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Operation Report, 2nd Bn. 5th Regt. Marines, Oct 1-8, 1918.

AMERICAN E.F., Oct. 11th, 1918.
Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment.
Commanding Officer, 5th Regiment.
Operations Report, 1-8.

1. The night of October 1st, 2nd, marched from Bois-de-la-Cote and relieved (3) three companies of 219th Regiment, French, and (2) two companies of 265th Regiment, French, with(4) four companies of Battalion: the 23rd M.G. Company attached to Battalion, relieving the French M.G. Company; in trenches around point 268.8—277.0 along railroad South of Somme-Py. Relief completed about 4:00 A.M., October 2nd, 1918. Sketch appended, marked "A". Relief held up by the impossibility of a reconnaissance prior to relief being made, and nonappearance of guides for companies.

October 2nd, spent in trenches, a few casualties.

On the morning of October 3rd, Battalion moved to left along railroad between points 268.4—276.85 on right, and 267.0—276.7 on left, the 4th Brigade limits for the advance. Jumped off about 6:55 A.M. with (18th) "E" — (51st) "G" companies in line supported by (55th) "H" — (43rd) "F" companies, the 23rd M.G. Companies in rear of center of these companies. Advance made by combat groups. The 2nd Battalion of 5th being support Battalion of 5th Regiment. The 6th Regiment leading in the attack.

23 M.G.

The advance was made difficult by the French not advancing on left flank. Our flank was thus exposed to flank fire and casualties resulted. Another difficulty was the passing over of M. G. Nests, which later opened on us.

The final objective was attained by 6th Marines. The 2nd Battalion then received orders to protect their left flank and after consultation with Major Williams of 2nd Battalion of 6th Regiment, I moved the Battalion to his left flank, entrenching along line 265.75—280.6 — 265.95—280.1 where we joined with a company of French troops.

At 7:20 P.M., October 3rd, 1918, received orders to occupy line 265.6—280.75 to 267.3—281.0 and be ready to attack with 3rd Battalion leading 1st in support and 2nd in reserve. We finally were able to leave for attack at 6:00 A.M., the objective being ridge South East of St. Etienne 264.6—283.2 to 266.2—283.8. Moved towards objective under heavy machine gun fire and artillery fire until about 2:30 P.M., October 4th. This heavy flank fire was caused by French not advancing and 23rd Infantry on right not attaining its objective.

We were forced to retire but held about 4:00 P.M., and dug in and consolidated new position with 23rd Infantry on right and left flank open.

October 5th remained in position. French advanced about 10:00 A.M. on left flank. Late afternoon part of 6th Regiment passed thru us.

October 6th in same position. Moved to rear, jump off place about 8:00 P.M.

October 7th, in position.

October 8th, 5:15 A.M., 142nd Regiment advanced to attack.

R. E. Messersmith.
R. E. Messersmith.
  Killed Wounded Missing Gassed Sick
E Company 8 60 11 6 7
F Company 3 47 6 1 3
G Company 12 63 44    
H Company 7 21 46   4
Total 30 191 107 7 14
Records Of The Second Division (Regular) Volume 7; Operation Reports — War Diaries — Patrol Reports
Second Division Historical Section, The Army War College, Washington, D. C.
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