Battle Of Château-Thierry
The Battle of Château-Thierry was fought on July 18, 1918 and was one of the first actions the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) under General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing.
It was a battle in World War I as part of the Second Battle of the Marne, initially prompted by a German offensive launched on July 15 against the newest troops on the front, the AEF (American Expeditionary Force).
In early 1918, entire divisions were beginning to serve on the front lines alongside French troops. Pershing insisted that the AEF fight as units under American command rather than being split up by battalions to augment British and French regiments and brigades (although the U.S. 27th and 30th divisions, loaned during the desperate days of spring 1918, fought with the British/Australian/Canadian Fourth Army until the end of the war, taking part in the breach of the Hindenburg Line in October).
In October 1918, Pershing saw the need for a dedicated military police corps and the first US Army MP School was established at Autun, France. For this, he is considered the "founding father" of the MPs.
Because of the effects of trench warfare on soldiers' feet, in January, 1918, Pershing oversaw the creation of an improved combat boot, the "1918 Trench Boot," which became known as the "Pershing Boot" upon its introduction.
American forces first saw serious action during the summer of 1918, contributing eight large divisions, alongside 24 French ones, at the Second Battle of the Marne. Along with the Fourth Army's victory at Amiens, the Franco-American victory at the Second Battle of the Marne marked the turning point of the war on the Western Front.
In August 1918 the U.S. First Army had been formed, first under Pershing's direct command and then by Hunter Liggett, when the U.S. Second Army under Robert Bullard was created. After a quick victory at Saint-Mihiel, east of Verdun, some of the more bullish AEF commanders had hoped to push on eastwards to Metz, but this did not fit in with the plans of the Allied Supreme Commander, Marshal Foch, for three simultaneous offensives into the "bulge" of the Western Front (the other two being the Fourth Army's breach of the Hindenburg Line and an Anglo-Belgian offensive, led by Plumer's Second Army, in Flanders). Instead, the AEF was required to redeploy and, aided by French tanks, launched a major offensive northwards in very difficult terrain at Meuse-Argonne. Initially enjoying numerical odds of eight to one, this offensive eventually engaged 35 or 40 of the 190 or so German divisions on the Western Front, although to put this in perspective, around half the German divisions were engaged on the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) sector at the time.