Role of American Soldiers

Topics: World War I, World War II, Trench warfare Pages: 5 (1199 words) Published: July 19, 2012

The Role of American soldiers during and after the Second Battle of Marne

Susan Byrd

University of Phoenix


The Role of American Soldiers during and after the Second Battle of Marne

In the beginning, World War I was considered to be “The European War”
During the beginning of the war, Americans had decided to remain neutral. Many Americans felt that it was not the United States’ war to fight. Things quickly turned around when America’s ability to trade was compromised (Schultz, 2011). Another situation leading to the US joining the war was the sinking of submarines by the Germans. One of the submarines that were sunk was the Lusitania, which was a British ship with 128 Americans onboard (Schultz, 2011). The final straw that decided the Americans decision to join the war was when the British intercepted a note send to Mexico attempting to persuade them to invade the US in acquire New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas with the support of the German troops. This note was best known as the Zimmerman note (Schultz, 2011).

Once it was decided that the Americans would be entering war, the US had to gather more soldiers. Pershing stated that were 14,000 soldiers in France by June 1917 and a half million soldiers by May 1918 (Pershing, 1989). The soldiers that were sent overseas for the war were called the American Expeditionary Forces or AEF. President Woodrow Wilson appointed John J. Black as the Major General for the AEF (Pershing, 1989). The Americans became allies with the British and French throughout the war.


The main goal of the American soldiers was being a backup to the British and French. The war had been going on for three years by the time the US became involved. Although the amount of troops from the US was minimal in numbers at first, they were well trained and ready

for combat (Pershing, 1989). Both sides of the war had lost a large amount of soldiers leading up to the Second Battle of Marne.

The Second Battle of Marne was an attack by the German army to pull the Allies troop away from Belgium in order to attack Marne (Greenwood, 1998). Greenwood (1998) also stated that US soldiers had a huge impact in resisting the attack. The US troops joined the French commander Ferdinand Foch in countering the German army (Pershing, 1989). The involvement of the US was essential to defeating the German army due to having fresh soldiers to fight. After winning the Second Battle of Marne, the Allies were able to prevent the Germans from winning any of the remaining battles before the war ended. The strength of the Allies to win the remaining battles was largely due to having American soldiers on the front line with them.

There were many weapons that were used during World War I. Some of the weapons that were used include rifles, grenades, machine guns, bayonets, poisonous gas, tanks, and trench mortars

The most often weapon used was the rifles. Both sides of the war wanted a weapon that would fire quickly and accurately. British soldiers used the Lee-Enfield rifle and German soldiers used the Gewehr 98 Mauser rifle. The German army was the first ones to use a sniper-like rifle during this war (Bull, 2002). Machine guns were used because of the amount of shots


that be fired quickly but was not favored because they were not easily transported. Bayonets were also used but required close interaction in order to be completely effective.

Grenades were highly used in the war and were being constantly improved throughout the war (Bull, 2002). The most used grenades were the discus bomb, M1913, jam tin, and the

rifle grenade. The grenades gave the armies a chance...
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