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The Somme Cemetery is named after the general area in which the American Ist, 27 th, 30 th, 33rd and 80 th Divisions, the 6th and the l l th Engineers fought during the period between March 1917 and October 1918. The cemetery contains the burials of American fighting men and is one of the 8 World War l and 14 World War II American Military Cemeteries maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission.


Here among the 1,844 American War Dead of World War l are buried 138 Unknown Soldiers, 7 of them resting in a single grave. The " Missing" rolls at the cemetery bear 333 names which are inscribed on the interior walls of the Chapel-Memorial. The architect of the architectural features was Mr. George Howe, of Philadelphia. Mr. Marcel Loyau, a French sculptor,  interpreted Mr. Howe's  designs  with beautiful results on the bronze features.

The defenses in this area, during the autumn of 1918, were among the most formidable on the western front.  In about the middle of September 1918, the British began to attack the outpost zone in order to establish a good line of departure for a general attack on the 29th against the Hindenburg Line.  This general attack and the Meuse-Argonne offensive of the American First Army were the two of the four great Allied attacks which were either started or continued late in September.  The 30 th and 27th Divisions went into the line in adjoining zones of action on the 24 and 25 Sept respectively, as part of the American II Corps, although under the tactical control of the Australian Corps.   They were supported by British artillery, as these two Divisions did not have their own artillery brigades with them. The line taken over by the 30th Division was west of Bellicourt and that by the 27th Division was west of Bony.


In the 30th Division zone of action a large part of the German outpost positions had been captured by the British.  Most of the remainder was seized on the 26th when the 30th Division advanced about 300 yards and occupied Quarry Wood and a trench running to the north from it. The left flank of the Division was heavily engaged on the 27th during a preliminary attack in which the 27th Division had been ordered to make on the principal strong points of Quememont Farm, Guillemont Farm and the Knoll.  The close of the day showed practically no gains except on each flank, where the front line was advanced a few hundred yards.


On 29 September, 1918, the 27th and the 30th Division, supported by British Artillery attacked. The 107th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Division attacked  the  Knoll,  Guillemont  Farm  and Quennemont Farm with 337 ran killed and 658 wounded on this day. Although the casualties in this operation had been exceptionally heavy (no other American Regiment suffered such a heavy loss in a single day during the war) the American Soldiers persistently continued their assaults and succeeded in breaking the Hindenburg Line. The casualties in this

Regiment were unusually heavy during the war, ail company officers except two being killed or wounded.  At the same time the 30th Division, accompanied by tanks, progressed quickly across the principal German trench System. In spite of heavy losses by the American Soldiers, the Hindenburg Line was broken, thus opening the way to further advances.



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Bobby O.