Newspaper Page Text
THE SUN, SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 1919.
Gen. Catlin Tells How "Devil Dogs" Cleaned Out Belleau Wood
I UfirsEliC I
MARINES ENTERING -ihe
i) by INTERNATIONAL FILM SERVICE
Straight to Death
Marched the U. S.
Heads Up and the
Light of Battle in
Their Eyes," Says
This is the second instalment of
Brig.-Gen. Catlin's account of the
United States Marines and their
achievements in stopping last
spring's German drive for Paris.
Gen. Catlin, then Col. Catlin, com
manded the Sixth Regiment of the
Marines. In the initiah instalment,
published last Sunday, he told how
they were transported to France,
trained in trench warfare under
French supervision, "initiated" in a
quiet sector,, where ihey first saw
their dead, and then suddenly, at the
end of May, ordered overnight to
the crucial point in the breaking
French line and there, before dawn
of June 2, posted to receive the full
shock of the German horde. A
third and final instalment will be
published March 16.
By BRIG. -GEN. A. W. CATLIN.
CIIAPTErt VI. (CONTINUED).
rK now faced the dark, sullen
mystery of Belleau Wood.
Berry on the west and Hol-
comb on the south. That the wood
was strongly held wo knew, and so
It was rolling country, with small
woods scattered all about and farm
land between. From many of the
little hllla a good view could be ob
tained of a considerable expanse of
beautiful pastoral landscape.
Of these woods Belleau was tho
largest, being about two kilometers
from north to south and something
over a kilometer from cast to west.
COMMANDER, in CHIEF of ike MARINE CORPS
mfffltkd) GAS ALARM STARTS -Ac
by CQrtMITTBB ON PUBLIC IN FORMA TIOAI .
ON -ihe FIRING LINE
ty COMMITTEE. Oft PUBLIC INFORMATION
This Lieut. Eddy was a daredevil
anyway, and loved nothing better than
to stalk German sentries In Indian
fashion and steal close to their lines.
The Marine service has always at
tracted men of that type.
As I say, wo were looking for a sor
tie, but none came, and In tho nfter-
WE now faced tho dark, sullen noon we were ordered to attack at r.
mystery of Belleau Vv'ood, p- M- The Germans must be driven
, TT , out of Belleau Wood.
ltri-i' on the vot ntirt TTnl
There weie sound strategic reasons
for this remarkable order. In the fir?'
olace, pressure had to be relieve'
northwest of Chateau Thierry tefon
; that position could be made secure
Belleau Wood now formed a dangerous
salient in our curving line, and to
straighten that lino from the ad
vanced position at the northwest down
to Triangle Farm It was necessary to
take In tho town of Bouresches and
at least a part of tho wood.
In the second place, Belleau Wood
was too strong a natural fortress to, bo
nllowed to remain In the hands of a
A kilometer Is about three-fifths of ; " nVd
nmllc. It was therefore, not a large machine gunners,
forest, but !t loomed up before us' , , '
like a heavy, menacing frown In the
landscape. It was a typical piece of
well kept French woodland, which the
foresters had thinned and Cared for
and the big guns were coming up. For
the Germans it formed a lose of at
tack that threatened our whole lino
to the south. So long as they held it
tt endilan tlitMiet a ttnonlliln rt nni-
..... .11 . . , . t I ' Duuuiu tJitud nuo UUN It'JV UIIJ
.-- ttint thn tnhiif sn-o d nf fa r U n
V I , , , T tlme' nnd Buch a thrust might mean
form Mzo and the underbrush fairly , untod dlsaster( probably tho aulck nd.
there was some undergrowth and
smaller trees and saplings.
The timber wirs not large but grew
very thickly. The trees were rather
tall. I should say they would not
average more than five or six inches
In diameter, but they were set so
closely that when our men got in
they found they coulu -o not more
than fifteen or twenty feet through
tho wood, except where axo or shell
vance on Paris. For us It was an ef
fective barricade. The Allies could
not advance with that thorn In their
Tlie 1'robleiu nt Dellcnu AVood.
Obviously Belleau Wood had to be
taken nnd that right quickly, whether
wo were to act successfully on the de
fensive or on the offensive. It would
have been suicidal to wait for the Ger
man attack. An assumption of the
fire had made small clearings. Belleau ' offensive was tho only solution. That
Wood stood on high, rocky ground 'wo wero expected to succeed speaks
nnd hid Innumerable gullies and boul
We wero nearer to the woods on tho
volumes for tho confidence that we
Belleau Wood is longer than It Is
f-outh than on tho west, and on both . wide, and the easiest way to tnko it
flidei. open wheat fields lay between our waa from west t0 east- Otherwise wo
lines and tho forest. From without It 'would have been plunging against the
appeared almost impenetrable, and I enemy s deepest strength.
there wero thoso open spaces to cross.
Behind us lay the smaller woods whero
our own reserves wero waiting.
All through June 5 we .wallah with
nothing of nW.uent occurring savo in
creasing artillery tire on both sides.
The sound of It was at times deafening.
To this day I do not know why tho
Germans did not attempt a sortie.
As a matter of history, they never
flid come out, for on tho following day
the Marines went In.
"GIVE 'EM HELL,, DOTS:"
THE morning of Juno 6 found us
holding the shortened line that
I have Just described, with
Berry's battalion of tho Fifth and Hoi
comb's of the Sixth In front and
Hlbley's of tho Sixth In Immediate sup
port. That something was going on
within those threatening woods we
knew, for our intelligence men were
not Idle. The report on this morning
was to tho effect that tho Germans
wero organizing in the woods and
wero consolidating their machine gun
positions, so that a sortlo In force
teemed not unlikely.
As a matter of fact, wo had been
prepared for homethlng of the sort for
nearly two days. On the night of tho
fourth Lieut. Eddy, the Intelligence of
ficer of the Sixth, with two men stolo
through tho German lines nnd pene
trated tho enemy country almost as
Holcomb's battalion was ordered to
hold tho line, while Sibley's was to
ccme up, pass through it and make
the attack on the southern section of
the woods, starting In on the western
side. Tho objectives for tho first at
tack mentioned In tho orders wero the
eastern edgo of tho woods and Bou
resches. Berry's battalion waa to at
tack from tho west on Sibley's left.
The second prearranged objective
was another section of the woods and
a Una over the high ground south of
Torcy. Tho French and tho rest of
tho Fifth were to push on toward the
north, with Torcy and tho rest of tho
woods as tho ultlmato objective. As
will bo seen, a part of theso objec
tives wero attained promptly and de
cisively, while others wero delayed.
The orders to nttack nt 5 o'clock
were written at brigade headquarters,
about three kilometres in the rear, nt
2 P. M. At 3:45 a copy was-handed
to mo by Lieut. Williams, Gen. Hnr
bord's aide, who came up by motor
.cycle, I was supposed to direct Berry's
movements, though ho had also re
ceived tho orders from his own regi
mental headquarters. I telephoned at
once to Berry's P. C. at Lucy, but his
battalion was beyond reach and ho was
himself in the woods in their rear, a
mile away. It had lecn Impossible, on
account of tho heavy shelling, to run
a telephone out to him. I sent run
ners, but I was sure they couldn't
far as Torcy. They lay in a clover reach him before tho attack would
rr.-.t ........ i! i t i ii .
fluid iit-ur Mm loud and wutched the
Germans filing past .them. They lis
tened to tho talk and observed what
van coins Into the woods.
It waa a risky thing to do, but they
brought back valuablo Information.
have to bo made,
No ono knows how mnny Germans
were In thoso woods. I havo seen the
estimate placed at 1,000, but there were
certainly more thin that. It had been
Imposslblo to get patrols Into the
woods, but we knew they were full of
machine guns and that the enemy had
trench mortars there. We captured
i flvo of their mlnnenwerfers later. So
i far as wo knew there might have been
I any number of men in there, but we
j had to attack Just the same, nnd with
but a handful.
Sibley and Berry had a thousand
I men each, but only half of these could
be used for tho first rush, and as
i Berry's position was problematical, it
i was Sibley's stupendous task to lead
j his 500 through the southern end of
! the wood clear to the eastern border
If the attack was not to be u total fall
iii e. Even to a Marine It seemed
hardly men enough.
The men knew in a general way
what was expected of them nnd what
they were up against, but I think only
the officers realized tho almost impos
sible task that lay before them. I
knew, and the knowledge left me little
comfort. But I had perfect confidence
in tho men; that never faltered. That
they might break never once entered
my head. They might bo wiped out, I
knew, but they would never break.
I It was a clear, bright day. At that
I season of the year It did not get dark
(till about S:30, so we had three hours
i of daylight ahead of us.
As soon as I received the orders I got
Holcomb and Sibley together at the
former's headquarters, somo 500 yards
back' of tho line. With map in hand I
explained the situation to them with
out trying to gloss over any of its dif
ficulties and gave them their orders. I
found them ready. As wo stood there
Sibley's battalion was filing by into a
ravine getting into position-. The two
Majors passed on tho oral orders to
the company commanders.
With Capt. Laaplerre I went on
to Lucy and from there to a
point whero I could observo the
action. As I went through Lucy I
passed around the left of Sibley's men,
now waiting in tlie shelter trenches,
ready to go over tho top. The machine
guns were in position, both those of the
machine gun company of the Sixth and
those of two companies of the machine
gun battalion attached to the brigade.
They wero Just back of tho front line.
Each company had eight automatic
rifles and eight in reserve; all were
3Irn CooMCid Il-ailr for lliiltlc.
The men seemed cool, In good spirits
and ready for the word to start. They
were talking quietly among themselves.
I spoke to several as I passed. Some
ono has asked mo what I said, what
final word of inspiration I gavo those
men about to face sudden death. I am
no speechmaker. If the truth must be
told I think what I said was, "Glvo
'em hell, boys!" It was tho sort of
thing the Marine understands. And
that Is about what they did.
Our artillery fired for half an hour,
shelling the woods, but there was no
artillery preparation in tho proper
senso of tho term. They had no defi
nite locations and were obliged to shell
at random In a sort of hit or miss fire.
It must have been largely miss. Tho
German artillery, on the other hand,
Increased its flro as Sibley's men weut
Before us stood the frowning wood,
with Its splintered trunks and shell
shattered branches, nnd with the
llttlo Jungles of undergrowth at the
edge filled with threat and menace.
It was like entering a dark room filled
Watches had been synchronized and
no further orders were given. As tho
hands touched the zero hour there was
a single .shout, and lit exactly S o'clock
the wholo line leaped up slmultane
jusly and .started forward, Berry's COO
and Sibley's 500, with tho others in
Instantly tho beast In the wood bared
his claws. Tho Boches wero ready and
let loose a sickening machine gun and
rlfto fire into tho teeth of which the
marines advanced. The German artil
lery in the woods increased the fury
of its fire, and the big guns at Ballenu
and Torcy, a mllo and a half away,
pounded our ndvauclng lines.
On Berry's front there was the oprn
wheat Held, 400 yards or more wide
winter wheat, still green but tall and
headed out. Other cover thero was
none. On Sibley's left thero was open
grass land perhaps 200 yards wide; his
right was close to the woods.
Owing to the poor communications
tho two battalions engaged in what
wero virtually independent actions,
and, as I had feared, Berry got the
worst end of it. He had to face that
wide open space, swept by machine
gun fire, with a flanking fire from tho
direction of Torcy.
My eyes were on what Sibley's men
wero doing, and I only knew In a. gen
oral way what was happening to the
battalion of the Fifth. But Floyd Gib
bons, tho correspondent, was with
Berry and saw It all. He was, In fact,
seriously wounded himself and has lost
an eye as a result. Gibbons says that
the platoons started in good order and
advanced steadily into tho field be
tween clumps of woods. It was flat
country with no protection of any sort
except the bending wheat.
Into a Hell of Hulled.
The enemy opened up at once and It
seemed, ho says, as If th air were full
of red hot nails. The losses wero ter
rific. Men fell on every hand there In
tho open, leaving great gaps in the
line. Berry was wounded In the arm
but pressed on with tho blood running
down his sleeve.
Into a veritable hell of hissing bul
lets, into' that death dealing torrent,
with heads bent as though facing a
March gale, tho shattered lines of
marines pushed on. Tho headed wheat
Iwwed find waved in that metal cloud
burst like meadow grass In a summer
breeze, Tho advancing lines wavered
and tho voice of a sergeant was heard
above tho uproar:
"Como on, you ! Do
you want to live forever?"
The ripping flro grew hotter. The
machlno guns at the edgo of tho woods
wero now a bare hundred yards away
and the enemy gunncra could scarcely
miss their targets. If. was more than
flesh and blood could stand. Our men
wero forced to throw themselves flat
on tho ground or bo annihilated, nnd
there they remained In that terrible
hall till darkness made it possible for
them to withdraw to their original po
sition. Bcrry'a men did not win that first
encounter in the attack on Belleau
Wood, but It was not their fault.
Never did men advance more gallantly
In the faco of certain death ; never did
men descrvo greater honor for valor.
Sibley, meanwhile, was having bet
ter luck. I watched his men go In and
it was ono of tho most beautiful sights
I havo ever witnessed. Tho battalion
pivoted on Its right, the left, sweeping
ncross tho open ground in four wave:,,
ac steadily and correctly as though on
parade. There wero two companies of
thtm. deployed In four skirmish lines,
trie men placed flvo yards apart and
the waves fifteen to twenty yards be
hind each other.
I say they went in as If on parade,
and that is literally true. Thero waa
no yell and wild rush, but a deliberate
forward march, with the lines at right
dress. They walked at the regulation
pace, because a man is of little uso Sn
a hand-to-hand bayonet strugglo af
ter a hundred yards dash. My hands
were clenched and all my muscles taut
as I watched that cool, Intrepid, mas
terful defkince of the German spite.
And still thero was no sign of waver
ing or breaking, "
Oh, It took courage nnd steady
nerves to do that Jn the face of tho
enemy's machlno gun fire. Men fell
there In the open, but the advance
kept steadily on to the woods
It waa then that dlsclpllno and
training counted. Their minds were
concentrated not on the enemy's
fire but on tho thing they had
to do and tho necessity for doing it
right. They wero listening for orders
and obeying them. In this frame of
mind tho soldier enn perhaps walk
with even more coolness and deter
mination than he can run. In any
case It was an admirable exhibition of
military precision nnd it gladdened
their Colonel's heart.
Tho marines havo a war cry that
they can use to advantage when there
is need of It. It is a blood curdling
yell calculated to carry terror to the
heart of tho waiting Hun. 1 am told
that thero were wild yells in the woods
that night when tho marines charged
the machlno gun nests, but there was
no yelling when they went in. Somo
ono has reported that they advanced
on thoso woods crying, "Remember
the Lusltanla!" If they did so I failed
to hear It. Somehow that doesn't
sound like tho sort of thing the -marine
says under the conditions. So far
as I could observe not a sound was
uttered throughout the length of those
four lines. The men were saving their
breath for what was ta follow.
I am afraid I have given but a poor
picture of that splendid advance. Thero
was nothing dashing about It like a
cavalry charge, but It was one of the
finest things I havo ever seen men do.
j They were men who hail n-jver before
been called upon to attack a, strongly
held enemy position. Beforo them were
tho denso woods effectively sheltering
armed and highly trained opponents of
unknown strength. Within its depths
tho machlno guns snarled and rattled
and spat forth a leaden death. It was
like somo mythical monster belching
F.moko and tiro from Its lair. And
straight against It inarched the Unit d
Statos Marines, with heads up and the
light of battlo in their eyes.
Well, they made it. Thoy reached
the woods without breaking. They had
tho advantage; of slightly hotter cover
than Berry's men and the defensive
positions at tho lower end of tho
woods had not been o well organized
by the Germans as thoso on tho west
ern fide. The first wavo reached the
loivc wth nt the edge o' he woods
and plunged In. Then tho second
wavo followed, and tho third and the
fourth, and disappeared from view.
WntchlnNT tlie Advnncr,
I had no field telephone and felt
obliged to see what was going on. T
took my btand on a llttlo rise of
ground protected by a low lino of
bushes about 300 yards from tho woods.
It was near a road whero Holcomb's
left had been In contact with Berry's
right. The shelter trenches did not
cross tho road. From this point of
vantage I watched the advance
through my glasses.
Bullets rained all around me, the
machine gun crews near me forming a
target for the Germans. Thero was a
great racket of rifle and machine gun
fire and bursting shrapnel and high
exploshcs, like tho continuous roll of
some demoniacal drum, with tho bass
note of the heavy guns that were
I saw u number of our bravo lads
fall In that advance. Tlie German
machine gunners aimed low to sweep
the ground, catching most of tho mon
in the legs. And those who felt lay
right In tho line of fire nnd many of
them were killed there on the ground,
Thoeo who were able to stand and
keep going had the best chance." Some
of them went through the whole fight
with leg wounds received during the
lirst ten minutes.
I am able to tell something of what
went on In the woods that night, but
my own participation in the conflict
ended abruptly right there, and before
continuing the narrative I may as well
give a brief account of what happened
Just nbout the time Sibley's men
struck the woods a sniper's bullet hit
mo in the chest. It felt exactly as
though some ono had struck me heav
ily with a sledge. It swung me clear
around and toppled mo dver on the
ground. When I tried to get up 1
found that my right side was para
lyzed. Beside me stood Capt. Trlbot-Las-plerre.
Ho had been begging mo to
get back to a safer place, but I was
obstinate, nnd ho never once thought
of leaving me. When I fell he camo
out of his cover ynd rushed to my
side. Ho is a little man and I am not,
but he dragged me head first back to
the shelter trench somo twenty or
twenty-five feet away. My lifo has
been spared and I owe much to that
Drilled by ntillct, lie's Annoyed.
I havo heard of men getting
wounded who said that it felt llko a
red hot Iron being Jammed through
them, before tho world turned black.
None of these things happened to me.
I suffered but llttlo pain and I never
for a moment lost consciousness. Nor
did any thought of death occur to me,
though I knew I had been hit In a
vital spot. I was merely annoyed at
my Inability to move and carry on.
The bullet went clean through my
right lung, In at the front and out at
tho back, drilling a hole straight
through me. I am Inclined to think
that It was fired by a sniper In the
trees at some dlstanco to the left, who
was trying to pot our machlno gun
ners. I believe It was a chance shot
and not the result of good marksman
ship, for the bullet must havo come
some 600 yards.
Experts have made a study of the
action of rifle bullets and have discov
ered that a bullet fired at short ranze
less than 500 or 600 yards twists In
such a manner that when It strikes an
obstacle it wabbles. If my bullet had
been shot from near at hand It would
have torn a piece out of my back as
big as my fist. On the other hand, a
spent bullet is already wabbling and
would have made a big hole in the
front of my chest and perhaps would
not havtf-hone clear through. That Is
why I bcllcvo that my bullet came
from a sniper about COO yards away
and I nm thankful that it did.
Capt. Lasplcrro laid mo down In the
bottom of a three foot trench and there
I remained for an hour and a half. He
opened my coat and shirt, but there
was llttlo he could do. Most of the
bleeding was Internal.
In about three-quarters of an hour
Dr. Farwell, the regimental surgeon,
camo from Lucy and administered first
aid treatment. Theso trips all had to
be made under heavy fire.
As I lay there before turning tho
orders of tho day over to Leo I was
chiefly conscious of my anxiety over
the outcome of tho battle. My mind
was as active as ever and It was tor
turo to Ho there and not be able to hee
or do anything. I received reports
from Sibley by runners telling of his
progress and these I read to Leo when
Dr, Farwell brought stretcher bear
ers with him, but I was kept there In
the trench for a whllo becauso of the
heavy artillery fire. Gas shells began
to burst near us and they put my gas
mask on mo. I never knew beforo how'
uncomfortable one of thoso things
could be. It Is hard enough for a man
to breathe with a lung full of blood
without having one of those smother
ing masks clapped over his face.
Fortunately, my Interest was so
firmly fixed on the fortunes of battle
that I had but llttlo time to indulge
in any feeling of discomfort. I heard
tho sound of the firing gradually re
cedo and I knew that Sibley's men
were advancing. Then it came nearer
on tho left and I knew that Berry's
outfit was being beaten back. It was
not an Ideal way to observe an action
and my anxiety would have been al
most unbearable if it had not been for
ono or two reassuring messages from
Sibley. That grand old man was as
hopeful as if tho whole American
Army had been at his back.
After a while the artillery fire let
up a little, though It was still on
when they carried mo back to Lucy,
whence I was rushed to tho forward
hospital .and shot full of anti-tetanus
serum. Then on to Meaux and finally
to Paris, whero I arrived at 4 A. M.
the next day Juno 7 after being
eight hours In the nmbulance. I re
mained in the hospital until July 22,
when I was discharged and came
home on leave.
So much for my personal experience.
Meanwhile tho battlo for Belleau
AVood was going on and I received
detailed reports of It.
l.V BE3.LEAU WOOD AND BOURESCHES.
MAJOR BURTON WILLIAM
SIBLEY is one of the most
picturesque characters In the
Marine Corps. He Is a short, swarthy
man, wiry and of great endurance.
His men loved him nnd would follow
him everywhere. He is as active as a
boy, and It was he who, on foot and
fighting as desperately as any of them,
personally led thoso two companies
of Marines into tho death haunted
labyrinth of Belleau Wood. Stanch
veteran of Marines that he is, ho de
serves all the praise that can be
heaped upon him for that night's
The minute they got into tho woods
our boys found themselves In a per
fect hornets' nest of machine gunners,
grenadiers nnd riflemen. No one
could havo realized how strong tho
enemy's position thero was, or I do
not believe that wo would have been
ordered In without moro adequate ar
tillery preparation. There were ma
chine gun nests everywhere on every
hillock nnd small plateau, In every ra
vlno nnd pocket, amid heaps of rocks,
behind plies of cut timber and even In
These German guns In tho wood
wero well placed to cover all zones
with both lateral and plunging fire.
Hut the marines never faltered. They
attacked those nests, with rifles, auto
matics, grenades nnd bayonets. In
small groups, even singly, they
charged tho machine gun crews nnd
their infantry supports with wildcat
ferocity, fighting like fiends till tho
Huns were dead or threw up their
hands and bleated "Kamerad." Then
they rushed on to tho next one.
Amid Mnehtnc Gun
Tho most effectlvo method was to
run to tho rear of each gun In turn
nnd overpower the crew. But each
flanking position was covered by an
other gun which had to be taken Im
mediately. It was a furious dash from
nest to nest, with no time to stop for
breath. In the thick of tho meleo the
wild yells of tho Marines wero mingled
with the constant crackle of rifle Are
llko bunches of firecrackers explod
ing. Through the smoke of battlo that
drifted like fog among tho treo trunks,
Sibley kept to his course across the
nouthern section of the wood. There
was dense brush In spots, where men
got lost and found themselves Iso
lated -jjiid cut off from their squads.
The wounded dragged thomselvA to
thickets and depressionsany plare
where they could hide from thow pry
ing bullets nnd wait till there was timo
for some ono to carry them out. They
wero short of water and tho suffering
Told "Give 'Em
Hell, Boys," and
in They Went,
Slowly and Silent
ly, as if on Parade,
W asting no Wind
of many of them was Intense, but
they urged their comrades to leave
them and press on.
An hour passed; two hours, tho Ma
rines still fighting with the savage in
tensity of catamounts. "All tho time."
said Private Frank Damron afterward,
"'the fighting consisted in running
from one shell hole to another. Shovn
your bayonet at a Hun and ho will
give up. I myself had very little
'sticking' to do. You could generally
get them with a rifle gullet first."
"Our men," added Corporal John Miles,
"went after them with fixed bayonets,
and drove tem as a fellow drives a
flock of chickens."
Tho action was all In tho hands of
the platoon officers. Success or failure
rested on their shoulders. H is not
I the General w'ho wins such a battle ai
that, but tho Captain, the sergeant,
the private. v
riBhtlnsr in I nil la ii Mjle.
It had been called an exaggerated
riot, that desperate conflict in tho wood.
It was hand to hand lighting from the
first, and thoso Germans, hating cold
steel as they do, soon learned what
American muscle nnd determination
are like. From tree to tree fought our
Marines, from rock to rock, like the
wild Indians of their nathe land It
is the sort of fighting the Marine has
always gloried In. And In that fight
ing they beat the Germans on two
points Initiative and daring, and ac
curacy of rifle fire. They picked the
German gunners out of the trees like
squirrels, and in the innumerable fierco
onslaughts that took place at the ma
chlno gun nests thu Marines always
struck the first blow and It was usually
a knockout It was a wild, tempestu
ous, rough and tumble scrar with no
quarter asked or given. Rifles grew
hot from constant filing and b.-fjonets
reeked with German gore. It was
man to man, thero in the dark recessen
of the woods, with no gallerj to cheer
tho gladiators, tnd it was tho best
man that won.
Tho thick woods made the fighting a
matter of constant ambuscades nnd
nerve racking surprises, but the Ma
rines tore on. With Sibley at their
head nothing could stop them. Ma
chine gun nosts whoso crews held out
formed little Islands in t'i welter
about which the Marine flim.l swept
eventually to engulf them. Some of
the Germans turned and (led. aban
doning their guns; others w.uicil till
caught in tho rear and then threw up
their hands and surrendered, soma
waited In huddled groups In the rii
vines till tho gleaming ejed doi; ilogi
should leap upon them; some stink to
their guns till an American bullet or
an American bayonet laid them low.
Ono by one the guns were silem ed or
were turned in the opposite direction
I'rlaunrra llecln CciiuIiikt In,
They started in lit 5 o'clock At
6:45 tho report was ellt to headquar
ters that tho machlno gun fire nt tlia
lower ciuLf f the wor.ds hu.l Uen r a- -tidily
silenced. At 7.30 German
prisoners liegan to come in.
Night fell with the fighting still go
ing on and only the flash of shooting
to see by. But at 0 o'clock umd . anit
from Sibley by runner that he h.id got
through and had attained the first ob
jective, tho eastern edge of the wnod
In four hours he and his men had
passed clear through tho lower quarter
of Belleau Wood, traveming nearly a
mile, nnd had cleaned things up an
they went. And only 500 uf them
started; I hesitate to mention the
number that finished.
At 10 o'clock I eenforcements were
seiit In with orders to consohdato the
position. Two companies of engineers
wtro reported at Lucy nnd they wero
ordered to help. Their assistance was
invaluable, for though tin re was still
heaxy fighting for the Marines that
night, tho engineers started In at oneo
and by morning had the position rea
sonably secured. Orders to stop fur
ther ndvanco wero sent out nt the
During the night the fighting raged
for flvo hours or moro with gradually
diminishing fury, nnd thoso men who
wero nblo to snatch a few minutes
sleep In n shelter trench or rlllo pit
were the lucky ones.
Meanwhile an -equally important
and successful action ngainst odds hud
been taking placo nt Bouresches, tlm
town Jiiht c.tst of the woods at its
K-wer end. It was necessary to eject
Continued on Fourth l'age.