Date with History
The 1st Division in America’s First Army: The Battle of St. Mihiel, 1918
Thursday, October 19, 7 pm
Free Event, No Parking Fee
When fought in September 1918, the St Mihiel Offensive was far and away the largest and most complicated battle in American history. Yet, more than one hundred years later, it is one of the American military’s least well-known and most misunderstood major engagements. In just four days, General John J. Pershing’s brand new American First Army overwhelmingly defeated Germany’s smaller but much more experienced Armee-Abteilung C in just a few days of fighting that involved 550,000 Americans and 110,000 Frenchmen, supported by 3,000 artillery pieces, over 1,400 coalition aircraft under the command of Billy Mitchell, and hundreds of tanks commanded by a young George Patton. Of special interest, the US 1st Division — Cantigny’s own “Big Red One” — also played an important role in the attack, helping to secure a decisive victory in the American First Army’s first battle in World War I.
Meet the Speaker: Dr. Mark E. Grotelueschen currently teaches in the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the USAF Academy. He previously served as Professor of History and Director of Academics while holding a Senior Military Faculty position in the Department of History. A 27-year veteran of the Air Force, he holds degrees from the United States Air Force Academy, the University of Calgary, and Texas A&M University. In addition to other books and articles, he is the author of The AEF Way of War: The American Army and Combat in World War I (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and, most recently, edited The Harmon Memorial Lectures in Military History, 1988-2017 (Air University Press, 2020). He is currently writing a book on the St. Mihiel Offensive.
About Date with History
Our Date with History series, now in its 16th year, features presentations by authors, historians, documentarians, and veterans on a variety of military history topics. Visit Cantigny or attend online to connect with these experts in a lecture and Q&A format.