Victory at St. Mihiel


  • Helen Hund Wichita State University


World War I, Battle of St. Mihiel, Allied forces, German forces, Field Marshall Douglas Haig, General John J. Pershing, American First Army, American Army


Few battles in military history can be judged both tactical and strategic successes. The World War I Battle of St. Mihiel is one of these. Its success can be attributed to many reasons: the excellence of the battle plan, the leadership of the generals and field commanders, the enthusiasm of the American doughboys, and the lack of German will to hold the salient. But above all, its success depended on the great cooperation within the newly-instituted American Chief-of-Staff command, and within the recently-formed Allied command, both of which allowed for the powerful massing of troops and materials needed to defeat a determined enemy fighting a total war. Cooperation produced the massive army which formed for the first time at St. Mihiel - an army "nearly four times as large as Grant's Army of the Potomac at its maximum strength. three times Napoleon's Grand Army at Leipzig, nearly twice the German army at Sedan in 1870, and much larger than either the Japanese or Russian armies at Mukden, the largest on record before 1914."1