Doug Austria, Argonne Forest, Argonne discussed on John Batchelor

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The majority of which are manned by American expeditionary, force pilots. It's a it's an impressive array of material. However, we've emphasized that Pershing and his subcommanders do not have experience at the core. Army our core level of contest they're going to jump off at about seven twenty in the morning of the twenty six after the gun. Have been rattling all night, we need to describe the battlefield to the west is the Argonne forest to the east is the most river between is the most valley. They attack all three fronts at once. Doug you've walked through it. Is it imaginable to see what they were seeing today? Can you imagine the defenses? So the only thing different is the four years of turn off and on from the initial front area. There's areas of the western front in amuse are gone sector where you could see the damage of the war such as what the hill of qua-, which is center left side of the American attack. The Americans have to liberate this hill, the French and German spot over four years. Nobody can take the hill. So the French and German started subterranean mines exploding each other from for mine warfare on the ground and the tire top of the hill. Gone. It's like a piece of pie somebody sliced out and the devastation of severe. But as you'd Vance pass this this journey this carnage from from the previous four years of war. Now, you're facing a line of east west hills, which journalism fortify, the terrain is working against you, the weather to fall in that part of France, terrible, buddy. And the Germans are using every they've they've trained for four years really know how to spend the area, they we're all the roads are was there aren't any and they're gonna make advancing through this territory. Hazardous to be Americans even in hours of darkness when you should be safe significant is that the I corps of v corps and third corps. That's west to east. Do not include the best divisions that have been committed to sound. My yield these are fresh division sometimes going into the field for the first time and at the very center, and this is total quandary to me Doug at the very center are two divisions. That have never been in the fight the thirty fifth division. I note in the in the I corps area was Pershing or his sub commanders were they aware that they were sending in the greenest of the green. It is baffling to me John, and I really can't answer that because of course, the thirty fifth. There's going to be given a difficult babysitting. Admission of liberating described by qua-, and like I said the French couldn't take in four years, and then the seventy nine for a little bit further to the east to seventy nine degrees. You weeks in France and have any funding. They're going to be given the hardest. Mission of fake news giant hill called mount dot com. Is is it possible? They were thinking that these were to be wasted to draw the German fire. I'm trying to imagine what they thought you would when you jump off like this or step off as they called because they're not coming out of trenches what they imagined. The casualty rate would be it's it's daunting. All right. Let's go to the edges. The seventy seventh division is tasked. It's up against the fourth of the fourth army is to its west the French fourth army. It's tasked with the Argonne forest is and the twenty eight is right. This is you. I corps are they capable divisions. Because the seventy seven is going to do a lot of fighting in the are gonna they prepare for this sort of seventy seven twenty eighth of the initial the line. They're pretty good. They're battle been in operation the leadership. But once again, this the fighting the Argonne both the seventy seven twenty eight th or given the mission of fighting on it, he'll be Iria that that hasn't been touched since. That was the French. Don't you meet today to severe? It's rain is awful easy to defend and they have don't wanna be what they're up against. And it's going to be there for them. And the only success are going gonna have it actually is thanks. The breakthrough of the element of the twenty eighth division on the right side of the argument. Fires up the valley because about the Germans have to refuse a line and draw the forces back so any success. They have is just because it's not in the Argonauts. Elsewhere. On the eastern edge of the American member. This is the American expeditionary force three corn lines. Just as if it was Gettysburg for heaven's sakes. The thirty third division up the moose MS river. Now, there are most heights or the heights above them. Because they make good progress on the first day in a fog. How do they do that? So the third division actually. So it's on the west side of the news river, the heights are off to the east with a German shepherd looking, but they had the advantage of of the initial shock. The Germans aren't ready for the Pac with their commander. He he does a series of turning movements instead of launching a bunch of frontal attacks, which happens elsewhere along the entire front he attacks to the north. And then swings those forces to east moving behind German with German defenders and it breaks germ alive. It's growing, and there should be a lot of lessons airfli- success. But they're overlooked. Let's talk about those lessons. One artillery. The king of the battlefield and in one thousand nine hundred eighteen did the artillery coordinate with the command, and once they lifted the barrage were they available to target the Germans. Tennis. This is where the US army American expeditionary forces. That includes it shows an impotent immature inexperienced force. Missile preparatory fires begin on late on the twenty fifth and last until the attack through the attack on the twenty sixty initial attack day. Pretty good preplanned targets the friendship have the some French crews helped me Americans fire and actually the French do a great job teaching artillery. Chris had headed operate their guns in support of the troops. Starts falling apart when the troops. When he started the support they can receive from their artillery, their organic artillery units division, and the artillery attempts to move forward. But I get hung up at a turn. Well, there's no roads. Right. And now the trees on the road. All right thunder in the Argonne. We'll continue. This is the first day of the attack. We've got weeks to go Doug Austria was the author new history of America's greatest battle. I'm John bachelor. How would you like? When you're growing up, your parents took care of everything from his skinny driving you to practice or sending.

Coming up next