WWI: The Cote de Chatillon ( 1 of 2 )
The entry of the Americans in 1918 utterly changed the complexion of the fighting on the Western Front. The horrible stalemate of the preceeding years, in which the two sides traded millions of casualties over a few yards of mud, came to an end. The toll would remain frightful, but the stalemate would not last.
Determined to win the war before the Americans could bring their fresh troops to bear, the Germans launched a series of all-out offensives in the winter and spring of 1918. The exhausted British and French gave ground but finally managed to halt the Germans. Then, with the Americans arriving at a rate of 300,000 men per month, the Allies began a counter-offensive that would win the war in less than six months.
In late August, after several months of reinforcing the French, America's General Pershing finally won his battle for a separate U.S. Army operating on its own front. By September 16, Pershing's forces had earned an important victory in eliminating a dangerous bulge, or "salient" in the German lines near St. Mihiel. MacArthur's Rainbow Division was in the thick of the fighting.