Use of Tanks (WW I)

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Use of Tanks (WW I)

Use of Tanks (WW I)

Other attacks of Allied forces on the western front in 1917 included a battle at Verdun, in which the French succeeded in regaining an additional section of the area they had lost the previous year; and (November 20-December 3) the Battle of Cambrai, during which the British opened the attack with a raid by nearly 400 tanks. This was the first tank raid on such a scale in military history, and, but for lack of reserves, the British might have achieved a breakthrough. As it was, the British drove an 8-km (5-mi) salient into the German lines. German counter-attacks, however, compelled the British to yield most of the newly won ground.

After the United States entered the war in April 1917, it moved rapidly to raise and transport overseas a strong military force, known as the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), under the command of General John J. Pershing. By June 1917 more than 175,000 American troops were training in France, and one division was actually in the lines of the Allied sector near Belfort; by November 1918 the strength of the AEF was nearly 2 million. From the spring of 1918 US troops played an important part in the fighting.

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