On 11 June 1918, elements of the 5th Marines launched a pre-dawn attack on the western portion of Belleau Wood in order to link up with elements of the 6th Marines. Unfortunately, the plan did not survive the fog, friction, confusion and chaos of war. The Marines soon found themselves disoriented in the wood and exposed to heavy German rifle and machine gun fire. Despite heavy casualties, heavy artillery fire and use of poison gas, they were able to reorganize and push the battle forward. The fighting broke down to a battle of platoons, then squads, then finally to individuals, as the Marines took out the machine gun positions, one by one, by bayonet and hand-to-hand combat.
(Marker text in French not provided. Please click on the marker photo to enlarge.)