Saturday, June 23, 2012

Belleau Wood; one of those places

where we never asked for more than the space to bury our dead, after we took it and held it from the enemy.
The commander of the Marine Brigade, Army Gen. James Harbord, countermanding a French order to dig trenches further to the rear, ordered the Marines to "hold where they stand". With bayonets, the Marines dug shallow fighting positions from which they could fight from the prone position. In the afternoon of 3 June, German infantry attacked the Marine positions through the grain fields with bayonets fixed. The Marines waited until the Germans were within 100 yards/metres before opening deadly rifle fire which mowed down waves of German infantry and forced the survivors to retreat into the wood.
It started on the 1st, this was on the 2nd; the battle didn't end till the 26th.

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