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2d Division Summary of Operations in The World War


Aisne Defensive, June 1-5
Chatau—Thierry Sector, June 6—July 16

On June 1 the 2d Division was placed in a support position north of the Marne and across the Paris—Metz highway, west of Chateau-Thierry. It was assigned to the French XXI Corps, French Sixth Army. By June 4 the French 164th and 43d Divisions had withdrawn through the positions of the 2d Division, which held a front line approximately 15 kilometers long, marked by Bois de la Morette—Bois des Clerembauts—Triangle—Lucy-le-Bocage—Champillon—Bois de Veuilly. The Infantry Brigade held the right subsector, and the Marine Brigade the left.

Under orders to seize the general line, Vaux—Bouresches— Bois de Belleau, the division attacked on June 6. In this attack Bouresches, the southern portion of Bois de Belleau and the ridge north of point 142 were taken. As it developed, this was the first of a series of bitter battles in which the Germans endeavored unsuccessfully to destroy the American morale in order to preserve their own. The occupation of Bois de Belleau was completed on June 25. Vaux was captured on July 1.

The 7th Infantry, 3d Division, operated with the 2d Division from June 16 to June 23, and advanced the line south of Torcy.

The American I Corps took command of the 2d Division on July 4. The division was relieved in the front line by the 26th Division at 8 a. m., July 10. It then occupied a position in corps reserve near Montreuil aux Lions until July 16.

Aisne—Marne Offensive July 18—20

The 2d Division relieved a portion of the French 38th Division in the front line southwest of Soissons during the night of July 17—18.

On July 18 the 2d Division, as a part of the French XX Corps, French Tenth Army, attacked toward the east with the French 38th Division, French XXX Corps, to its right, and the French 1st Moroccan Division, French XX Corps, to its left, capturing Verte Feuille Ferme, Beaurepaire Ferme and Vierzy.

The attack was continued on July 19 and the line advanced to the vicinity of Tigny, where it remained until the division was relieved on July 20 by the French 58th Division. During this attack the division advanced approximately 10 kilometers.

Marbache Sector, August 6—17
Limey Sector, September 9—11
St. Mihiel Offensive, September 12—16

After its arrival in the St. Mihiel region, the 2d Division occupied the Marbache Sector near Pont-a-Mousson for a short while before taking over the Limey Sector, the front line of which was to be its line of departure for the St. Mihiel Offensive.

It relieved elements of the 89th and 90th Divisions in the Limey Sector, and assumed command at 8 a. m., September 10. At 5 a. m., September 12, the division attacked as left division of the 1 Corps, captured Thiaucourt and advanced 1,500 meters north of the town. On the 13th the division occupied Jaulny. On the 14th and 15th it advanced its outposts to the northern edges of the woods south of Rembercourt-sur-Mad and Charey.

The division was relieved by the 78th Division at 10 a. m., September 16, and moved to the vicinity of Toul.

Meuse—Argonne (Champagne) Offensive
September 29—October 14

During the night of September 28—29 Tne 2d Division began to move from the vicinity of Chalons-sur-Marne toward the front of the French Fourth Army. During the night of October 1—2 it completed the relief of the French 61st Division and a battalion of the French 21st Division north and west of Somme-Py.

On October 3 the division advanced its lines over 3 kilometers in a converging attack against the Blanc Mont position southeast of St. Etienne-a-Arnes. The Infantry Brigade, on the right, advanced about 2 kilometers north of the Medeah Ferme—Blanc Mont road. The Marine Brigade, on the left, advanced over the crest of Blanc Mont and established a line north of the road. The attack continued on the 4th and the left flank was advanced to a position abreast of the right.

On October 5 the left of the line was advanced slightly southeast of St. Etienne-a-Arnes and contact was established with the French, who cleared the western slopes of Blanc Mont on this day. The operation was continued on the 6th and the line advanced about 700 meters.

The 71st Infantry Brigade, 36th Division, which had been attached to the 2d Division, took over the front line on October 7 and on the 8th attacked in conjunction with units of the 2d Division and captured St. Etienne. The line on the right was advanced to a position north of the Orfeuil—St. Etienne road.

An attack on the 9th resulted in a small gain north of St. Etienne. During the night of October 9—10 the 36th Division took over the entire zone of action of the 2d Division, command passing at 8 a. m., October 10. The 2d Division assembled about 15 kilometers south of St. Etienne, where it remained until October 14.

Meuse—Argonne Offensive, October 24—November 11
Subsequent Service, November 12, 1918—August 1919

Barricourt Heights On October 31 the 2d Division took command of the sector of the 42d Division from La Tuilerie Ferme west to a point about 1 kilometer south of St. Georges, relieving all of the 42d Division except a front-line screen. On the following morning, participating in the general offensive of the First Army, the 2d Division attacked northward with the Marine Brigade and the 23d Infantry. The towns of Landres et St. Georges, St. Georges and Bayonville et Chennery were taken, and by night an advance of about 9 kilometers had been made to the assigned objective, the line, La Follarde—Cote 313— Fontaine des Parades.

No advance was made during the daylight hours of November 2, but in the evening the left regiment advanced troops to the southwestern edge of Bois de la Folie. The Infantry Brigade began a movement before midnight to reach the line, Nouart—Fosse. Before noon, November 3, the advance was halted by hostile resistance, the 9th Infantry on the ridge extending from Le Champy Haut toward Vaux-en-Dieulet, and the 23rd Infantry about 3 kilometers north of Fosse.

Another march was planned by the Infantry Brigade for the night of November 3-4 to the heights in the vicinity of Beaumont. The advance commenced in the early evening over the Le Champy Haut—Beaumont road, and by midnight had progressed about 5 kilometers.

Shortly before noon, November 4, an attack was made toward Beaumont, but the line was advanced only a short distance. The positions finally held at midnight extended from the vicinity of Ferme de Belle Tour to a point about 500 meters north of Petite Foret Ferme. The positions around Ferme de Belle Tour were held by units of the Marine Brigade, which had moved forward to extend the line to the right. A movement northward by the 23rd Infantry was begun during the night, and about dawn, November 5, Beauregard, Beaumont and Letanne were mopped up, and detachments pushed forward to Hill 241.

During the day of November 5 positions were consolidated, and patrolling by the Infantry Brigade was active in an effort to find crossings of the Meuse. After midnight, November 5, the brigade pushed forward to reach positions in the vicinity of La Sartelle Ferme in order to be able to seize bridges across the Meuse, and to protect the right of the 1ist Division which was to move toward Mouzon. By 6 a. m., November 6, positions were reached about 1 kilometer west of Villemontry, in the eastern edge of Bois de I'Hospice, in the vicinity of La Sartelle Ferme and on the ridge 1 kilometer south of the farm.

During the evening of the 6th, dispositions were made preparatory to a projected march to the northwest on Sedan, but plans for this march were canceled on the following Crossing the Meuse River morning and the 2d Division was ordered to hold a line from Letanne to Mouzon, both inclusive. During the morning of the 7th Villemontry and Le Faubourg were occupied. During the day the 89th Division, to the right, extended its left flank to the vicinity of Letanne and took over the positions southeast of Beaumont. Aside from patrolling, which disclosed that the enemy would oppose a crossing of the Meuse, no further action occurred on this day.

No change in the front line occurred on November 8, but patrolling and local efforts to cross the Meuse were continued. Plans were made for an attack to force a crossing of the Meuse at a date to be announced later. Local readjustments were made on November 9, and plans perfected for the projected crossing of the Meuse by the reserve brigade during the night. The date for the crossing was postponed, however, and no change in the line occurred.

The crossing was definitely ordered to be made at two places on November 10, one opposite Mouzon and the other east of Bois de l'Hospice. The latter crossing was to be made in conjunction with the 89th Division. The crossing at Mouzon was attempted after dark, but was unsuccessful. The crossing of a combined group of the 2d and 89th Divisions was successful, as was the crossing by the 89th Division itself.

On the morning of November 11 the 2d Division advanced its line to the vicinity of Senegal Ferme, around the farms 2 kilometers southeast of Mouzon and to Moulins. These positions east of the Meuse were held when the Armistice order reached the front-line units shortly after 11 a. m.

American Battle Monuments Commission. 1944.
2d Division, Summary Of Operations In The World War.
[Washington]: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
 
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