134: (Most of) The German Spring Offensive of 1918 & The Fight for Belleau Wood

History That Doesn’t Suck


This is the story of the first real battles of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in World War I.

Carrying out his third operation of the German Spring Offensive, General Erich Ludendorff is hoping to distract the French before delivering a KO punch to the Brits farther north in Flanders. But this offensive is going far too well to let up. German troops are advancing rapidly down here. This mere diversion has taken them to Château-Thierry on the banks of the Marne River! Erich can’t help but think that, with Paris a mere 50 miles away, maybe this is the course to press.

The Brits are spent. The French are spent. The Italians are spent. The Americans are growing in number but still wildly untrained. Can these smooth-faced American youth, so unfamiliar with war, really make the difference in stopping the German war machine’s forward advance? Can they take Cantigny? Will they hold at Château-Thierry? Will the US Marines continue the fight, even as they see an unprecedented loss of lives in a small cluster of trees known as Belleau Wood? We’ll find out. 

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