Belleau Wood Part 3

The commander of the French XXI Corps, to whom the Marines are attached, gives the order to the 2nd Division to recapture Belleau Wood. No proper reconnaisance of the wood was performed, and the belief was that the enemy was only in possession of a small corner of the wood. Unknown to the French, an entire German division had taken possession of the woods and had been working hard on turning it into a fortress.

On June 6th two assaults take place, one on Hill 142 in the northwest of the battle area, which is successful, and a less successful assault on the village of Bouresche in the south east. Crossing the wheatfields surrounding the village the marines are exposed to murderous machinegun fire, decimating the attacking company. Worse, their flanks are exposed to fire from the forest, and the Germans have moved artillery in range of the battle area to make life even more difficult for the marines with gas and high explosive. Reinforcements were pulled up from all around the battle area - even the engineers attached to the marine brigade were sent into battle.

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