Soldiers with the American Expeditionary Forces in France in World War I fought through hardships and German lines to liberate their allies and drive back Imperial forces. U.S. soldiers and Marines fought from 1917 to 1918, helping tip the war in favor of the Allies over the Central Powers.
"The Great War" was named for its size, not the experience of fighting it. Troops lived and slept in the mud and rubble, they fought through heavy machine gun fire and poison gas to roll back Imperial Germany's occupation of France. About 2.8 million American men and women would serve overseas before the war ended. Here's a quick peek at what life was like for them:
1. Members of the 2nd Battalion, 167th Infantry Regiment, rest on and under an iron shelter near Neuville, France, on May 10, 1918.
2. 132nd Infantry soldiers, pieced together from two Illinois National Guard regiments, drink captured beer and smoke captured cigars after driving the enemy troops out of Forgas, France, on Oct. 4, 1918.
3. U.S. machine gunners firing machine gun across the fields of Villers-Tournell, France, on May 20, 1918.
4. U.S. scouts with 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, play cards in the trenches in Germany.
5. A barber with an infantry company shaves the face of a soldier near the front lines of World War I combat.
6. Battery A of the 108th Field Artillery fires toward Chatel Chehery, Ardennes, while under fire from German gas shells at Varennes-en-Argonne, France, on Oct. 3, 1918.
7. American Expeditionary Force soldiers pose in their gas masks in the Lorraine sector in France.
8. Cpl. Erland Johnson of Company L, 58th Infantry Regiment, sits in a frontline trench in a forest near the Meuse River, France, on Oct. 2, 1918.
More from We Are The Mighty
- Is COVID-19 over yet? 4 horrible events that went faster than the pandemic
- Why America's World War II torpedoes were horrible
- The insane life of this Holocaust survivor and Special Forces veteran
- 5 reasons why our military mothers are the best
- Dealing with prolonged quarantine: Lessons from the USS Nassau
This article originally appeared on .
All photo courtesy of U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center/We Are the Mighty