Battle of Château-Thierry (1918)

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Battle of Château-Thierry (1918)
Part of the Second Battle of the Marne in World War I
Date 18 July 1918
Location Château-Thierry, Aisne, France
49°2′31″N 3°22′19″E / 49.04194°N 3.37194°E / 49.04194; 3.37194
Result Allied victory
 United States
France France
 German Empire
Commanders and leaders
United States John J. Pershing
France Charles Mangin
German Empire Erich Ludendorff
American Expeditionary Force Unknown
U.S. field artillery in Château-Thierry
Plaque of commemorative text from the memorial

The Battle of Château-Thierry was fought on July 18, 1918 and was one of the first actions of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) under General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing. It was a battle in World War I as part of the Second Battle of the Marne, initially prompted by a German offensive launched on 15 July against the AEF, the newest troops on the front.

On the morning of 18 July 1918, the French (some of them colonial) and American forces between Fontenoy and Château-Thierry launched a counter-assault under the overall direction of Allied généralissime Ferdinand Foch against the German positions. This assault on a 40 km (25 mi) wide front was the first for over a year. The American army played the larger role fighting for the regions around Soissons and Château-Thierry. The allied forces had managed to keep their plans a secret, and their attack at 04:45 took the Germans by surprise when the troops went "Over the Top" without a preparatory artillery bombardment, but instead followed closely behind a rolling barrage which began with great synchronized precision. Eventually, the two opposing assaults (lines) inter-penetrated and individual American units exercised initiative and continued fighting despite being nominally behind enemy lines.[1]


After World War I, a memorial was built on Hill 204, 2 miles (3 km.) west of the town for which it is named. The Château-Thierry Monument, designed by Paul P. Cret of Philadelphia, was constructed by the American Battle Monuments Commission "to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of American and French fighting men in the region, and the friendship and cooperation of French and American forces during World War I."[2]


  1. ^ Edwin L. James (1918). "A Description of the Battle of Chateau-Thierry". New York Times Current History. New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  2. ^ "Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial". American Battle Monuments Commission, U.S. Government. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 

Further Reading[edit]

  • Asprey, Robert B At Belleau Wood New York, Putnam [1965] OCLC 1183470
  • Bonk, David and Dennis, Peter Château Thierry & Belleau Wood 1918 : America's baptism of fire on the Marne New York, NY, USA : Osprey Pub., 2007 ISBN 1-846-03034-X OCLC 85443414
  • Bresnahan, Thomas E Chateau Thierry [Holyoke, Mass.? s.n., 1918?] OCLC 32871095
  • Catlin, Albertus W and Dyer, Walter A "With the help of God and a few marines": the battles of Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood Yardley : Westholme, [2013] ISBN 1-594-16188-7 OCLC 847837399
  • Cochrane, Rexmond C and United States Army Chemical Corps Historical Office Gas warfare at Chateau Thierry, June 1918

[Army Chemical Center, Md.?] : [publisher not identified], [1956] OCLC 23684931

  • Daniels, Josephus; William, Crown Prince of Germany; Pershing, John J and Horne Charles F Château-Thierry and Belleau Wood: how America held back the Germans at the Marne, May 31st-July 1st [S.l. : s.n., 1923?] OCLC 13240374
  • Haylock H E A history of Chateau Thierry Paris : Printed by H. Clarke, 1926. OCLC 1962366
  • Hogan, Martin J and Cooke, James J The Shamrock Battalion in the Great War Columbia : University of Missouri Press, ©2007. ISBN 0-826-21710-9 OCLC 74569022
  • Homsher, David C American battlefields of World War 1, Château-Thierry--then and now : a guidebook, anthology, and photographic essay San Mateo, Calif. : Battleground Productions, ©2006. ISBN 0-970-24430-4 OCLC 71552566
  • Kahn, Otto H When the tide turned: the American attack at Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood in the first week of June, 1918 [Boston, Mass.?: s.n., 1918?] OCLC 1238661
  • Le Goffic, Charles and Menzies, Lucy General Foch at the Marne: an account of the fighting in and near the Marshes of Saint-Gond New York, E.P. Dutton and Company [1918] OCLC 1893946
  • Liggett, Hunter Commanding an American army: recollections of the World War Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin, 1925. OCLC 413482
  • Mitchell, William Memoirs of World War I: "from start to finish of our greatest war" New York, Random House [1960] OCLC 1347467
  • Ralphson, G Harvey Over there with the marines at Chateau Thierry Chicago : M.A. Donohue & Co., 1919 OCLC 20485075
  • Sanford, William R; Green Carl R; Martin, George; Eggenschwiler, Jean and Nelson, Kate The World War I soldier at Château Thierry Mankato, MN, U.S.A. : Capstone Press, 1991 ISBN 1-560-65004-4 OCLC 20530250
  • Thomason, John W and Clark, George B The United States Army Second Division Northwest of Chateau Thierry in World War I Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, ©2006. ISBN 0-786-42523-7 OCLC 65425906
  • Van Every, Dale The A.E.F. in battle New York, D. Appleton, 1928. OCLC 1319204
  • White, Meade Fitzhugh The miracle of Château-Thierry Santa Monica, CA : M.F. White, [1971] OCLC 854911868
  • Wise, Jennings C The turn of the tide: American operations at Cantigny, Château Thierry, and the second battle of the Marne New York : H. Holt, 1920. OCLC 1185310

External links[edit]

U.S. Marine Corps