Belleau Wood, Battle of
BELLEAU WOOD, BATTLE OF
BELLEAU WOOD, BATTLE OF. The German Seventh Army, under General Max von Boehn, driving southward from the Chemin des Dames toward Paris on 31 May 1918, approached the Marne at Château-Thierry. To the west, the American Second Division, under the command of Major General Omar Bundy, hastened in support of the French Twenty-first Corps, the left corps of the French Sixth Army. Forcing back minor French units, by 3 June the Germans uncovered the American front line, which stood fast and stopped them. On 6 June the Americans assumed the offensive. Against bitter resistance the Fourth Marine Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General James Harbord, recaptured Bouresches and the southern edge of Belleau Wood, while on its right the Third Infantry Brigade advanced nearly to Vaux.
Continuing their local offensive, the Americans took most of Belleau Wood on 8–11 June, and despite desperate counterattacks completed its capture on 21 June. On 1 July, following an intense artillery preparation, the Third Infantry Brigade stormed Vaux and La Roche Wood. The division front, everywhere established on favorable ground, was turned over to the American Twenty-sixth Division on 9 July, the Second Division retiring to a support position.
American losses were severe—nearly eight thousand killed, wounded, or missing. Approximately sixteen hundred German prisoners were taken. In 1923 the site was made a permanent memorial to the Americans who died during the battle, and by order of the French government the site was renamed Bois de la Brigade Marine.
Asprey, Robert B. At Belleau Wood. New York: Putnam, 1965.
Mackin, Elton E. "Suddenly We Didn't Want to Die." Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1993.
Joseph MillsHanson/a. r.
"Belleau Wood, Battle of." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/belleau-wood-battle
"Belleau Wood, Battle of." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved April 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/belleau-wood-battle
Belleau Wood, Battle of
[See also Marne, Second Battle of the; World War I: Military and Diplomatic Course.]
Robert B. Asprey , At Belleau Wood, 1965.
John Toland , No Man's Land, 1980.
Paul F. Braim
"Belleau Wood, Battle of." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/belleau-wood-battle
"Belleau Wood, Battle of." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved April 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/belleau-wood-battle