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166ème régiment d'infanterie US - 1918 Texte en langue anglaise


Rainbow memories; character sketches and history of the First battalion
166th infantry, 42nd division, American expeditionary force
First Lieutenant Alison. Reppy
1919

HISTORY OF THE FIRST BATTALION
[...]
Third Epoch: Trench Warfare in Lorraine


After the intensive training period in Perrogney and Courcelles, an order came to proceed to the trenches for purposes of training under actual war conditions. February 16, 1918, the battalion hiked to Langres to entrain and on February 17-18 it detrained at Saint Clement in the Luneville Sector. Companies A, D and C marched to Benamenil, while Battalion Headquarters and Company B took station in Domjevin. On February 22nd, the battalion relieved the 60th French Infantry Regiment, Companies A, D and C taking over the front line, with Company B in support. Three days later Company A was withdrawn from the front line and placed in support. Company B taking over the position formerly held by Company A. While in this sector there was but little activity. When on March 1st the battalion was relieved by the third battalion, the men and officers felt quite confident of themselves. The unit moved into a reserve position in Moyen. There, volunteers for a raid were asked from the battalion, and First Lieutenant Caleb B. Lear of Company D was selected as the patrol leader. He successfully carried out the operation as planned and a Croix de Guerre was conferred upon him for his work. By March 12th the battalion was in support position in Domjevin and Benamenil. March 21st, or just one month from the date of entry into the trenches, the battalion, with the remainder of the regiment, was relieved in the Luneville Sector. As a result of this first tour of duty in the trenches, the men and officers gained a practical knowledge of trench routine and discipline, acquiring a spirit of confidence and self-reliance which was destined to stand them in good stead in later tests.
The battalion was ordered to march from its position in line to the vicinity of Langres, where it was to remain for a thirty-day period of rest and training. But after a one-day hike the regiment was halted at Damas-aux-Bois to await further orders. Subsequent events proved that this halt, and change in plans, was the result of the first German offensive which was then being launched in Flanders. March 29th, orders to proceed to the Baccarat Sector came in and by forced marches the battalion reached its destination on the first of April, relieving the French unit then in line. Companies B and D took position in the front line, Companies A and C in support, with Battalion headquarters in Ancervillers between the front line and support positions. During this period there was no unusual enemy activity, although our patrols covered No Man's Land every night with the view of securing prisoners and serving as protection from enemy patrols or possible raids. Occasionally our front lines were gassed and the support positions bombarded.
April 10th, 1918, the battalion was relieved by the third battalion of our regiment and moved to the reserve positions in Merviller and Vaxainville. It again took over the front on May 10th. On May 18th and 19th a particularly daring piece of reconnaissance work was accomplished by Lieutenant Leslie and four men when they concealed themselves in the enemy's wire and remained in observation for twenty-four hours. During the night of June 5th and 6th, the Germans attempted a raid on the line of trenches held by the first battalion, but due to the barrages of our artillery and machine-guns, and the excellent work of the men in the trenches, the raiding party was dispersed without ever entering the lines. When the operation started a combat patrol, led by Lt. A. B. DeLacy and Lt. Chas. Baskerville, Jr., was caught inside the German wire and forced to remain in No Man's Land until dawn and the falling off of artillery fire, but returned to our lines after a miraculous escape. The battalion remained in this sector until June 19th, during which time its duties were rounds of seven days in the front line trenches, and seven days in both the support and reserve positions. In addition to these routine duties training in patrolling was emphasized. From April 24th until May 13th, the regiment was relieved in the sector by the 165th Infantry, and the battalion was in barracks at Baccarat, excepting Company A, which was stationed at Veney. On June 19th the regiment was relieved by units of the 77th American Division and by units of a French division. The organization immediately began a move toward a new front. [...]

STATION LIST OF BATTALION SINCE ARRIVAL IN A. E. F.
[...]

Perrogney

Jan. 22, 1918

Feb. 16, 1918

Domjevin

Feb. 17, 1918

Feb. 22, 1918

Blemery

Feb. 22, 1918

Mar. 2, 1918

Domjevin

Mar. 2, 1918

Mar. 3, 1918

Moyen

Mar. 3, 1918

Mar. 12, 1918

Domjevin

Mar. 12, 1918

Mar. 21, 1918

Moyen

Mar. 21, 1918

Mar. 22, 1918

Damas Aux Bois

Mar. 22, 1918

Mar. 29, 1918

Doncieres

Mar. 29, 1918

Mar. 30, 1918

Montigny

Mar. 30, 1918

Mar. 31, 1918

Ancerviller

Mar. 31, 1918

Avr. 10, 1918

Merviller

Avr. 10, 1918

Avr. 17, 1918

Vaxainville

Avr. 17, 1918

Avr. 20, 1918

Montigny

Avr. 20, 1918

Avr. 24, 1918

Baccarat

Avr. 24, 1918

May. 13, 1918

Migneville

May. 13, 1918

May. 20, 1918

Vaxainville

May. 20, 1918

May. 29, 1918

Montigny

May. 29, 1918

June 3, 1918

Ancerviller

June 3, 1918

June 9, 1918

Vaxainville

June 9, 1918

June 18, 1918

Domptail

June 19, 1918

June 19, 1918

Rehaincourt

June 20, 1918

June 22, 1918

Vesignuel

June 23, 1918

June 28, 1918

[...]




Villers-sur-Fère - 30 juillet 1918

 

 

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