The Battle of Belleau Wood in Retrospect

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    This reminds me of the comments made after the Charge of the Light Brigade !! :rolleyes:

    Nine years after he commanded the U.S. Fourth Corps during World War One ..... Major General Joseph T. Dickman (1857 - 1928) reconsidered the necessity of fighting for that ground in his memoir " The Great Crusade" and concluded that -

    " Belleau Wood was a glorious but an unnecessary sacrifice ... It was magnificent fighting - but not modern war "

    The battle was fought by the U.S. Marines attached to the Second Division - which was under the command of General Dickman
  2. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    Re: The Battle of Belleau Wood in Retropspect

    The point about Belleau Wood was that the Americans used exactly the same tactics that the British had used at the Somme, Aubers Ridge, etc etc etc two or three years earlier in the war - an artillery bombardment which alerted more Germans than it killed, followed by a full-frontal attack across open ground.

    By 1918, the British had much better tactics - attack the enemy in his weak points using a small number of elite troops, thus opening the way for the main body; advance behind a creeping artillery barrage, and support by tanks and aircraft.

    But Pershing insisted on keeping independent command of the AEF and refused all advice. The USMC took Belleau Wood in the end, but at the cost of 2000 of their own number. It is said that a British liaison officer wept as he watched the doughboys go to their avoidable deaths.
  3. U.S. Marines Memorial at Belleau Wood:

  4. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    2nd Battalion 6th Marines after the battle at Belleau Wood

    Attached Files:

  5. Hill 40

    Hill 40 New Member

    It does indeed!:D It certainly appears a popular choice of words by witnesses of battles throughout the time afterwards (also quoted at Sedan 1870 and as recently as the Gulf War). No one afterwards ever seems to use Bosquet's follow-up sentence... "C'est de la folie" ...though!!!:D

    (Think I might use the whole thing as my signature from now on!)
  6. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    "C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre - c'est de la folie" ?
  7. Hill 40

    Hill 40 New Member

    Yes... "it's maginificent, but it's not's madness"

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