha” platform= (photo p.
66), _turn to the left at the cross-roads before entering Brécy, pass
under the railway-bridge, turn to the left 100 yards further on, and
follow the railway towards Châtelet Wood. Rather less than a mile from
the cross-roads, the wood comes down to the road; skirt it for about 300
yards, until the railway siding which branches off the main line, and
along which the gun was brought to its platform, is reached._

[Illustration: MOUCHETON CASTLE, USED AS G.H.Q. BY THE AMERICANS.]

[Illustration: 15-IN. BERTHA PLATFORM IN CHÂTELET WOOD.

The road is at the back behind the trees.]

Follow this siding into the wood for about 60 yards, where the platform,
which the Germans tried to blow up before retreating, will be found. The
enemy succeeded in saving the gun.

Trees placed in holes along the siding hid the position from the Allied
aviators. _Turn the car round in the alley, about 20 yards after the
siding, and return to the cross-roads, driving slowly, as the road is
narrow and in poor condition._

(_N.B.--Tourists visiting the “Bertha” platform by special excursion
from Château-Thierry, can return by the road which follows the railway,
instead of retracing their steps, as above. Cross the railway, pass
through Bézu-St.-Germain, cross the railway again, turning shortly
afterwards to the left along N. 37, which leads direct to
Château-Thierry._)

[Illustration: FRENCH AND AMERICAN SOLDIERS ON THE “BERTHA” PLATFORM IN
JULY, 1918.]

[Illustration: THE ORDRIMOUILLE STREAM AT COINCY.

In the background: the Church.]

_Continue to follow the railway, turn to the right and pass under the
railway at the next bridge. Near the bend on the left are_ French
graves.

_Pass under the bridge, turn to the left into the_ picturesque village
of =Coincy=; _cross the river and continue as far as the Church_.

[Illustration: THE GERMANS PILLAGED THE CHURCH AT BRÉNY.]

[Illustration: GERMAN BARRICADE AT THE ENTRANCE TO OULCHY-LE-CHÂTEAU.

In the background: the Hôtel-le-Ville and Church.]

_Return to the entrance of the village, take on the right the road which
passes under the railway, and follow G. C. 3._

In the wood on the left were numerous ammunition dumps. =Rocourt= is
reached shortly afterwards. Take a look at the church, then _turn to the
right into N. 37_.

All along the road are small dug-outs. The Germans, in their retreat,
left behind huge quantities of shells and empty cartridge-cases.

Rather less than two miles from Rocourt, in a small wood which borders
the road on the left, the Germans had installed batteries of three-inch
and four-inch guns. The wood contains ammunition shelters and an
underground chamber full of shells. In the sloping land, at the side of
the road, small dug-outs can still be seen. A little further on, near a
ruined house, are heaps of burnt cable-drums, gun limbers, motors, etc.

=Brény-on-the-Ourcq= is soon reached.

[Illustration: THE CHURCH AND SEMINARY AT OULCHY-LE-CHÂTEAU.]

[Illustration: OULCHY-LE-CHÂTEAU SEEN FROM THE TERRACE.]

_Cross the railway (level crossing) in the village._ Shortly after
leaving Brény, in the hill-side on the left, are shelters which were
used by the Germans. Near by are graves.

A little further on are more shelters on the left, while close by are
the graves of the soldiers belonging to the 23rd French Infantry
Regiment, who fell on July 24.

=Oulchy-le-Château= is next reached.

The village lies in the narrow valley of the Rû-de-Chauday, between two
hills, on one of which is the church, on the other, the castle known as
“La Grande Maison.”

_In front of the “Mairie,” turn to the left, leaving the car a few
hundred yards further on. Taking the narrow street on the left of the
“Mairie,” and then a series of flights of steps, the tourist, keeping to
the left, arrives at the_ Church, situated on a terrace close to the
ruined Seminary.

[Illustration: RUINED CHURCH OF OULCHY-LA-VILLE.]

The Church was built inside the walls of the old feudal castle, which
gave its name to the village, and of which only the massive walls
remain. It is a large Roman edifice dating from the 12th century.
Although successive restorations have somewhat spoilt its lines, it is
none the less a remarkable building. The stalls are 14th century and the
pulpit 17th.

[Illustration: GERMAN HOWITZER GUN IN THE DISTILLERY RUINS AT
OULCHY-LA-VILLE.]

_After visiting the church and seminary, cross the terrace and return to
the lower part of the village by the footpath, which passes under the
little bridge at the edge of the terrace. At the bottom of the path, the
tourist will take his car again. A little further on, turn to the left
into G. C. 22, leading up to_ =Oulchy-la-Ville=. This village was much
more damaged than Oulchy-le-Château.

_At the fork, near the entrance to Oulchy-la-Ville, turn to the right in
the direction of the_ Church. The roof and tower of this 13th-14th
century edifice were destroyed by bombardment (photo, p. 69).

_Immediately after the church, turn to the left, then to the right, in
the direction of the_ distillery in ruins. In the yard of this building
there is a German howitzer-gun (photo above).

Just outside the village, shells, machine-gun cartridge belts, and
débris of all kinds, heaped pell-mell at the side of the road, remind
one of the fierceness of the struggle in this vicinity.

[Illustration: CHOUY CHURCH.]

[Illustration: THE MAIN STREET IN CHOUY.

The ruined Church stands at the back.]

_Follow the G. C. 22, which dips down towards the Ourcq._

_Pass through_ =Rozet-St.-Albin=, before and after which, on the right of
the road, are numerous “boves” or worked-out quarries transformed into
dwellings. Situated in the hill-sides, these “boves” formed admirable
shelters for the troops.

_On reaching the Ourcq (which do not cross), continue straight along G.
C. 23, in the direction of the village of_ =Chouy=, _which was practically
razed to the ground_.

At the Church, _turn to the right_.

On leaving Chouy, _continue along G. C. 23 towards_ =Ancienville=, which
is off the road, on the left. _Take the road on the left that winds
round a small hill_, on which is the church (photo below).

[Illustration: CHURCH AND CEMETERY AT ANCIENVILLE.]

[Illustration: MAUCREUX CASTLE AFTER THE GERMAN BOMBARDMENTS.]

_Return to G. C. 23, and turn to the left._ The woods about here were
badly damaged. After crossing the Saviéres, the Castle of Maucreux,
built on an eminence, becomes visible on the left. It was struck by a
number of shells.

On the right of the road are stone quarries and dug-outs.

Beyond the Castle and on leaving the woods, _turn to the left at the
fork_. Numerous dug-outs are in the sloping sides of the road. After the
Cemetery of =Faverolles=, the walls of which are in ruins, the tourist
enters the village of that name.

Leaving the church behind, on the left, _turn to the right_. =Vouty= is
reached shortly afterwards, after skirting the wall of an old farm.

[Illustration: FAVEROLLES CHURCH.]

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF FAVEROLLES CHURCH.]

On the other side of the road are French graves. _Turn to the right into
the road seen in the photograph below._

_Skirt the farm, follow G. C. 17, and turn to the left at the first
fork. At the next fork, a little further on, keep straight on._ Numerous
shell-holes and trenches.

From Vouty, there is a fine run down to the village of =Corcy=, of which
nothing is left but a heap of ruins. At the bottom of the hill, the
Castle and Park are pictures of desolation.

The village and church are a little further on, to the left.

[Illustration: VOUTY FARM.]

[Illustration: THE VILLAGE AND MARSHES OF CORCY, SEEN FROM G. C. 17
BEFORE ARRIVING AT THE CASTLE.]

[Illustration: FRENCH GRAVES IN CORCY CASTLE PARK.

Behind is the village.]

[Illustration: THE REMAINS OF CORCY CASTLE.

At the back are seen the marshes and the village.]

In front of the Castle, _turn to the left and, after the marshes, to the
right, without crossing the railway by the level-crossing, seen in the
foreground of the photograph on the next page_. (_The road to be
followed is the one, the beginning of which is seen on the left of this
photograph._)

_Continue along G. C. 17, which follows the railway on the right, cross
the latter by the level-crossing_, after which the tourist comes to the
completely devastated =Villers-Cotterets Wood=.

Numerous deep dug-outs were made in the slopes on the left. A few
hundred yards after the level-crossing there is an enormous shell
crater, caused by the explosion of an ammunition shelter. On the right
of the road flows the Saviéres, on whose banks fierce fighting took
place in June-July, 1918.

[Illustration: CORCY CHURCH.]

[Illustration: CORCY.

In the background: Ruins of the Church. The road to Villers-Cotterets is
the one going to the left on the photograph.]

On arriving at =Longpont=, the Abbey comes into sight; in front of the
latter, _turn to the left, then into the first street on the right_,
which leads to the Square. On the left is the Abbey; on the right, the
fortified gate.

[Illustration: THE OLD FORTIFIED GATE OF LONGPONT ABBEY.

In the background: Villers-Cotterets Wood and the road leading to
Villers-Cotterets village.]

The =Abbey=, which belonged to the Cistercian Order, was founded by _Raoul
IV._, Count of Crespy, for which pious act he was absolved from
excommunication. It quickly became a flourishing institution, the
number of monks at the end of the 12th century being two hundred. In the
14th century, during the Hundred Years’ War, this number had fallen to
thirty, while on the eve of the Revolution there remained only fifteen.

[Illustration: LONGPONT ABBEY, SEEN FROM THE GRANDE PLACE.]

The Abbey contains the ruins of a magnificent Gothic Church, the
foundations of which were laid in 1131, under the Count of Crespy, but
which was only finished in 1226. It was consecrated in 1227, in the
presence of King St. Louis and his mother. The fine gabled façade and
the walls of the nave, with their massive abutments and graceful flying
buttresses, are still standing, as is also the transept. The porches are
intact. Of the apsis and chapels, only the walls and columns remain.

A 13th century fortified gate, surmounted by four turrets with pointed
tops, is all that remains of the walls that formerly protected the Abbey
from the bands of marauders which roamed through the country.

[Illustration: LONGPONT ABBEY CHURCH, SEEN FROM THE STREET LEADING TO
THE FORTIFIED GATE.]

[Illustration: FRONT OF LONGPONT ABBEY, OVERLOOKING THE PARK.

On the left is the Church.]

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF LONGPONT ABBEY CHURCH.]

[Illustration: MAP OF THE OPERATIONS FROM OULCHY-LE-CHÂTEAU TO LONGPONT.

The roads indicated by the two continuous lines are those to be followed
by the tourist.]

The entire region just passed through (from Oulchy to Longpont), was
occupied and ravaged by the Germans after May 30, 1918, and reconquered
by General Mangin’s army from July 18 onwards.

On May 30, a German army under General Winkler (1st Guards, 33rd
Infantry and 10th Reserves) attacked the two villages of Oulchy from the
east, but were stubbornly opposed. Advancing beyond them on the 31st,
the Germans (28th Reserves) took Longpont, while Corcy was captured by
the 1st Guards. After fierce fighting, Chouy, Ancienville, and
Faverolles also fell. Two days later, after furious combats, the French
recaptured Longpont and Corcy, but Faverolles, after changing hands
several times, was kept by the Germans. On June 3, the enemy made a
violent attack on Villers-Cotterets Wood, the fighting around Longpont
and Faverolles being of the fiercest. However, they failed to gain a
footing in the Wood, and the French re-took Faverolles. For more than a
month the battle continued to rage without appreciably modifying the
situation. From July 11 the Allies became increasingly active, retaking
Corcy and Longpont, and crossing the Savières on the 13th, south of that
village. On the 18th, the tanks and Franco-American troops (1st and 2nd
American Divisions) under General Mangin debouched from the forest in
the Great Counter-Offensive. The valley of the Savières was cleared of
the enemy, and on the 19th, progress made beyond Chouy. On the 20th and
21st, the outskirts of Oulchy-la-Ville and Oulchy-le-Château were
reached. Here the enemy offered a vigorous resistance, and the battle
continued to rage until the beginning of August. German prisoners
belonging to the 51st Reserves and 6th Guards (Ersatz) declared that
their orders on July 30 were to fight to the last man. On August 1 the
Germans attacked Oulchy unsuccessfully early in the morning. Finally,
the entire region was cleared of the enemy, the Americans taking part in
the recapture of Chouy and the two villages of Oulchy.

[Illustration: BROTHERS-IN-ARMS. FRENCH AND AMERICAN SOLDIERS HELPING A
WOUNDED FRENCHMAN NEAR LONGPONT.]

_After visiting Longpont and the Abbey continue along the street by
which the square was reached; cross the bridge in the direction of_
=Chaudun=, _keeping to the G. C. 17_. Below the road are the ruins of La
Grange Farm. The table-land near the top of the hill, on the right,
served as an aviation park during the War. In May, 1919, the remains of
twenty burnt aeroplanes were still to be seen there.

_At the fork take the right-hand road_ (_I. C. 30_). Here the road was
crossed by wire entanglements and trenches. Fierce fighting took place
over the whole of this tableland. On the left is =Beaurepaire Farm=, which
was little damaged.

[Illustration: GERMAN 77MM. GUN ABANDONED NEAR CHAUDUN, WITH HEAP OF
WICKER BASKETS, EACH CONTAINING THREE SHELLS.]

[Illustration: BARBED WIRE ENTANGLEMENT IN FRONT OF CHAUDUN DURING THE
BATTLE OF JULY.

In the foreground: German corpse.]

At the crossing where Beaurepaire Farm stands, a road branches off on
the right towards =Vierzy=, situated rather less than two miles away at
the bottom of a small valley. The Americans (2nd Division) had some
fierce fighting at Beaurepaire Farm and Vierzy. _If not pressed for
time, the tourist should visit Vierzy, returning thence to Beaurepaire
Farm and continuing to_ Chaudun (I. C. 30).

On the right of the road is Maisonneuve Farm in ruins (photo below).

On arriving at =Chaudun=, which was badly damaged, _turn to the left in
the village_. On the right of the street leading to the small square is
the entrance to the cemetery, from where there is a good view of the
ruined church.

[Illustration: AMERICAN SOLDIERS AT MAISONNEUVE FARM.]

[Illustration: RUINS OF CHAUDUN CHURCH, SEEN FROM THE CEMETERY.]

_After visiting the church, return to the above mentioned._

_Turn to the right, and on leaving the village, to the left, in the
direction of_ Cravançon Farm, which was completely destroyed. All
around, the trees have been stripped of their branches or torn down by
shell fire. Several lines of barbed wire entanglements enclose the farm.
A little further on is a crossing with N. 2, known as the “=Croix-de-Fer=”
(“Iron Cross”). The fighting around here was extremely bitter. At the
time of General Mangin’s great offensive, hundreds of tanks attacked the
table-land.

[Illustration: THE CROSS-ROADS AT CROIX-DE-FER, AT THE INTERSECTION OF
THE N. 2 (PARIS-SOISSONS) AND THE CHAUDUN-DOMMIERS ROAD.

In the background: Cravançon Farm in ruins.]

[Illustration: TANK DAMAGED BY ENEMY SHELL-FIRE NEAR THE CROSS-ROADS AT
CROIX-DE-FER.

On the right is the N. 2 leading to Soissons.]

_Turn to the right into N. 2._ In May, 1919, three wrecked tanks were
still to be seen there.

_A little further on_ (_rather more than half a mile from the fork_)
there is a large American cemetery (photo below). The Americans who fell
in the vicinity during the fighting in July were buried there. _Return
to the “Croix-de-Fer” and take the road on the right towards Dommiers_,
which crosses the table-land attacked by the tanks.

[Illustration: AMERICAN CEMETERY ALONGSIDE THE N. 2, ABOUT HALF A MILE
FROM THE CROIX-DE-FER CROSS-ROADS TOWARDS SOISSONS.

It was from this immense plateau that the Americans set out to attack
the German lines on June 18, 1918, with General Mangin’s Army.]

[Illustration: DAMAGED TANK NEAR DOMMIERS, SEEN FROM THE BRITISH
CEMETERY NEAR DOMMIERS.

Dommiers Road in the background where the motor-car is standing.]

About half a mile before reaching Dommiers the tourist comes to the
British Cemetery, from which the above photograph was taken in April,
1919. The tanks seen in the picture have since been removed.

At the entrance to =Dommiers= (in ruins) is an enormous heap of shells,
shell-cases, rifles, etc. (photo below). _Pass through the village_,
leaving the church on the left. Built in the 12th and 13th centuries,
the steeple and roof of the church have fallen in. The choir contained
some fine woodwork, which originally came from the Church of St.
Jean-des-Vignes at Soissons. Most of it was destroyed by shell-fire,
three panels only remaining uninjured.

[Illustration: EMPTY SHELL CASES OF ALL CALIBRES COLLECTED ON THE
BATTLEFIELD NEAR DOMMIERS.

In the background is seen the village of Dommiers.]

[Illustration: TANKS CROSSING DOMMIERS VILLAGE.]

[Illustration: AMERICAN SOLDIER’S MASCOT (YOUNG WILD BOAR) IN A FARMYARD
AT DOMMIERS.]

[Illustration: DOMMIERS CHURCH IN RUINS.]

[Illustration: ST. PIERRE-AIGLE VILLAGE, SEEN FROM THE ROAD COMING FROM
DOMMIERS.]

[Illustration: THE VALLEY OF THE RU-DE-RETZ SEEN FROM THE RUINS OF THE
CHURCH OF ST. PIERRE-AIGLE.

The deep ravine in which this small stream flows was the objective of
numerous fierce combats. In the background: Villers-Cotterets Wood in
which the Germans tried in vain to get a footing.]

[Illustration: VERTES-FEUILLES FARM, SEEN FROM THE N. 2 DURING THE JULY
COMBATS.]

_Continue towards_ =St. Pierre-Aigle=, which is marvellously situated. The
photographs on the preceding page show in what state the bombardments
left it. _Turn to the left_, to visit the church at the edge of the
ravine (pretty view over the forest of Retz). _Return to the road and
descend into the valley._

At the bottom of the hill, if not pressed for time, visit
Vertes-Feuilles Farm, situated about two miles further on. In this case,
_take on the left the road leading up the valley_. The road first passes
through ravaged woods, finally reaching the plateau crossed by N. 2. The
farm, now a mere heap of ruins, stood at this crossing. Behind the farm
are barbed wire entanglements and trenches.

[Illustration: VERTES-FEUILLES FARM DEFENSIVELY ORGANIZED.

The fighting here was of the fiercest. In front: French graves.]

[Illustration: GERMAN PRISONERS PASSING THROUGH COEUVRES IN JULY, 1918,
ESCORTED BY AN AMERICAN CAVALRYMAN.]

_Return to_ St. Pierre-Aigle _and continue straight ahead towards_
Cœuvres. The ruined farm and Castle of Valsery on the far side of the
river are visible from here. In =Cœuvres=, _turn to the left and cross
the bridge_ to visit the church, the steeple and western portion of
which have fallen in.

_Return to the bridge and turn to the left towards_ Cutry (_do not cross
the river_).

Two lines of barbed wire entanglements crossed the road at the exit of
the village. _At the fork, turn to the right into I. C. 44 and cross the
river. More_ barbed wire entanglements here defended Cœuvres. _Climb
the zig-zag road as far as the_ church of =Cutry=, remarkable edifice
whose nave and apsis were destroyed. Very fine view.

In the Cemetery of Cutry are graves of French soldiers who fell in July,
1918.

[Illustration: RUINS OF CUTRY CHURCH.

From this church, built at the top of the hill, there is a fine view of
the Rû-de-Retz Ravine, which was so hotly disputed.]

[Illustration: AMERICAN CONVOY RESTING IN LAVERSINE VILLAGE.]

_Return by the same road to the fork._

(_N.B._--_A more direct road to the church is the steep, narrow lane
which branches off the route at the foot of the hill. If desired,
motorists may take this lane going, and return by the main road, or_
vice versa.)

From Cutry, _continue straight ahead to_ =Laversine=. _Pass through this
village by G. C. 17 in the direction of_ =Courtançon=. Before reaching the
latter enormous heaps of ammunition and débris will be seen. The trees
along the river are shell-torn.

After Courtançon, =St. Bandry= comes into view on the left. In the village
_turn to the left as far as the_ ruined church. In the cemetery are
graves of French soldiers who fell on July 18. At the side of the
church, beneath the ruins of the blacksmith’s house, are ancient,
deep-vaulted cellars. There are numerous similar cellars in the village,
which served as shelters for the troops.

[Illustration: RUINED CHURCH OF ST. BANDRY.

There are mediaeval cellars underneath the blacksmith’s house seen
behind the church.]

[Illustration: CHURCH AND FORTIFIED CASTLE DONJON OF AMBLÉNY.]

_Return to G. C. 17 and turn to the left towards_ =Amblény=.

Rather more than quarter of a mile after entering this village, _turn to
the left, then to the right_ towards the Fortified Castle. _Turn to the
right and descend alongside_ the Donjon and Church. _Continue straight
along, then turn to the right and cross the river. At the fork beyond
the river, turn to the left and skirt the cemetery._

[Illustration: THE NAVE OF AMBLÉNY CHURCH.

The Castle Donjon is seen in the background.]

[Illustration: APSIS OF AMBLÉNY CHURCH (1919).

(_Compare with photo below taken in 1917._)]

_At the next fork go straight ahead._ The valley here was badly ravaged.
Numerous wire entanglements, trenches, heaps of ammunition, débris,
etc., are seen.

_Keep straight on as far as N. 31, into which turn to the right._ All
along are wire entanglements, trenches, heaps of ammunition, shelters,
and various organizations. _Cross the railway (level-crossing) and take
the first road on the right towards_ =Pernant=.

[Illustration: APSIS OF AMBLÉNY CHURCH IN 1917.

(_See above photo._)]

[Illustration: PERNANT CHURCH.

_In front, on the right_: Baskets of German shells; _behind same_: Wall
pierced with loop-holes. _In one of the outside walls of the church, a
shell uncovered a stone_ Virgin _previously walled in_.]

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF PERNANT CHURCH.]

[Illustration: THE OLD CASTLE AT PERNANT, SEEN FROM THE ENTRANCE SIDE.]

_Cross the railway again (level-crossing), then turn to the right
towards the Church._

_Go straight up the hill, take the first road on the right leading up a
steep hill_ to the very interesting Castle, which dates from the
Middle-Ages. Built on rock foundations it contains a deep cavern. The
roof and eastern portion were damaged by the bombardment. Fine view from
the terrace.

_Continue to climb the hill as far as the plateau_; very fine view.

_Descend to_ Pernant. Caves are visible in the hill-sides. _At the_
church _turn to the right, then to the left_. _Recross the
level-crossing last mentioned, then turn to the right into N. 31._

Along the road numerous military organizations are met with.

(_If not pressed for time, instead of going straight on to Soissons by
N. 31, take the road on the right, about 1-1/2 miles after Pernant,
leading to Mercin_,

[Illustration: PERNANT CASTLE.

In the ravine which it overlooks furious fighting took place.]

[Illustration: SHELTERS ALONG THE N. 31 BETWEEN PERNANT AND SOISSONS.

Behind is the Aisne Valley.]

_cross the railway (level-crossing), then turn to the left towards the
Church._ The ancient turreted Castle, which now serves as Town-Hall and
School, is above the church, on the right.)

_Retracing his steps for a short distance, the tourist should take I. C.
44 on the left, which leads up to the plateau._ Fierce fighting took
place here, as attest the wire entanglements, trenches, etc. _On
reaching N. 2, turn into it on the left._ The run down from here to
=Soissons= is very fine. _Enter Soissons by the Rue du Faubourg St.
Christophe._

[Illustration: MERCIN CHURCH IN RUINS.]

[Illustration: MAP OF THE OPERATIONS FROM CHAUDUN TO SOISSONS.

_The roads indicated by two continuous lines are to be followed by the
tourist._]

Throughout the region which the tourist has just visited (Chaudun to
Soissons), the battle raged without respite from May 29 to July 18,
1918. While, on May 29 and 30, the French were hanging on to the western
outskirts of Soissons, outflanked by the armies of Von François and Von
Larisch, the German 6th Active and 6th Reserves captured Vierzy and
Chaudun on the 30th. On June 1, French counter-attacks forced the enemy
to retire. After changing hands several times and much furious fighting,
Chaudun and Vierzy remained in the hands of the French. On the 3rd, the
enemy engaged all available reserves (three fresh divisions) in a
powerful attack between the Aisne and the Ourcq. Progressing beyond
Missy-aux-Bois and La Croix-de-Fer they reached the line extending
northwards from Dommiers to west of Pernant. On June 12 and 13, they
again attacked in the direction of the Villers-Cotterets Wood reaching
the Laversine--Cœuvres--St. Pierre-Aigle line. Stiff fighting
continued along this line until the end of June, the French retaking
Cœuvres on the 15th, Laversine on the 28th, and St. Pierre-Aigle on
July 2.

On July 18, the Franco-American forces (1st and 2nd American Divisions),
under General Mangin, began their counter-offensive, which liberated the
entire region as far as east of Pernant, including Missy-aux-Bois,
Chaudun, and Vierzy. The latter village, which had been lost in the
evening, was promptly re-taken by the Americans (2nd Division) after
furious combats.

From the 19th to the 21st the enemy offered desperate resistance to the
south-west of Soissons. Engaging three fresh divisions, and after
numerous counter-attacks, they succeeded in advancing to the east of
Chaudun. Their success was short-lived, however, as on the 21st, General
Mangin’s army broke down their resistance and reached the road from
Soissons to Oulchy (N. 37).

[Illustration]


3rd day.--SOISSONS--PARIS.

_Via Laffaux, Fismes and Château-Thierry._

(_To visit Soissons, see the Michelin Illustrated Guide_: “=Soissons
before and during the War.=”)

The itineraries of the first two days will have taken the tourist to the
extreme points reached by the German advance, and where the victorious
Franco-American counter-offensive of July 18 developed along the western
side of the Château-Thierry salient.

The itinerary for the third day will first lead the tourist to the
=Chemin-des-Dames=, where the German attack of May 27, 1918, which made
the salient, began. The return journey passes through those parts of the
battlefield to the north-east of Château-Thierry which marked the
pursuit of the Germans by the Americans.

[Illustration: COMMUNICATING TRENCH IN ONE OF THE STREETS OF CROUY IN
1916.

At the back stands the Church.

(_Compare with photo on next page taken in 1919._)]

_On leaving Soissons, cross the bridge over the Aisne, then take the
Avenue de Laon and N. 2. After_ =St. Paul=, _pass under the railway, then
over the level-crossing before coming to_ =Crouy=, which suffered severely
from the bombardment. The church is on the left, near the small river.

On leaving the village, the road rises towards Crouy Plateau, passing
between numerous military organizations and shelters in the hill-sides.

[Illustration: REMAINS OF CROUY CHURCH. (_See photo (1916) on previous
page._)]

From the top of the hill the devastated Perrière Farm is visible on the
left. There is a French cemetery opposite, on the right of the road.

A trench, since filled in, ran the whole length of the road.

_Cross the ruins_ of Pont Rouge Works. Numerous barbed wire
entanglements stretch across the road. _About 100 yards before
“milestone” 79, and rather more than half-a-mile before Laffaux Mill_,
near a number of French graves, _take the road on the left_, which leads
to the ruins of the village of =Laffaux=. The bombardment here was
terrible, as the countless shell craters attest. Of the houses, only
heaps of stones and débris remain. The ruins of the church are seen in
profile above the ravine.

[Illustration: RUINS OF PERRIÈRE FARM.

(_On the left of N. 2, beyond Jouy, going towards Laon._)]

The numerous quarries below the village were utilized as defences. A
road which passes below the church leads there. _The tourist should
return to the main road, either by retracing his steps, or by
continuing straight ahead, turning to the right and coming out, rather
less than a mile further on, at the crossing where stood_ Laffaux Mill.
The latter road is very rough. In May, 1919, corpses were still to be
seen in some of the shell holes. =Laffaux Mill= stood on the right of the
crossing in the National Highway, at the junction of the rough roads
leading to Laffaux and Pinon.

[Illustration: LAFFAUX CHURCH!

Below in the hillside are the organized caverns seen in the photo
below.]

_Continue along the National Road slightly beyond_ “=Guardian Angel
Farm=.”

On the right will be seen the beginning of the Chemin-des-Dames (see p.
101). _Return to the farm, then turn to the left into G. C. 14 towards_
Jouy.

[Illustration: CAVERNS WHICH SHELTERED THE TROOPS DEFENDING LAFFAUX
PLATEAU.]

[Illustration: THIS WAS FORMERLY LAFFAUX MILL.]

[Illustration: “POILUS” IN THE RUINS OF “GUARDIAN ANGEL” FARM.]

[Illustration: THE SOISSONS-LAON ROAD (N. 2) NEAR GUARDIAN ANGEL FARM.]

[Illustration: THE CHEMIN-DES-DAMES (100 YARDS TO THE RIGHT OF N. 2).

_In the foreground:_ Remains of a corpse (1919).]

[Illustration: SHELTER ON THE JOUY ROAD.

Overhead, traces of the camouflaging are still visible.]

[Illustration: PANORAMA OF THE CHEMIN-DES-DAMES SEEN FROM THE JOUY ROAD.

The “Chemin” follows the crest of the high ground on the horizon.]

_Cross the plateau_, then begin the descent into the valley of the
Aisne. Very fine panorama of the Chemin-des-Dames. The view above was
taken rather more than a mile from Aizy, before coming to =Jouy=. The
graves in the foreground of the photograph have since been carried away
by a landslide into the ravine. The photograph on p. 101 shows some of
the numerous shelters which were made along this road.

[Illustration: VAILLY CHURCH.]

_Leave the village of Aizy on the left._ The road continues to descend
into the valley of the Aisne. _On reaching_ =Vailly=, _take the first
street to the left towards the church, and in front of the latter, turn
to the right_. _One hundred yards further on, turn to the left towards
Chavonne, then take the first road to the right (G. C. 10) and follow
the river._

[Illustration: REVILLON CHURCH.]

[Illustration: GLENNES CHURCH.]

There are trenches all along the right of the road. _Pass through_
=Chavonne=, whose destroyed bridge has not yet been rebuilt. _On the
left_, numerous military organizations. Traces of the “camouflaging”
used hereabout to hide the road are still visible. _Follow the railings
of the_ =Soupir Park=, _along which_ trenches were made. These railings
were also camouflaged. _Cross the Aisne-and-Oise Canal, and pass
through_ =Bourg= _and_ =Comin=.

The quarries on the high ground to the left, before reaching =Œuilly=,
were organized militarily. _After the_ church, _turn to the right
towards the temporary bridge. Cross the river, then the canal. After
the_ distillery, _turn to the left, then take the first road on the
right to_ =Révillon=.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF GLENNES CHURCH.]

[Illustration: DISTRIBUTING RATIONS TO AMERICAN SOLDIERS ON THE ROAD TO
FISMETTES.]

_Go straight on to_ =Glennes=. These two villages were captured by the
Americans on September 6.

_After visiting_ =Glennes=, _return to Révillon_. _Leaving the village
behind, cross the stream, and before reaching the_ Castle, _turn to the
left (G. C. 21), then 300 yards further on, to the left again. Go
straight ahead, cross the stream, then turn to the right at the fork
reached soon afterwards._

_Pass through_ =Merval=, whose factory was entirely destroyed. The road,
which was here camouflaged, descends towards the Valley of the Vesle.
Pretty view. _Enter_ =Fismettes=, _then cross the Vesle by the temporary
bridge_.

[Illustration: RUINS OF FISMES SEEN FROM THE TEMPORARY BRIDGE OVER THE
VESLE WHICH CONNECTS THAT VILLAGE UP WITH FISMETTES.

To the left of this bridge are the ruins of the old stone bridge.]

[Illustration: TEMPORARY BRIDGE OVER THE VESLE, “CAMOUFLAGED” DURING THE
OPERATIONS.]

_Pass over the level-crossing, then climb straight up to the town of_
=Fismes=, _crossing on the left_ the avenues, whose trees have been cut to
pieces by the shells. At one corner of the Square, where the tourist
comes out, is the Town Hall in ruins.

To get a good view of the ruins of the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, _take the
Rue de l’Hospice, on the right of the Square, which leads straight
there_. This hospital was founded at the beginning of the 15th century.
Only the façade remains, the remainder of the buildings having been
destroyed by the bombardments.

_Take on the left, the street which passes in front of the_
Hôtel-de-Ville, _and which crosses, on the left, the Avenue in which
the_ church _stands_. Built in the 11th, 13th, and 16th centuries, this
church is remarkable for its Roman apsis. Inside are two statues of St.
Macre, one Middle-Age, the other 17th or 18th century.

The Cemetery, on one side of which several hundred Americans were
buried, is on the right of the road to Rheims, beyond the Avenue. _To go
there, take the last street on the right_ (_Rue du Point du Jour_).

[Illustration: HÔTEL-DE-VILLE SQUARE IN AUGUST, 1918.]

[Illustration: TOWN HALL OF FISMES.]

[Illustration: APSIS AND TOWER OF FISMES CHURCH SEEN FROM THE RAMPARTS
IN 1914.]

[Illustration: FRONT AND TOWER OF ABOVE CHURCH IN 1918, AS SEEN FROM THE
PLACE DE L’EGLISE.]

[Illustration: THE OLD RAMPARTS OF FISMES SEEN FROM BELOW THE PLACE DE
L’EGLISE.]


FISMES.

Origin and Chief Historical Events.

Fismes is one of the oldest towns in France. Cæsar refers to it in his
Commentaries on the War of the Gauls. St. Macre suffered martyrdom
there. In 1226 the town became a Commune. Sacked in 1814 by the
Prussians, its Communal Seal--well-known to archæologists--disappeared.
To-day it is in one of the museums of Berlin. The town was fortified at
an early date. Of the old ramparts, transformed later into avenues, four
gates still exist. It was customary for the Kings of France to stay
over-night at Fismes, when on their way to Rheims to be crowned. In
1814, on the eve of invasion, Napoleon I. called the nation to arms at
Fismes.


Fismes in 1914.

The Germans occupied the town on September 2, 1914, as the last French
columns were withdrawing along the road to Epernay. The Mayor and
several town councillors were taken as hostages. Meanwhile, the
Kommandant Von Kron ordered eight beds to be prepared in one of the
rooms of the Hôtel-de-Ville, and dinner for ten officers; 400 bottles of
wine, four oxen and 400 bundles of straw were requisitioned for three
o’clock next morning.

During the night, the soldiers pillaged the shops and wine cellars. The
next day, the Germans requisitioned one ton of lard or bacon, one ton of
coffee and tobacco, 35 tons of bread, and 40 tons of oats. To meet these
requirements, the town was forced to apply to the neighbouring communes.
The German authorities took measures to protect the houses which were
inhabited, but allowed the others to be plundered. The Municipality was
ordered to repair the bridge of Fismettes, which had been destroyed by
the French engineers, under a penalty of a million francs if the work
were not finished in two days. Early in the morning of September 11, the
German authorities left the town, which the French were approaching. At
about seven o’clock in the evening, the 45th French line regiment
entered the town. On the 12th, after an artillery duel which did great
damage, the French carried the level-crossing at Fismettes, which had
been barricaded by the Germans, together with the railway station and
neighbouring houses. They were held up by enemy fire for a short while
in front of the bridge, and were obliged to carry the hat factory at the
point of the bayonet. Passing over to the north side of the river, the
Zouaves of the 1st regiment, with the help of the 45th line regiment,
captured the heights which command the town.

[Illustration: THE GRAND’ PLACE OF BAZOCHES.

The ruined Church is seen at the back.]


Fismes in 1918.

The town was again occupied by the Germans on May 28, 1918, after stiff
fighting.

On May 27, 1918, the first day of their great offensive, the Germans
reached the Vesle at about 7.30 in the evening, on both sides of Fismes.
At one in the morning, on the 28th, the Germans crossed the Vesle,
outflanking the town on the west. Other enemy troops, who only forced
the passage of the river towards noon, were supported on their left and
progressed dangerously. A frontal attack forced the French, who were
defending Fismes, to retire, in order to avoid being surrounded.

Fismes was delivered on August 4 and 5 by the Americans (3rd Corps), who
had reached the outskirts of the town on the evening of the previous
day. On the 4th, street by street, at the bayonet’s point, they captured
the town. From the 6th to the 10th the fighting continued to be
extremely violent along the river, and in front of Fismettes. On the 6th
American units crossed the Vesle near Fismettes, but on the 8th and 9th
the Germans counter-attacked vigorously to the east of Fismes and before
Fismettes. After breaking down the German resistance, the Americans
occupied Fismettes definitely on the 10th. On the following days,
especially on the 12th and 28th, furious counter-attacks by the Germans
failed to retake Fismettes.

The offensive by General Mangin’s army against the tablelands to the
north-east of Soissons, from August 30, made itself felt along the Vesle
front. Fearing to be outflanked, and in order to shorten his front, the
enemy abandoned the heights overlooking the river, and retreated to the
Aisne during the night of September 3-4. On the 4th, Franco-American
troops crossed the Vesle along an eighteen-mile front, advancing on an
average about two and a half miles to the north. On the 5th they reached
the Aisne.

_After visiting Fismes, if the tourist desires to go to_ =Rheims=, _he
should continue in the direction taken to go to the cemetery, following
N. 31._

_To continue the itinerary of the_ American battle, _return to the
Hôtel-de-Ville and follow N. 31 towards Bazoches_. _Cross the railway
(level-crossing), the river in the middle of the marshes, then the
bridge over the railway_. The bombardment did great damage here. On
arriving at =Bazoches=, _take the road which branches off N. 31 and leads
to the village_. The walls of the cemetery on the left are in ruins. By
the side of the cemetery are the graves of the American soldiers who
fell in the vicinity.

[Illustration: BAZOCHES CHURCH.]

=Bazoches= is one of the most ancient country towns in the Department of
the Aisne. It is held by some to have had its origin in the public
granaries built there by the Romans after their conquest of Gaul.
Several martyrdoms took place there.

[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW OF BAZOCHES.

_The N. 31 road which the tourist has just left runs at the foot of the
hill._]

[Illustration: BAZOCHES CHÂTEAU IN 1914.]

Situated on the railway from Soissons to Rheims, and connected by branch
lines with the railway from Paris to Châlons, _via_ Château-Thierry and
Epernay, and the lines radiating from Villers-Cotterets towards Paris,
the important position of Bazoches was hotly disputed during the
fighting from May to August, 1918.

The Americans co-operated actively in its re-capture in August, 1918. On
August 7 they crossed the Vesle to the east of the town, under
particularly difficult conditions. The river and its banks literally
bristled with wire entanglements, and were swept by deadly machine-gun
and artillery fire, but the Americans got across nevertheless.

The itinerary passes in front of the Church of St. Peter (12th and 13th
centuries).

_Leaving the church on the right_, the Square from which the above
photograph was taken, _is reached_. View on the left of the remains of
the 12th century Castle, which now serves as a farm. It is flanked by a
tower at each of its four corners and in the middle of each side. The
great moat which surrounded the central portion of the building was
protected by a wall (practically intact on the south-west) flanked by
twenty-two round towers. Several of the latter are still standing.

[Illustration: BAZOCHES CASTLE IN 1918.]

[Illustration: ALL THAT REMAINED OF MONT-NOTRE-DAME CHURCH IN 1918.

_Compare with photo below, taking as a guide the two trees._]

_Continue along the road, turn to the left, cross the railway
(level-crossing), then the river; take the first road on the right (I.
C. 33) towards_ Mont-Notre-Dame, and follow the valley of the Vesle.

This river, which rises in the Department of the Marne, flows from east
to west, entering the Department of the Aisne to the north of Bazoches.
According to tradition it owes its existence and name to a Queen of the
Belgians.

_Pass under, then over the railway, and enter the village of_
=Mont-Notre-Dame=.

The village is very ancient, and was no doubt first built on the top of
the plateau, at the foot of which it now stands. From 589 to 985 A.D.
six Councils of Prelates were held there, and in the 11th century two
Synods.

[Illustration: MONT-NOTRE-DAME CHURCH IN 1914.

_See photo above._]

[Illustration: ANOTHER VIEW OF THE RUINS OF MONT-NOTRE-DAME CHURCH IN
1918.

_Compare with photo below._]

Mont-Notre-Dame, an isolated hill, sugar-loaf in shape, dominates all
the surrounding country. It formed an excellent position for the
artillery during the fighting in this region and was used by both sides.

_In the village turn to the left and skirt the hill, then take the steep
rise on the right, which leads to the top. On the right_, caverns are
visible in the hill-sides. The church, now a mere heap of stones, is
next reached. The cemetery is behind.

According to tradition this church (_historical monument_) was founded
in the 9th century. It was rebuilt in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Only part of the vast original edifice (similar in style to the
Cathedral of Soissons) was retained when the church was rebuilt. In
1650, when the Spanish occupied the surrounding country, the peasants
took refuge in the towers of the church. They were discovered, and the
church set on fire, most of the peasants being burnt alive.

[Illustration: MONT-NOTRE-DAME CHURCH IN 1914 SEEN FROM THE CEMETERY.

_Compare with photo above._]

[Illustration: RUINS OF THE CASTLE AT MONT-NOTRE-DAME IN 1918.]

The ruins of the 18th century château, destroyed by the bombardments,
stand on the left of the church. The entrance-gates, enclosure wall, and
an isolated outbuilding are all that the bombardments have spared.
Inside the park a heap of débris and stones marks the spot where the
castle stood.

The castle was protected by a fortress with massive towers and donjon,
which was destroyed and rebuilt several times.

_From the top of the hill_ fine panorama of the valley of the Vesle to
the north. There was much severe fighting on its banks throughout the
War.

_At the bottom of the hill turn to the right and follow the uphill road
G. C. 14 to_ =Chéry-Chartreuve=.

_To visit the church keep to the left of the village, and climb on foot
the small hill_, on which the church stands. _To visit the_ American
Cemetery (about three-quarters of a mile from the village) _follow G. C.
21 in the same direction_.

_Return to Chéry-Chartreuve and continue along G. C. 14 to_ =Dravegny=,
_passing straight through_.

[Illustration: CEMETERY IN CHÉRY-CHARTREUVE VILLAGE. AMERICAN AND FRENCH
GRAVES SIDE BY SIDE.]

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF CHURCH AT CHÉRY-CHARTREUVE.]

[Illustration: AMERICAN ARTILLERYMEN NEAR CHÉRY-CHARTREUVE.]

[Illustration: AMERICAN TROOPS PASSING THROUGH DRAVIGNY VILLAGE.]

[Illustration: COULONGES VILLAGE.]

Fine run down to =Cohan=. _Turn to the right in front of the_ church,
_then to the left, to cross the river, and afterwards to the right
towards_ =Coulonges=.

This village existed at the time of the Roman invasion. In 1838 the
foundations of Gallo-Roman houses and various objects belonging to the
same period were discovered in the court-yard of the notary’s house. The
Americans captured the village on August 2.

_On leaving Coulonges turn to the right and cross the river. At the
following fork, if not pressed for time, visit the_ Castle of Nesle
(2-1/2 miles); the American Cemetery at Seringes (3-1/2 miles); and the
village and castle of Fère-en-Tardenois (5-1/2 miles). To this end take
_the G. C. 2 on the right to_ =Nesles=. _The road leading to the castle
(on the right) is rough._

Portions of the castle are well preserved, including the enclosure
walls, flanked by six towers 60 feet high. The door opening on the
northern curtain is protected by two similar towers. The donjon, now in
ruins, was 100 feet high.

The castle was built about the year 1230 by Robert de Dreux, Count of
Braime. Pierre de Rieux, Marshal of France, was imprisoned there by
Guillaume de Flavy in the 15th century, and murdered by his jailer.

[Illustration: DONJON AND ENTRANCE TO NESLES CASTLE.]

[Illustration: NESLES CASTLE SEEN FROM THE TOP OF THE DONJON.]

Guillaume de Flavy, who was notorious for his ferocious cruelty, turned
the castle into a stronghold for his mercenaries. It was he who
delivered Joan of Arc to the Burgundians at Compiègne, of which town he
was governor.

The castle was captured by the Americans after three days’ fighting
(July 28 to 31, 1918).

_Continue towards_ =Seringes=. _On the right of the road, rather more than
a mile after_ Nesles, there is an American Cemetery.

The village, which is slightly to the north of the road, was taken by
the Americans on July 31, 1918. Early in the morning of August 1 the
Germans retook it during a counter-attack, only to lose it again. In
this region the Americans encountered two picked German Divisions (4th
Guards and 6th Bavarians), beating them soundly.

[Illustration: AMERICAN CEMETERY AT SERINGES.]

[Illustration: FÈRE-EN-TARDENOIS CHURCH.]

=Fère-en-Tardenois=, which is reached shortly afterwards, is very ancient,
although tradition, according to which it was the “Fara” given by Clovis
to St. Genevieve, and by the latter to St. Remi, is now generally
admitted to be mythical.

On May 30, 1918, Fère was recaptured by the Germans, only to be
reconquered by the Allies during their counter-offensive of July.
Already on the 19th the French were within nine miles of the town, but
on the following days the Germans made a determined stand in the
outskirts. On the 25th the resistance of the enemy, who had been
reinforced by a fresh division of Bavarian reserves, stiffened, but
broke down on the 27th. The Germans were obliged to retreat, and the
French occupied the town on the 28th.

On the 30th the enemy counter-attacked and retook the railway station to
the north of the town, but on August 1, in spite of bitter resistance
and the withering fire of countless machine-guns, the Allies continued
to gain ground. In danger of being outflanked on the north-west, the
Germans further retreated on August 2, which completely liberated the
town.

_In the village turn to the left to visit the_ church.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF CHURCH AT FÈRE-EN-TARDENOIS.]

[Illustration: THE MARKET-HALL AT FÈRE-EN-TARDENOIS IN 1917.]

The church, which was destroyed during the Hundred Years’ War, was
rebuilt in the 16th century--the nave at the beginning, the choir later,
and the steeple in full Renaissance period.

In the left aisle there is a 17th century funeral monument, and in the
right a carved churchwardens’ bench. The pulpit is adorned with carved
figures of the Evangelists. The high altar with twisted columns is of
gilt wood, and is surmounted by an “Adoration of the Wise Men” by Vignon
(1643), flanked by a painting of St. Hubert and a portrait of Louis
XIII. curing a sick person, when passing through Fère in May, 1635. The
altar of painted wood, with its carved wooden screen, painted and gilded
(1664), is on the left, and serves as a reliquary for the remains of
Saint Macre, the Patron-Saint of La Fère. It was taken from the former
Church of Courmont. In one of the last windows of the southern aisle was
some 16th century stained-glass.

_After visiting the church, turn to the right (looking towards it) into
the_ “Grande Place,” which contains a stone fountain and the old Market
Hall.

The round pillars and wooden posts of the Market Hall, which was
finished in 1552, support the fine timber-work roof.

The latter was destroyed by shell-fire, but has been temporarily
repaired (_see photos above and below_).

[Illustration: THE ABOVE MARKET HALL IN 1918.

(Note the temporary pitch-paper roof.)]

[Illustration: THE GREAT BRIDGE OF FÈRE CASTLE.

(_See below_).]

_Cross the square, skirting the Market Hall, and turn to the left
towards the castle._

_To enter the castle, take the second road on the right, after the pond,
and pass under the great bridge, which will bring the tourist out in
front of the castle._

_To visit the_ Great Bridge _and_ the ruins of the Feudal Castle, _take
the lane on the left of the latter_.

=Castle of Fère= (_Historical Monument_).--This is one of the finest
sights in the region. The present buildings include some of the ancient
outbuildings (restored) and the fortress.

[Illustration: FÈRE CASTLE.]

The castle was begun in 1206, by Robert de Dreux and Jean de Bretagne,
on an eminence which was artificially isolated from the neighbouring
hill.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE GALLERY LEADING TO THE RUINS OF THE
FEUDAL CASTLE OF FÈRE.]

Anne de Montmorency, to whom it was given in 1528 by François Ier,
transformed it into an elegant and rich mansion.

Large bay-windows were made in the towers and curtains. The mediæval
entrance was replaced by the present magnificent covered bridge, which
measures approximately 200 feet in length, 11 feet in width, and 65 feet
in height, and which was probably built by the famous Renaissance
architect, Jean Bullant (photo, p. 120).

The portico at the entrance of the gallery is adorned with mutilated
carvings, attributed by some to Jean Goujon.

The long vaulted entrance leads to an enclosure, around which are eight
ruined towers. Seen from the outside, these towers are remarkable for
their peculiar construction. The castle, which was falling into ruins,
was pulled down by Louis-Philippe of Orleans.

[Illustration: REMAINS OF THE FEUDAL CASTLE AND THE GALLERY LEADING
THITHER.]

[Illustration: MARKET-DAY IN THE GRAND’ PLACE AT FÈRE.]

_Return to and cross through_ Fère, _leaving the market-place on the
right_. _Return, by the road previously taken, to the fork at_
Coulonges, _and take G. C. 14 on the right to_ =Chamery=. This village was
reconquered by the Americans on July 31, 1918, in spite of the enemy’s
strenuous efforts to keep it.

_At the entrance to Chamery, where the road turns to the right, follow
on foot the path leading to the_ =grave of Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt=,
which is about 300 yards further on.

_After Chamery, turn to the left, towards_ Cierges.

On the left of the road is =Reddy Farm=, which was taken by the Americans
on August 1, 1918, after sharp fighting.

The tableland on the right was used as an aviation camp.

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT QUENTIN ROOSEVELT’S GRAVE AT CHAMERY (_see
above_).]

[Illustration: RUINED CHURCH AT CIERGES.]

=Cierges= is reached soon afterwards. This village is extremely ancient,
many Gaulish and Gallo-Roman objects having been unearthed there. It was
captured by the Americans (32nd Division) on July 31, as well as Sergy,
which the 42nd Division lost and retook three times.

_Take the road to the right, to_ =Courmont=, _crossing the Ourcq River_.
There are some American graves _at the fork before entering Courmont_.
_In front of the ruined church, turn to the left._

_Before leaving the village, turn again to the left, then at the fork,
500 yards beyond the village, take the road on the right to_ Charmel.
The road passes through a wood, cut to pieces by the shells. German
artillery was installed there. At the other side is the road which leads
to the =Castle of Charmel=, about 300 yards distant. The castle, which is
magnificently situated, overlooks (_to the North_) the vast plain which
spreads out between the extreme points of the Forests of Fère and Ris
and (_to the South_) the valley of the Marne.

[Illustration: THIS WAS THE VILLAGE CHURCH AT COURMONT.]

[Illustration: CHARMEL CASTLE.]

It was to this castle that, before dying, the Bishop of Metz, _Pierre
Bédacier_, summoned _Bossuet_ (future Bishop of Meaux), and gave up in
favour of the latter, the Priory of Gassicourt-les-Mantes, in the
Diocese of Chartres, of which he was the Senior Prior. Bossuet had
considerable difficulty in getting the transfer ratified and was accused
of having acted fraudulently by those who disputed his claims.

The cemetery is near by. At the entrance to the village is one of the
familiar Michelin “Merci” signs (_to be found in most localities in
France_) which indicate the name of the village and the number of the
road.

[Illustration: BARRICADE AT THE ENTRANCE TO CHARMEL VILLAGE.]

[Illustration: THE GRAND’ PLACE AT JAULGONNE.]

Placed at both ends of the villages on the great touring routes, these
signs, in addition to the information above mentioned, bear the request
“_Mind the Children_,” on one side, and “Merci” (_Thanks_) on the other.

_Leave the church on the right, keep to the left, then take the road on
the right (G. C. 3), which leads towards the valley of the Marne._ Very
fine view along the zig-zag, down-hill road to the river.

=Jaulgonne= is next reached.

From Courmont to Jaulgonne the road runs between the woods of Fère (_to
the west_) and Ris (_to the east_), in the middle of the region which
the Americans conquered from July 22, 1918, onwards.

[Illustration: CHARTÈVES CHURCH.]

The fighting was extremely fierce throughout this region. To save their
guns and organize their retreat the Germans stubbornly opposed the
American advance. However, foot by foot, they were obliged to give way
before the impetuous onrush of the Americans. From the 23rd to the 26th
the latter, after a prolonged struggle, captured Charmel and the whole
of the heights running parallel to the Marne. The German prisoners
captured in Ris Wood declared that their orders were to hold out at all
costs, to allow of a counter-attack by two divisions of the Guards. On
the succeeding days

[Illustration: RUINED CHURCH AT MONT-ST.-PÈRE.]

the Americans continued to clear the northern part of the wood, and
finally drove the enemy back to the Ourcq, which was crossed on the
29th.

_Pass through_ Jaulgonne, _and keep straight on at the fork in the road
on leaving the village_. The road follows the Marne. Pass through
=Chartèves= (photo p. 125), _shortly after which_ =Mont-St.-Père= _is
reached_.

[Illustration: AMERICAN CEMETERY AT MONT-ST.-PÈRE (1918).]

[Illustration: GLAND VILLAGE IN RUINS.

The Church is in the background.]

=Mont-St.-Père.=--_In the village, at the fork of G. C. 4 (on the right,
leading to Epieds) and G. C. 3 (leading to Château-Thierry), take the
former for about 200 yards to a road on the left, which leads to the top
of the hill_, where stand the ruins of the church (photo p. 126) and
castle. _Leaving the car, which should return to the Château-Thierry
road and wait at the exit of Mont-St.-Père, at the point where the lane
from the Church of Mont-St.-Père rejoins the road to Château-Thierry_,
the tourist should go on foot to the church and castle.

On September 3, 1914, a French infantry regiment, retreating southwards,
found Mont-St.-Père occupied by the Germans. Forcing their way through
at the point of the bayonet, they crossed the Marne, and after
destroying the bridge, continued their retreat.

_After admiring the_ =view=, _the tourist should descend the hill on the
side opposite; on reaching the Château-Thierry road he will find his car
waiting for him_.

On the hillside to the right, on leaving Mont-St.-Père, there is an
American cemetery (photo, p. 126).

The road continues to follow the Marne. Pass through =Gland=, leaving the
church on the left. =Brasles= is reached soon afterwards. The church is on
the right.

Throughout the whole of the region covered since leaving Jaulgonne the
Americans fought with great bravery on both banks of the Marne.

On May 28, 1918, the second day of the German Offensive, the German High
Command changed its original plans, which were to limit the operations
to the taking of the heights south of the Vesle, and then to cause the
fall of Soissons and Rheims. The Franco-British resistance on the two
wings, and the rapid advance of the Germans in the centre, caused the
German High Command to attempt the thrust towards the Marne. From May 29
to June 1 the centre of the 7th German Army made a dash for the Marne.
On the evening of the 29th the Kommandant of the 231st Division declared
that it was a “question of honour to reach the Marne to-morrow.” Two
second line divisions (the 231st and 103rd) were interposed between the
10th and 28th on one side, and the 36th and 5th Guards on the other. It
thus became a race to the Marne between these divisions. On May 30 the
231st reached the river at about two o’clock in the afternoon, between
Brasles and Mont-St.-Père, while the 28th entered Jaulgonne at six in
the evening.

[Illustration: RUINED CHURCH AT BRASLES.]

On June 1 the Germans tried to get a footing on the heights on the south
bank of the Marne. It has been seen that they were unable to cross the
river at Château-Thierry, the bridge having been destroyed. At Jaulgonne
a battalion of the 36th succeeded in crossing, on the nights of May 31
and June 1, only to be thrown back on the other side, or captured by
Franco-American troops on the 2nd. On the 3rd the Germans gave up the
attempt, and things quietened down in this sector, which the Americans
continued to guard.

During the German “Peace Offensive” of July 15, the Americans (3rd
Division) resolutely withstood the shock on the Marne. Behind a thick
smoke curtain, and favoured by the night mists, German pioneers threw
bridges over the river from Gland eastwards, along a twelve-mile front.
About a dozen bridges, some of them 25 to 30 feet wide, were
established. German engineers were particularly active in front of
Mont-St.-Père, Jaulgonne, and Chartèves. At dawn, while the infantry
were being taken across the river in boats and on pontoons worked by
steel cables, the artillery crossed the bridges. French and American
aviators, flying as low as 150 feet, raked the bridges and pontoons with
machine-gun fire, while two of the bridges, struck by bombs, collapsed,
throwing men, horses, and baggage into the river.

At great sacrifice the Germans succeeded in getting a footing on the
southern slopes of the Marne. The objectives of their extreme right,
starting from Chartèves, were points five to six miles south of the
river. They were held up by the Americans. Of the 1,000 prisoners taken
by the Allies during their counter-attack south of the Marne on July 15,
600 were captured by the Americans, who forced the Germans back over the
river, west of Jaulgonne. To the east of that village the Germans
advanced several kilometres south of the river. Part of the American
front, facing eastwards, made a dogged resistance until July 20, in
spite of enemy reinforcements. The 3rd American Division fought for nine
consecutive days, and was only relieved by the 32nd Division on July 30.

The success of the Franco-American counter-attack of July 18, from
Château-Thierry to Soissons, relieved the violent pressure on the
Americans, and forced the Germans to retreat across the river. It was
now the turn of the Americans to attack. On the 21st they crossed the
river and occupied Mont-St.-Père, Chartèves, and Jaulgonne. On the 22nd,
they captured the villages east of Jaulgonne, and continued their march
towards the Ourcq.

The tourist has now gone over their field of action.

_From Château-Thierry, return to Paris per the itinerary used for
coming._

(_On arriving at the fortifications of Paris, the tourist should present
his “bulletin de réintroduction” at the “Octroi."_)



CONTENTS


VOLUME I

                                 PAGE
FOREWORD                            2

THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE             3-21

THE ALLIES’ COUNTER-OFFENSIVE   21-38

THE GERMAN RETREAT              28-38

THE OFFENSIVE OF AUGUST 1       33-35

RESULTS OF THE ALLIES’
  COUNTER-OFFENSIVE             36-38

A VISIT TO THE BATTLEFIELDS    39-128

  1ST ITINERARY                 40-62
    Paris                          40
    Château-Thierry             40-48
    Belleau Wood                49-54
    Bouresches                  59-60
    Château-Thierry                48

  2ND ITINERARY                 63-96
    Château-Thierry                64
    Oulchy-le-Château           68-70
    Longpont                    76-78
    Soissons                       94

  3RD ITINERARY                97-128
    Soissons                       97
    Laffaux                     98-99
    Fismes                    105-109
    Mont St. Père             126-127
    Paris                         128

AMERICAN UNITS ENGAGED--

1st Corps                          27

3rd Corps                          35

1st Division                       26

2nd Division                       12

3rd Division                       13

4th Division                       27

26th Division                      21

77th Division                      35

[Illustration: SOISSONS IN NOVEMBER, 1918. NOTE THE SEPARATION OF THE
CATHEDRAL TOWER FROM THE NAVE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MICHELIN ILLUSTRATED GUIDES TO THE BATTLEFIELDS
(1914-1918)


THE AMERICANS IN THE GREAT WAR

VOLUME II. THE BATTLE OF SAINT MIHIEL (ST. MIHIEL, PONT-à-MOUSSON, METZ)

_=A panoramic history and guide=_

_Price_ =$1=

MICHELIN & Cie., CLERMONT-FERRAND MICHELIN TYRE Co. Ltd., 81 Fulham
Road, LONDON, S. W. MICHELIN TIRE Co., MILLTOWN, N. J., U. S. A.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MICHELIN ILLUSTRATED GUIDES TO THE BATTLEFIELDS
(1914-1918)


THE AMERICANS IN THE GREAT WAR

VOLUME III MEUSE-ARGONNE BATTLE (MONTFAUCON, ROMAGNE, ST MENEHOULD)

_=A panoramic history and guide=_

_Price_ =$1=

MICHELIN & Cie., CLERMONT-FERRAND MICHELIN TYRE Co. Ltd., 81 Fulham
Road, LONDON, S. W. MICHELIN TIRE Co., MILLTOWN, N. J., U. S. A.]

                        PRINTED IN THE U. S. A.
                  BY ESSEX PRESS. INC., NEWARK, N. J.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                           BEAUTIFUL FRANCE

                       _Paris and its environs_


_PARIS_--home of grandeur, elegance, and wit--plays a part in France
probably unequalled in any other country, and may be considered, in many
respects, as the chief city of Europe, and one of the greatest in the
world. Above all, it possesses eminently national qualities which ten
centuries of refinement and taste have handed down to contemporary
France.

It is impossible, in a few lines, to paint the exceptional charms of
Paris which the whole world admires.

Its vistas of the Champs-Elysées seen from the Tuileries and the Arc de
Triomphe; of Notre-Dame and the point of the City Island seen from La
Concorde Bridge; of the River Seine, the Institute, the Louvre, seen
from the Pont-Neuf embankment; Notre-Dame and its quays, seen from the
end of St. Louis Island; the panorama of the city seen from the top of
Montmartre Hill; the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Boulogne
itself, etc., etc.,--all are of incomparable beauty.

The city’s historical monuments are of inestimable value, and the most
famous art treasures are to be found in its Museums.

The surroundings of Paris join the charm of their landscapes to the
world-wide fame of their parks and castles: _Versailles_, whose palace
and park recall the splendor of the Louis XIV. period, and where the
“Trianons” have preserved graceful traces of the Court of
Marie-Antoinette; _St. Germain_ with its castle and forest; _St. Cloud_
and its park; _Sèvres_ and its world-renowned art porcelain factory; _La
Malmaison_, home of Bonaparte before he became Napoleon I.;
_Rambouillet_, _Fontainebleau_, _Chartres_ with its marvelous cathedral,
_Maintenon_, _Dreux_, etc.--all these form a girdle round Paris such as
no other metropolis in the world can boast of.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                       MICHELIN TOURING OFFICES


                    MICHELIN TYRE CO., Ltd., LONDON
               Touring Office :: 81, Fulham Road, S. W.

                   MICHELIN & Cie, CLERMONT-FERRAND
            Touring Office :: 97, Boulevard Péreire, PARIS

              [Illustration: _Why ask the Way, when ..._]

     [Illustration: _... Michelin will tell you free of charge?_]


            Drop a line, ring us up, or call at one of our
           Touring Offices and you will receive a carefully
            worked-out description of the route to follow.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                        Hotels and Motor-Agents
                                  AT
     CHÂTEAU-THIERRY, OULCHY-LE-CHÂTEAU, SOISSONS, FISMES, RHEIMS,
                           EPERNAY, DORMANS.

        Information extracted from the MICHELIN GUIDE (1919)[A]

                        Key to Arbitrary Signs

                            [Illustration]

                 THE MICHELIN TOURING OFFICES at: 99,
               Boulevard Péreire, PARIS, and 81, Fulham
            Road, Chelsea, LONDON, S. W. 3, will be pleased
           to furnish motorists with advice and information
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                 Special itineraries free on request.

                            [Illustration]

 [A] _The above information dates from March 1st, 1919, and may no
 longer be exact when it meets the reader’s eye. Tourists are therefore
 recommended to consult the latest edition of the “Michelin Guide to
 France” (English or French), before setting out on the tour described
 in this volume._





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to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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