Men of Iron by Don Troiani : Doughboys assault German positions in the Bois de Mort Mare during the Battle of St. Mihiel.
Battle of St. Mihiel, the Bois de Frière, Sept. 12, 1918
The 3/358th Infantry, 90th Division, was designated the assault unit for the American attack on the morning of September 12. As they were moving forward toward their jump-off positions before dawn, the unit was caught by German counter-battery fire. Major Allen, battalion commander, was wounded and evacuated while unconscious to an aid station in the rear. Regaining his senses, Allen removed his medical tag and sought to rejoin his unit, which had already advanced through the Bois de Frière. Allen gathered a group of men separated from their units and led them forward. They discovered a group of Germans bypassed by the first wave of American troops emerging from their dugout. Allen led his men in desperate hand-to-hand combat with the Germans. After emptying his pistol and despite his wounds, Allen fought with his fists, losing several teeth and suffering another serious wound.
Allen and his men are shown engaging the Germans in the trench. On the morning of September 12, American troops wore raincoats to protect against the rain. Allen is using his .45-caliber pistol which was standard issue for American officers. American tactical doctrine required the assault battalions to advance as quickly as possible toward their first objective line. Follow-on battalions were given the task of mopping up German strongpoints bypassed by the leading troops. The American early morning artillery barrage drove many German units into the protection of their dugoutsand many were passed over by the first wave of American troops. During the St. Mihiel offensive several American support units engaged in desperate battles to clean out small groups of Germans scattered throughout the woods.
Allen would rise to command the American 1st Infantry Division in North Africa and Sicily in World War II. Criticized for lax discipline, Allen was relieved of his command by General Dwight Eisenhower. Allen was then assigned to command the 104th Infantry Division and he led them through the Battle of the Bulge and Germany’s surrender in May 1945.
Look up there! It’s those amazing young men in their flying machines. The thing is, those early biplane pioneers needed a little bit of insurance and Uncle Sam had just the thing: a chopped down Springfield rifle.
Until 1947, the armed force we know today as the US Air Force did not exist. From the time of the Wright brothers until then, the US Army had reign over most land-based military aircraft with the exception of those operated by the Navy/Marines and Coast Guard. Flying, then as now, is a dangerous activity. It was possible for pilots and aircrews to crash land in remote areas, unreachable by anything else except another flying machine. For military aviators you could add the prospect of being shot down behind enemy lines.
The first US Army aviators to fly in a warzone were those of General Pershing’s 1st Aero Squadron of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Air Service. These hardy flyboys were shipped 19 Winchester Model 1907 rifles and 9000 cartridges of .351SL ammunition to use in arming their craft if they got lost over the Chihuahua desert while looking for Pancho Villa in 1916. The Winny ’07 thought to be lighter than the current issue Springfield rifle. Well when Pershing left with the American Expeditionary Force for France in 1917 to take on the Kaiser, he realized his much larger corps of flyers there would need a new rifle.
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com
These included some 4000 men of the 187th Regimental Combat Team who were loaded into 113 transports (C-119 Flying Boxcars and C-47 Dakotas) along with 12 105-mm howitzers, 39 jeeps, 38 1/4-ton trailers, a quartet of 90-mm antiaircraft guns, each with a 3/4-ton truck to pull them, and 584 tons of ammunition, gasoline, water, rations, and other supplies.
The next day they were in combat at the Battle of Yongju and, along with British and Australian forces, secured a UN victory over the North Koreans.
(Photos from U.S. Army Korea Historical Image Archive)
When the flames of the revolutionary war were in full blaze, the new country realized that it needed an armory to build and store
its weapons of war. No less of a person than General Washington established the first US armory at Springfield Massachusetts. That the new one draws its lineage from this old Springfield Armory.
The year after the Declaration of Independence, General Washington and his chief of artillery Henry Knox scouted out a militarily defensible position that was still centrally located to his army. The purpose of this site would be a secure storage and manufacturing facility in which workers could make limbers for the Continental Army’s artillery as well as package paper/power/bullets into cartridges for the Army’s muskets. It was at the high bluff overlooking the Connecticut River near the village of Springfield that Washington and Knox would pick. By 1778, buildings stood on the site and workers were producing ammunition and equipment. If not for the bullets made here, we might all still have the Queen’s picture on our folding money.
Read the rest in my column at the Springfield Forum.com
“May they rest in peace,” said 98-year-old Lt. Col. Richard Cole as he and fellow Raiders 93-year-old Lt. Col. Edward Saylor and 92-year-old Staff Sgt. David Thatcher raised their specially engraved silver goblets and sipped on the cognac saved for just this occasion. At over a hundred years old, the 1896 cognac (the year of Doolittle’s birth) was passed down from Doolittle to mark the final chapter of the ceremony. The three are the last of the surviving Doolittle Raiders able to make the yearly meeting and have agreed to split the bottle of Hennessy left to the group by General Doolittle. They did so this weekend to a toast of themselves and 77 upside down goblets.
In the background are 80 silver goblets that were presented to the surviving “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo” Raiders in 1959 by the city of Tucson, Arizona and have each respective Raiders’ names engraved twice, once right-side up and once upside-down. The goblets belonging to the deceased were placed upside-down.
You can almost hear the B-25s.
The picture above shows soldiers of the 64th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division of the US Army Expeditionary Force in France celebrate at the stroke of the 11th Hour, of the 11th Day of November 1918. This is when the ceasefire armistice went into effect between all of the Allies and the Germans in what was then known as the Great War. They are happy because the survived. For them, the war, with its mustard gas, machine-guns, artillery, and trench warfare was over and it did not claim their mortal vessel.
Today we think of this day as Veterans Day but in 1918 it was Armistice Day. In no less than 70 countries around the world, this day is remembered with somber introspection. Over 37-million lost their lives in that war, including no less than 117,465 Americans.
In fact, the war was so bitter, so ghastly, so abominable, that it led to the Kellogg-Briand Pact ten years later in which in effect, bans all wars. This led, in turn, to the Great War being then known as the “War to End all Wars”.
Although we have lost our last Great War veteran of what we call now World War One, we will still have to mourn new warriors lost in war every year for a foreseeable future.
To them, those hardy Doughboys in 1918, and all those who have fallen and served before and since, we remember.
To the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coastguardsmen, and Marines of today, we toast.
You can expect that he will be allowed to retire soon. We cant have anyone talking about the emperors clothes or lack thereof.
During the opening shots of the Cold War, Stalin had the B-29 Superfortress reverse-engineered to make the first Russki intercontinental bomber. The Chinese, looking to get into aircraft carriers, bought the old HMS Melbourne for scrap in the 1970s then examined her for twenty years before moving on to Russian pre-owned casino carriers.
Well, it looks as if the Chinese have gone the Stalin route and cloned a AH-64 Apache.
No one has seen it fly yet, and it may just be a mock-up, but still. Holy xerox batman!
Their version of the Future of War…..