By Richard W. (Ed). Stewart
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Extra resources for AMERICAN MILITARY HISTORY. VOLUME II. THE UNITED STATES ARMY IN A GLOBAL ERA, 1917–2003
ARMY IN WORLD WAR I, 1917–1918 of the Americans. By June 17 the marines had taken Bouresches. Six days later they cleared Belleau Wood, and on July 1 the infantrymen captured Vaux. Though the Americans had gained their objectives and inﬂicted over 10,000 casualties on the Germans, the price was reciprocally steep. Bundy’s division suffered over 9,777 casualties, including 1,811 dead. ” The AEF had proved itself in battle. While the 2d Division continued its battle in the tangled forest of Belleau Wood, the Germans launched their fourth offensive.
The task of managing the Army’s necessary expansion into a large, modern force fell largely to Newton Baker, the Secretary of War. Secretary Baker seemed out of place heading America’s war effort. Small and unassuming, he looked more at home on a university campus than in the War Department. A longtime friend of Woodrow Wilson, Baker had been appointed Secretary of War in the spring of 1916, despite his paciﬁstic attitudes. Although as the mayor of Cleveland he had changed that city’s government into an efﬁcient organization, as Secretary of War he would often stay on the moderate, uncontroversial course rather than strike out on a new path.
On June 21 the staff ofﬁcers departed on a four-day tour of a number of villages and possible training areas in Lorraine. When the team returned, they recommended that the AEF assume the section of the Allied line from St. Mihiel to Belfort. They considered the training areas in the region adequate. With the greatest concentration of training grounds in the area of Gondrecourt and Neufchâteau, they further proposed that the American training effort be centered there. Yet the suitability of the region’s training areas was not the major reason to select the Lorraine region as the American zone.