American Victory 1918
THE surviving trenches and dugouts once attacked or occupied by the American Expedition Force are amongst the best-preserved on France's entire Western Front. The former German dugout (above) was carved out of soft rock. Inscriptions and carvings dating from World War One occupation can be found here, along with substantive trench-lines at their original depth.
Firing-steps and observation slits can still be seen. The author visited the area on a cold but clear winter's day. The war in Europe ended in November 1918 before the winter snow covered the area. The French and Germans endured four long winters fighting in these conditions. In some places, the opposing lines are only a few yards apart.
AMERICAN VICTORY 1918 - PLAN YOUR VISIT
The Doughboys (their preferred nickname), of 1918, arrived in France at the west coast ports and were taken to the frontline in military trains. Today's visitors are more likely to arrive at Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport. The famous fortress city of Verdun - part of the Meuse region of north-east France - provides an excellent base for an exploration of the St Mihel Salient and other crucial battle zones.
This website is not a travel agency, but the author will recommend military experts who have years of experience in battlefield guiding on the Western Front, and in other World War One and Two locations.
Museum American uniform and kit exhibited at Peronne, Picardy, a museum located inside a medieval fortress on the River Somme.
Peronne is particularly strong at representing the Great War through the art and posters of the time. There are weapons and uniforms on display here, but the overall visitor experience is one which presents relevant cultural artefacts without overloading the exhibition with military hardware. The U.S. uniform (above), is located in a recess in the floor. Peronne is situated on a part of the Western Front where French armies resisted the Germans; and is easily accessible from the British battlefields of 1916, further north.
The early French tank (below), is a recent addition to the Peronne Museum collection.
MONUMENTS and military cemeteries, dating mainly from the 1920s dominate the skylines around the Europe's World War One battlefields.
This website was designed to draw attention to the monuments which the author has seen and photographed himself.
In France, to the north-east of Paris there are two distinct clusters of monuments.
Belleau Wood and the Aisne-Marne Cemetery with 2,289 graves are adjacent to one another. The Chateau-Thierry Monument is about five miles away, close to the town which gives this monument its name. Oise-Aisne Cemetery is 14 miles away to the north-east of Chateau-Thierry, and contains 6,102 graves.
Reims - the cathedral city where the kings of France were crowned is equidistant from the first two clusters mentioned here.
Sommepy, Montfaucon, and the Meuse Argonne Cemetery form a second cluster, more widely spaced than the American commemorative sights in the Chateau-Thierry environs.
A visit to the battlefield city of Verdun will probably interrupt a journey between Montfaucon and a third cluster of monuments, namely the Montsec Memorial and the St. Mihiel Cemetery. A bronze marker can be seen at Souilly, marking the American First Army's HQ
The famously besieged city of Verdun itself is an essential place to visit for anyone interested in the Great War.
Other monuments in France (outside the scope of this website), but dedicated to American combatants:
Paris (Suresnes). There are 1,541 World War One graves. There are also graves dating from the Second World War here.
Bellicourt, 9 miles north of St. Quentin. commemorates American cooperation with the British. The Somme Cemetery is not far away. There are 1,844 graves containing the remains of men who served alongside the British.
Cantigny, is 66 miles from Paris, and commemorates the first large-scale American offensive operation. There was a village here once, which was completely destroyed during the fighting.
Tours Monument. Located far behind the lines, 146 miles south-west of Paris. It commemorates the AEF's Services of Supply.
Brest. France's main US Navy monument. Rebuilt in 1958 after destruction in World War II. The US Navy was based here.
Monuments in Belgium commemorating American involvement during the Great War:
Flanders Field Cemetery (Waregem). There are 368 U.S. war graves here.
Audenarde Monument. Commemorates American troops associated with service to the King of the Belgians. It is located 10 miles from Waregem.
Kemmel Monument. Near the famous battlefield city of Ypres (or Ieper). Another location where Anglo-American cooperation is not forgotten.
Visitors who would like to visit sites associated with Hitler's last strike in the west, the Battle of the Bulge will find expert arrangements and guidance can be made through this site. See 'Tour With Us' page.
American Victory 1918