Belleau Wood Part 2

On the afternoon of June 3rd, 1918, a wave of German infantryman advanced across the wheatfield towards the marines. The marines didn't have time to dig proper trenches and instead fought from foxholes. Neither did they have machineguns or artillery - their supply train had not yet caught up with their hasty movements, and the more mobile heavy weapons had been sent to the nearby battle of Chateau-Thierry where they played a part in halting the Germans there.

From the hasty defences the well trained Marines gunned down the attacking Germans in a close fought battle, and the Germans eventually retreated to the safety of the wood. As history had it, that defensive line happened to be the furthest ever advance of the German army into France in World War 1.

That night, a French column entered the town, warning the defenders of large numbers of enemy troops converging on the area, and ordered the marines to fall back. That suggestion was met with the famous reply, "Retreat? Hell, we just got here.". The marines worked hard on improving their position as they waited for the next German assault.

…which did not materialise. The Germans seemed to have disappeared. What were they up to, in the dark wood…

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