Donald R. McClarey

October 30, 1918: Pershing Opposes an Armistice

    General John J. Pershing was not pleased at the idea of giving an Armistice and expressed his views strongly in a letter on October 30, 1918:   Paris, October 30, 1918. To the Allied Supreme War Council, Paris.

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Donald R. McClarey

Meuse-Argonne Offensive: Second Phase

  The second phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive opened on October 4, 1918 and would continue to October 28, 1918.  During this period the Americans cleared the Argonne Forest but incurred high casualties due to a reliance upon frontal assaults. 

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Donald R. McClarey

The Epic Stand of The “Lost” Battalion

Maj. Prinz: You Americans, you always have so much of everything. No matter. Eventually you have to surrender. Lt. Leak: I don’t think so. Maj. Prinz: Are you officers so callous? You’re surrounded. You have no chance of relief. Every

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Donald R. McClarey

September 26, 1918: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive Begins

The Offensive opened with a six hour bombardment, brief by Great War standards.  In the three hours prior to H hour the Americans fired off more munitions than both sides fired off in the four years of the American Civil

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Donald R. McClarey

The Beginning of the Rise of George C. Marshall

    A century ago George C. Marshall, an acting Colonel on the Operations Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces, was finishing up a military miracle, overseeing the movement of 400,000 American troops to participate in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Marshall

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Donald R. McClarey

Prelude to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive

      A century ago the United States First Army, personally commanded by General John J. Pershing, was deep in preparation for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest battle in American history that the American public  today knows virtually nothing

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Donald R. McClarey

September 12, 1918: First Army Attacks at Saint Mihiel

  The First United States Army launches its first offensive on September 12, 1918 against the salient of St. Mihiel.  The attack force consisted of three US corps and a French corps.  By the time the battle ended on September

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Donald R. McClarey

Joseph Girard

When I was a boy and I first saw the film Sergeant York, I wondered if John J. Pershing, who was still alive in 1940, had played himself in the scene in which Sergeant York is presented with the Medal

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Donald R. McClarey

Quotes Suitable for Framing: John J. Pershing

      The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle! General John J. Pershing Like most soldiers General Pershing had little fondness for the Marine Corps, viewing them as competitors and headline hunters.  He attempted

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Donald R. McClarey

Pershing Compromises

The guiding star of General Pershing in France was that the Americans were to form a separate Army and operate as a cohesive unit.  An Allied Supreme War Council was held on May 1-2, 1918.  The discussions were often contentious

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Donald R. McClarey

President John J. Pershing

    It has long been thought by most historians that General John J. Pershing made a great mistake by agreeing to the Republican draft for President in 1920.  A national hero after World War I, he was no politician,

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Donald R. McClarey

Pershing Speaks!

  The things you find on the internet.  An address by General “Black Jack” Pershing from France during World War I.  His voice was more sonorous than I expected, perhaps I anticipated a more clipped and prosaic pronunciation from his

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Bastille Day and Les Sammes

Uncle Sam shaking hands with the Marquis de Lafayette, French poster-1917 On Bastille Day 1917, General John J. Pershing reviewed French troops and pinned the Croix de Guerre on men who had earned the award by their valor.  The Star

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June 14, 1917: Pershing Arrives in France

On June 14, 1917 General John J. Pershing and 190 of his staff, military and civilians, arrived in France.  The first American combat troops would land on June 26, 1917.  America would not have a full division in France until

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May 10, 1917: Pershing Appointed to Lead the AEF

After the death of Frederick Funston on February 19, 1917, it was inevitable that the newly promoted Major General John J. (Blackjack) Pershing would command the American Expeditionary Force that would be sent to France.  It must have seemed somewhat

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Fearless Freddie Dies

All but forgotten today, Major General Frederick Funston would almost certainly would have led the American Expeditionary Force in World War I if he had not died at age 51 of a heart attack on February 19, 1917.  Nicknamed “Fearless

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May 14, 1916: Patton Shootout

The Punitive Expedition had been an exercise in frustration for General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing.  Pancho Villa, predictably, had eluded the Americans, refusing to stand and fight.  Thirty year old Second Lieutenant George S. Patton had been an aide to Pershing. 

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Punitive Expedition Gets Under Way

In the wake of Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico, go here to read about it, the US wasted no time in putting together a punitive force to enter Mexico and destroy or disperse Villa’s forces: Fort Sam Houston, Texas,

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March 9, 1916: Villa Raids Columbus, New Mexico

The Mexican revolts against dictator Porfirio Diaz in 1910 led to a complex and ever shifting mixture of groups and personalities fighting for control of Mexico in an intermittent vicious civil war that would last for over two decades.  Inevitably the US became

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Unspeakable Loss

Many posts on this blog will be dealing in the years to come with the involvement of America in World War I and the events leading up to it.  One of the key figures will be John J. Pershing.  In a

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Father Galveston

It is ironic that a priest who became so associated with Galveston and Texas was a Yankee!  James Martin Kirwin was born in Circleville, Ohio on July 1, 1872.  Kirwin was ordained to the priesthood on June 19, 1895.   Incardinated

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