Sunday, January 15, 2012
HUN CAVALRY MAKES A CHARGE ON AMERICANS AND ARE WIPED OUT.
Frank Taylor UPI Correspondent
July 21, 1918
From the Pottsville Miners Journal July 1918.
With the American Armies in France.
American troops facing their first cavalry charge of the war, utterly wiped out a formidable force of German horsemen east of Rheims and defeated what apparently was an ambitious attempt to cut the allies lines and reach Chalans. So far as is known this is the first time the enemy has employed cavalry since the counter offensive began.
Immediately afterward the same American unit broke up a combined attack of infantry and tanks.
The Americans held an important sector of on a slight rise behind a chalk colored hill, over which were the enemy front positions. When the German cavalry topped the hill and went down upon the Americans they ran into a unit which has a remarkable record for sharpshooting.
Opening up with machine gun automatic rifles and Enfield’s the Americans quickly dropped men and horses. The artillery quickly joined in adding to the slaughter. The cavalry dwindled and only a hand full remained. These galloped back over the hill to the German lines.
The Germans quickly reorganized for another attack. American observers spotted enemy tanks crawling over the chalk like hill accompanied by infantry in great strength.
American artillery cut loose and the first salvo struck several tanks crawling over the chalk hill squarely, splitting them wide open. Simultaneously the German infantry began melting away under the withering fire of American infantry and machine gunners. This effort was broken up almost as quickly as the previous one. And the Germans made no further attempts in this sector.
Reinforced by French infantry the Americans then attacked driving the Boches back beyond their original lines.
Tales of American exploits are numerous as doughboys wander back to the hospital and tell their comrades.
East of Château-Thierry three Americans captured a German boat and rowed across the Marne under cover of darkness before the German retreat. They his in bushes during the day, exploring the banks and discovering enemy machine guns. Then they re-entered the boat and pushed their exploration further,
The Boches discovered them and opened intense machine gun fire. The Americans escaped by diving over board and swimming half the time under the surface.
The next night they led a stronger patrol of their pals across and extended their investigations, obtaining valuable information concerning the disposition of the German units.
After cleaning the south bank of fugitives tonight. American units crossed the Marne and combed the woods n the north bank east of Chateau-Thierry capturing great numbers of prisoners. Once in a while they encountered Boches who refused to surrender, immediately these Germans didn’t get another chance.
An instance of great bravery occurred when an exploding shell buried a dough boy so that only his head protruded from the dirt. His struggles to extricate himself only exhausted him. Along came a pal, returning to a dressing station with a dangerous head wound. This doughboy stopped and began digging out the buried man. Finally his strength failed him and he fell unconscious. He then recovered somewhat and resumed his digging.
“You go on and get your wound dressed: it’s more serious than my trouble.” The buried doughboy declared. ”Someone will find me”
The other refused to go and fell unconscious again. His companion by super human strength managed to extricate himself at last. Although suffering a badly wounded arm he dragged his pal back to the dressing station. Twice on the way they were bowled over by exploding shells.
Regaining consciousness after treatment the two pals lay recounting their experience.
“Eddie I wonder what protected us and brought us through this alive?” said one.
Fumbling inside his pocket of his dirty blouse the other replied. “This” He pulled out a tiny soiled, Stars and Stripes.