103 Years Ago Today (ish?), Pulling the 75s
September 9, 1918: Six-horse artillery caissons of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, “The Big Red One,” moving up through the woods in Mandres aux Tours (Mandres-aux-Quatre-Tours?), in north-east France’s Lorraine region. The guns should be famed “French 75s” (Canon de 75 modèle 1897) of which the American Expeditionary Forces used some 1,900 during 1917-18, dubbed the more GI “75 mm Gun M1897.”
However, a 1936 Christmas Card for the veterans of the 1st ID’s 76th Field Artillery Regiment, signed by John J. Waterman, Lieutenant Colonel, reads:
Battery B moving through the woods, Mandres aux Tours, France, August 9, 1918.
A copy of this picture enlarged by two by three feet hung in the office of the Chief of Field Artillery. The regiment spent a little over two weeks at Mandres, re-equipping, and training for the St. Michel offensive.
Of note, the commander of the regiment’s Battery D should be familiar to students of military history.