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Locations of 2nd Division organizations on November 11, 1918


3rd Brigade

On November 10, orders were received by the 3rd Brigade to support the crossing of the 4th Brigade over the Meuse in the vicinity of Villemontry and Mouzon. The 3rd Brigade assisted in this crossing by detailing two companies to help the engineers throw the bridge across; by holding one battalion in support which followed the marine brigade across the river about 4 A.M. on the morning of the 11th and by supporting with the fire of the remaining elements of the brigade, including the 5th Machine Gun Battalion, on the line from Letanne to Mouzon. Casualties of Companies "G" and "H", 9th Infantry, who assisted in throwing the bridges across the river where 19 killed and 44 wounded. The positions of the troops of the 3rd Brigade at 11 hours November 11th, when the Armistice went into effect were as follows:

Hdqrs. 3rd Brigade — Beaumont.
9th Infantry:
   1 Bn. — Fauborg de Mouzon and Villemontry.
   1 Bn. — Bois de Alma Gisors on right bank of the Meuse.
   1 Bn. — Bois de L'Hospice.
23rd Infantry — Bois de Yoncq.
5th M. G. Bn. — Companies attached to Infantry battalions.
 
Total casualties: 40 officers and 1832 enlisted men.
Estimated captures: Prisoners and Materiel: 700 prisoners and 29 guns.

4th Brigade

France, November 11, 1918.
Operations Report
Noon, November 10 - to - Noon, November 11.
 
Weather: Cloudy.
Visibility: Poor.
Remarks:

During the night the sector of the 2nd division was extended to the heights on the eastern bank of the Meuse. Enemy found to be strongly organized in machine gun positions and well supported by artillery during the river crossing.

Infantry Activity:
Our Own:

An attempt at crossing by troops of the 4th Brigade at Mouzon was repulsed by strong enemy machine gun and artillery fire. A direct hit by enemy destroyed the bridge which was in process of construction by 2nd Engineers. At Bois de l'Hospice a crossing was made by two battalions of the 5th Marines, who were later joined by a battalion of the 89th Division. This party proceeded to the edge of the woods on the east bank of the river and resumed its advance at 6 A.M. this morning, supported by a battalion of the 9th Infantry which crossed the river at 6 A.M.

Enemy:

Strong machine gun fire on our troops while crossing the Meuse. The enemy has well organized machine gun positions in Mouzon and vicinity.

Artillery:
Our Own:

Two hours of artillery preparation before we attempted to cross the river at Mouzon. Not enough artillery to effect proper protection for crossing.

Enemy:

Severe fire on bridges we were repairing and slight shelling of Beaumont.

Aviation:
Our Own: N. T. R.
Enemy:    N. T. R.

All further advance and action ceased at 11 A.M. by order of Corps Commander in compliance with Armistice Order issued by Marshal Foch.

R. E. Beebe,
Lt. Col. General Staff,
Acting A.C. Of S., G-3.

Journal Of Operations, Second Division, November 11, 1918.

Weather Foggy-

The troops of the 4 Brigade & 2d Engrs. participating in the attack ordered by F.O. 60 report as follows. The combat liason group composed of troops of the 89 Div. and 4 Brigade succeeded in crossing the Meuse by means of two bridges in the vicinity of the Bois de l'Hospice. This detachment started to advance on the east side of the river at 6:00 hours in the vicinity of Bois de Flaviers toward Moulins. The troops on the left met with determined resistance. The Engineers were heavily shelled and the two bridges they were constructing were destroyed. The troops were unable to cross. They were drawn back from the river north of le Faubourg in order to secure cover in the woods to the South & West. At 6:15 hours the following message was picked up by our radio station: 6.01 AM Nov 11 1918. Official radio from Paris - Marshall Foch to the Commanders in Chief — 1. Hostilities will be stopped on the entire front beginning at 11 o'clock, Nov. 11 (French Hour). 2. The allied troops will not go beyond the line reached at that hour on that date until further orders. Signed: Marshall Foch - 5.45 A.M.

Confirming this message the following was received - 8:40 A.M. Message from 5th Corps to C.G. 2d Division. To the Commanding General, 2nd Division. "Armistice signed and takes effect at 11 o'clock this morning - Accurate map showing the location of front line Elements will be sent to these Headquarters without delay. Telephone exact location of front line at 12 noon today to G3, 5th Corps. Signed Burrt."

At the cessation of hostilities the location of the troops of the 2d Div occupying the front line at 12:00 o'clock noon 13 Nov. 1918 was as follows - Left to right - 2 Cos. of the 9th Inf in le Fauborg, 2 Cos. 9th Inf in Villemontry, 1 Co. of the 5 Marines #55 at Belle Fontaine Fme., 1 Co. #15 on road running north and south 3/4 of a Kilometer south east of Le Belle Fontaine Fme. 1 Co. #43 at crossing of road & trail near quarry 3/4 of a Kilometer north & east of Senegal Fme. One Btn. consisting of Cos. #66 #49 #17 #57 east of Senegal Fme. One Platoon of 9th Inf at Letanne and one platoon at Pouilly. All firing ceased at 11:00 except for troops of the first and second Bns of the 5 Marines who did not receive the word until 11:30 hours. This was due to their advance being made in a dense fog which made it impossible to locate some of these elements before this hour. From this time 11:30 no firing was done on the front lines of the 2d Div.


Headquarters Second Field Artillery Brigade

12. Orders issued November 10th directed the Division to cross the Meuse and sieze the Heights on the East bank, the crossing to be made by the 4th Brigade at two points; one in the vicinity of Mouzon by the 4th Brigade alone and another between Villemontry and Letanne by a combined detachment from the 4th Brigade and 89th Division on our right. The attack was commenced immediately after dark, supported by the entire 2nd F.A. Brigade. During the attacks, heavy fire was put down in the form of concentrations by both calibres from Mouzon - Western Edge of the Bois De Flaviers, Bois Gisors and the heights in front of the Division along the East bank of the Meuse. After one hour the fire was lifted from these concentrations and put down on strong points in advance of the Infantry. The 12th F.A. And two battalions of the 17th F. A. supported the attempt and crossing at Mouzon. The 15th Field Artillery and one Battalion of the 17th Field Artillery supported the successful crossing of the combined detachment between Villemontry and Letanne. By 11:00 A.M., November 11th, foothold was gained and positions established commanding the Moulins—Mouzon road in the Northern part of the Bois Des Flaviers. At 11:00 A.M., an armistice was declared.

13. During the operations from November 1st to 11th there was a noticeable lack of assistance derived from the Aviation with respect to the matter of reconnaissances, adjustment of fire and photographic work, in spite of the fact that enemy aeroplanes were excessively active. It was claimed that bad weather conditions prevented our planes from flying. If photographs had been available for the preparations of the attack for the crossing of the Meuse, how much more intelligent bombardment of the enemy's machine-gun and battery positions might have been undertaken and the crossing probably would have been a success at Mouzon. The continual flying of hostile aeroplanes over our battery positions subjected them to much hostile artillery fire and hindrance to their own fire. During the last two days an effort was made to provide for a system of concentrations on enemy batteries seen in action by our planes. No results were accomplished due to the failure of our planes to take the air.

14. The general character of the above operations proves that in quick advances against a demoralized enemy best results can be had from the artillery by placing the matter of the artillery support for the advance in the hands of the and artillery Regimental and Battalion commanders, who follow the advance closely and solves the problems of enemy resistance through their direct liaison with the Infantry.

(Sgd)Dan T. Moore
Dan T. Moore
Colonel, Field Artillery,
Commanding.

Fourth Machine Gun Battalion

November 10, 1918.

Orders received from Division Machine Gun Officer to place Battalion in positions to fire harassing and barrage fire for bridge crossing at 16:30 hours. Targets selected for Company "A" was enfilading fire south of Aurblemont to cut off flank attacks. Targets for Company "B" was harassing fire on road running north and south just east of Mauzon [sic]. "A" Company proceeded 11 kilometers by motor machine gun trucks north of Beaumont to a position near point 315.4. "B" Company proceeded 8 kilometers by motor machine gun trucks to a position near point 313.05. "A" Company was in position at 19:30 hours and "B" Company at 19:00 hours. Orders from C. O. 6th Marines were not to fire during night.

November 11, 1918.
As no crossing was made at upper bridge-head, fire was not delivered during the morning. Orders came of the Armistice and by order of the 4th Brigade, Battalion was relieved at 11:00 hours and brought back to reserve position in Beaumont.
  (Sgd) A. D. Bruce,
   
A.C. of S—G—3
2nd Division
A. D. Bruce,
Major, 4th M. G. Battalion,
Commanding.

Seventeenth Field Artillery

The following is an abstraction.
War Diary of 1st Bn. November 10th, 1918.
Battery "A" & Battery "B" Positions near Beaumont.
Remarks- Batteries in action -
Attack - 85.70 and 00.51 areas
Battery "A" 246 Rds. 8:30 to 11:30 P. M.
Battery "B" 214 " " " " "
War Diary of 1st Bn. November 11th, 1918.
Battery "A" & Battery "B" Positions near Beaumont.
Remarks: Order received at 7:30 A. M. - No firing after 11 A.M.
 
 
 
Incomplete project as long as this message is present.
 
Records Of The Second Division (Regular) Volume 6; Operation Reports — War Diaries — Journal of Operations
Second Division Historical Section, The Army War College, Washington, D. C.
 
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