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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 24, 2018 10:02 AM
From: Representative Thomas J. Quigley
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood
I will be introducing a resolution recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood. The battle took place in June 1918 and was the first large-scale battle fought by American soldiers in World War I in Belleau Wood, northwest of the Paris-to-Metz road.

In late May 1918, the third German offensive of the year penetrated the Western Front to within 45 miles of Paris. U.S. forces under General John J. Pershing helped halt the German advance, and on June 6 Pershing ordered a counteroffensive to drive the Germans out of Belleau Wood. U.S. Marines under General James Harbord led the attack against the four German divisions positioned in the woods and by the end of the first day suffered more than 1,000 casualties.

For the next three weeks, the Marines, backed by U.S. Army artillery, launched many attacks into the forested area, but German General Erich Ludendorff was determined to deny the Americans a victory. Ludendorff continually brought up reinforcements from the rear, and the Germans attacked the U.S. forces with machine guns, artillery, and gas. Finally, on June 26, the Americans prevailed but at the cost of nearly 10,000 dead, wounded, or missing in action. The U.S. Marines earned the nickname “Devil Dogs” for their fierce fighting and determination on the battlefield.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this resolution.

Introduced as HR988