American Troops On the Offensive- Following the Bolshevik revolution in October and November of 1917, Russia became a communist nation and its leaders and shortly thereafter, early in 1918, withdrew their country from the war. ***When Russia ended its involvement, President Wilson responded by rapidly deploying thousands of combat troops to Russia to protect Allied supplies and prevent war material from falling into enemy hands. This was just the beginning of the AEF’s experience in the war. As Germany made its final push toward Paris in the spring of 1918, American troops were thrown into battle.
June 1918- Americans first significant combat came at Chateau-Thierry helping to stop the German advance which saw the Keiser’s army reach within 40 miles of Paris.
July-August 1918- The Allies, with the help of American troops, turned the tide at the 2nd Battle of the Marne. They would steadily push the German army back following this victory.
Sept.-Nov. 1918- General Pershing was given control of 80 miles of the front near the Meuse-Argonne forest. During the fighting near Meuse-Argonne, one of America’s greatest war heroes emerged.
Alvin York sought an exemption from the draft as a conscientious objector, a person who opposes warfare on moral grounds. Eventually, York decided it was morally acceptable to fight if the cause was just.
On October 8, 1918, York, armed with only a rifle and a revolver, killed 25 Germans –and with six other doughboys- and captured 132 prisoners
Commander of Allied forces in Europe, Marshal Foch, called York’s bravery, “the greatest thing accomplished by any private soldier of all the armies of Europe.”
York was promoted to sergeant and became a celebrity when he returned to the U.S.
Nov. 3, 1918- Austria-Hungary surrendered to the Allies.
On the same day, German sailors mutinied against government authority. Their revolt quickly spread.
Nov. 9, 1918- Socialists in Berlin established a German republic. Kaiser Wilhelm stepped down from power.