MEUSE-ARGONNE OFFENSIVE LEADS TO ARMISTICE U.S. and Allied counteroffensives in the summer of 1918 stopped German advances. By September, plans were made to strike German forces along the entire Western Front. U.S. First Army, commanded by Gen. John J. Pershing, received the mission of defeating German forces in the region between the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest northward to Sedan. Formidable enemy defensive positions in depth extended miles north of the front lines. September 26: After intense artillery barrages blasted German defenses, First Army units launched the assault at 5:30 a.m. September 27: U.S. 79th Division captured Montfaucon, highest point in the region and a key German position.
German reinforcements swarmed in along the front. October 3: First Army consolidated positions gained since Sep. 26. October 14: The offensive’s second phase began. Heights of Romagne and Cunel were seized. October 31: U.S. and French forces finished clearing the Argonne Forest. November 1: Final phase of the offensive began. Units of U.S. V Corps seized critical heights around Barricourt. Other units began crossing the Meuse River and advancing northeastward across the Woevre Plain.
November 7: U.S. I Corps units captured heights on south bank of the Meuse River overlooking Sedan. November 11: The Armistice became effective at 11:00 a.m. local time. More than 1.2 million U.S. troops fought during the 47 days of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. About 117,000 were killed or wounded. General Pershing said, “The success stands out as one of the very great achievements in the history of American Arms.”