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The Battle that Made the Marines

Published Jan. 4, 2022

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General John J. Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, called the Battle of Belleau Wood: "The biggest battle since Appomattox and the most considerable engagement American troops had ever had with a foreign enemy.”


In June of 1918, as Russia had withdrawn from World War I, Germany relocated thousands of soldiers to France and launched a massive offensive to end the war. But as the German Army breached the Western Front and attempted to advance to Paris, it faced fierce resistance from Allied forces.


A robust contingent of thousands of American soldiers and Marines arrived to fight the weakened Germans in the Belleau Wood preserve area, and the first large-scale battle fought by US forces during World War I ensued.


Fighting mainly in the dark with fixed bayonets, poison gas, and hand-to-hand combat amidst harsh wood terrains and overgrown wheat fields, the Marines engaged in savage combat that cemented their place in history as some of the fiercest of warriors.


- As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect. I do my best to keep it as visually accurate as possible. All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don't hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas. -

Published Jan. 4, 2022

Subscribe to Dark Docs on YouTube!


General John J. Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, called the Battle of Belleau Wood: "The biggest battle since Appomattox and the most considerable engagement American troops had ever had with a foreign enemy.”


In June of 1918, as Russia had withdrawn from World War I, Germany relocated thousands of soldiers to France and launched a massive offensive to end the war. But as the German Army breached the Western Front and attempted to advance to Paris, it faced fierce resistance from Allied forces.


A robust contingent of thousands of American soldiers and Marines arrived to fight the weakened Germans in the Belleau Wood preserve area, and the first large-scale battle fought by US forces during World War I ensued.


Fighting mainly in the dark with fixed bayonets, poison gas, and hand-to-hand combat amidst harsh wood terrains and overgrown wheat fields, the Marines engaged in savage combat that cemented their place in history as some of the fiercest of warriors.


- As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect. I do my best to keep it as visually accurate as possible. All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don't hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas. -

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