Today is the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Belleau Wood. This historic battle is remembered by Marines the world over as it is widely regarded as the battle that earned the Marines the nickname Teufel Hunde, translated into English as, Devil Dog. The United States Marine Corps had already been known as a premier fighting force, but they were small. In fact, around the time of the Battle of Belleau Wood, there were only roughly 14,000 Marines in existence. Talk about the few and the proud!Today marks the 100th anniversary of the end of that battle. On June 3rd the German army got its first taste of the skill and prowess with a rifle that an individual Marine could demonstrate. The Germans, with bayonets affixed, attacked the Marines position. Much like Bunker Hill, the Marines waited until the Germans were close. Like really close, 100 yards, and then from their shallow fighting positions, unleashed fresh hell on their enemies with a wall of lead that proved to be devastatingly effective.Three days later the Marines (and other allies) launched an attack of their own. Captain Hamilton of 49th Company, was successful in overrunning the German lines. However, he had lost many of his officers and man taking Hill 142. They weren't down and out yet though.Dan Daly, recipient of the Medal of Honor (twice already), become further immortalized as the Marines attacked Belleau Wood through heavy machine gun fire. He shouted,
"Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"
3rd Battalion 5th Marines and 3rd Battalion 6th Marines took heavy casualties, but, they took the wood through intense hand to hand fighting. Maybe even some e-tool killing took place... Till the 26th of June 1918, the battle raged on, but the Marines of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments (and other allies) emerged victoriously. And the Marines earned a new nickname as well. They paid a heavy price, but their steadfast dedication to duty, unflinching courage in the face of death, the ferocity and tenacity with which they fought forever scarred the Germans who survived that day. From that battle onwards, Marines would be known, as Devil Dogs.
Retreat, Hell! We just got here!-Major Lloyd W. Williams 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines