Tour of French Countryside Shows Where American World War I Heroes Were Made

Posted by Jean-Yves on Jul 28, 2017

What the Europeans called “The Great War” was not going well in the early spring of 1917. The generals on both sides were gambling with young lives like spendthrifts in a grim and grisly game of death across a network of trenches separated by 40 yards of desolation called “no man’s land.”

“I am waiting for the Americans,” said French Gen. Philippe Petain.

The wait of the Allies was rewarded on June 26, 1917, when the first Americans, 14,000 untrained and ill-equipped young soldiers, seen off to the strains of George M. Cohan’s “Over There,” arrived to fight in France. By the end of the war in November 1918, that number had grown to 2 million battle-hardened men. More than 50,000 of them did not come home.

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