The Battle of Belleau Wood occurred during the German Spring Offensive in World War I, near the Marne River in France. The battle was fought between the U.S. 2nd and 3rd Divisions along with French and British forces against an assortment of German units including elements from the 237th, 10th, 197th, 87th, and 28th Divisions. The battle has become a key component of the lore of the United States Marine Corps.
In March 1918, with nearly 50 additional divisions freed by the Russian surrender on the Eastern Front, the German Army launched a series of attacks on the Western Front, hoping to defeat the Allies before U.S. forces could be fully deployed. A third offensive launched in May against the French between Soissons and Reims, known as the Third Battle of the Aisne, saw the Germans reach the north bank of the Marne River at Château-Thierry, 95 kilometres from Paris, on 27 May. On 31 May, the 3rd Division held the German advance at Château-Thierry and the German advance turned right towards Vaux and Belleau Wood.
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