17/9/1918 US victory at St. Mihiel see the Germans shaken and Pershing disappointed at missed opportunities #1918Live

The Americans have successfully eliminated the St. Mihiel salient, capturing more than 8,000 German prisoners and some 400 artillery pieces. The defeat at St. Mihiel has shaken the Germans. Hindenburg, the German commander-in-chief, is normally imperturbable but now he sends a furious telegram to Gallwitz, the local German commander. Hindenburg refuses to see the Americans as constituting a serious military force and rails against Gallwitz for allowing himself to be defeated by what he sees as a half-trained rabble.

Pershing had wanted his troops to exploit the success of St. Mihiel by pressing on towards Metz. Foch however has insisted that they be redeployed further to the west to take part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, scheduled to start later in the month. Pershing is angry, feeling that an opportunity is being squandered and that his men will not have enough time to prepare adequately for the new offensive. Foch insists because fears that a further advance towards Metz would see the American advancing on a divergent axis from the rest of the Allies. The Meuse-Argonne offensive is to be one of several converging assaults, intended to break the Germans on the Western Front.

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(WW1HA — Fightin’ Friday: Mon Plaisir Farm)

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