Meet Bridget, she like long walks, and taking shots at the Kaiser’s men across No Man’s Land

The gun that fired the first American shot at Sommerville, near Nancy Oct 23 1917

The 75mm artillery piece that cranked out the first U.S. shot on the Western Front in World War I a century ago last week is still in the Army’s custody.

The M1897 gun, a French-made field gun named “Bridget” is on display today in the Large Weapons Gallery at the U.S. Army Military Academy Museum at West Point but on Oct. 23, 1917, it fired the first shot across “No Man’s Land” by American forces in France.

This map purports to illustrate America’s first artillery salvo of the war, fired on October 23, 1917, by guns in the American 1st Division. Sergeant Alexander Arch barked the order “fire” to the crew manning the 75mm field gun. U.S. Army. First Sector Occupied by Americans 1917, inscribed: “First shot in the war Oct. 23, 1917 6:30 am. . . .” U.S. Army base map, 1918. Printed map annotated in color. Hines Collection, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (195.00.00)

The gun was sent back to the states in 1918 and is at West Point today, still with the names of the “First Shot” crew who fired it 100 years ago last week.

More in my column at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.