We are going to stay close to home today....Dick has determined, from looking a multiple maps in various monuments and a book he has, that the front line on September 26, 1918 was right in front of our cottage along a small stream. This and our driving over the area repeatedly has given him a good feel for the geography of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in this area.
Butte de Vauguois is just to our East about two kilometers and was a major German strong point and observation point. They took it from the French early in the war without much resistance but then the French realized the significance of the height of the hill as an observation point and they fought relentlessly for the next two years to take it back. At first the fighting was on the surface through the ruins of the village of Vauguois which, 1914, stood on top of the hill and not below it as it does now.
We drive over and Dick walks up to the top. On top, all is reduced to huge craters and rubble. There is one sign that says that the town hall sat on this spot prior to the war. Now all you can see is a large crater with some foundation work sticking out of one side.
Leaving there, we head over to Butte de Montfaucon by way of Cheppy. All of these little villages, none of them seem to have over 100 people, were significant during the early days of the battle which started September 26, 1918. At Montfaucon is a very large pillar monument which stands 200 feet high and which can be seen for miles in all directions.
We drop down into Foret de Lachalade, another area of heavy fighting
Back at the cottage, we fix an early dinner of lamb chops and some Uncle Ben’s Rice dishes that Carolyn packed in from Texas. Dinner is over and we are cleaned up by 7:30PM and we spend the rest of the evening working on the blog and reading.