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Word Count: 920
When the Allied Supreme Commander Ferdinand Foch originally planned the Meuse-Argonne Offensive It was to be a isolated attack by British troops along the Somme River followed by an American push on Mezieres however over time Fochs plan to capture a German stronghold turned into a plan for a massive attack by the Allied forces The objective of the attack was to capture the railroad hub at Sudan in order to break the rail net supporting the German Army in France and Flanders and force a German withdrawal from the occupied territoriesBy the end of the offensive 1200000 Allied troops under the leadership of General John J Pershing had been concentrated for the advance and 60000 of those troops had taken an active part in the battle Compared to nearly fifty German divisions from the Army Groups of the Crown Prince and General Max Carl von Gallwitz The Fifth Army of Group Gallwitz commanded by General George von der Marwitz provided the largest contribution on the German sideDuring the battle a force comprised of mainly French and English artillery about 2700 guns tanks 331 French light tanks 142 of which were manned by Americans and 821 aircraft were concentrated to support the American infantrymen The Germans also had strong artillery support but had no tanks Their greatest weapons in fighting the American on-slot were the shovel and the 18kg 40lb 0815 Maxim machine-gun The German soldiers used their shovels to construct fortified bunkers in which to protect themselves from allied artillery and setup machine gun nestsAt 2330 on September 25 1918 the initial barrage by 2700 guns begins The initial advance is brisk with the exception of an American Division that encounters difficulties capturing the lookout post and strong point of Montfaucon This delay holds up the entire advance for over a day and allows the Germans to recover from their initial shock and to reorganize By the 27th Montfaucon was captured the day and
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