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BY 2 P. M. our troops had reached the day’s objectives all along the line, and were mopping up the
enemy positions in the woods which had been overlooked in the rush, and pushing out beyond the
objectives.  Not until several days later had all the German prisoners been smoked out of their holes and
hiding-places.  When the big artillery preparation came down at 1 A. M. the morning of the 12th, many
of them sought cover and remained out of sight until the news was broken to them that their part in the
war was over.
The success of the 90th Division was equaled by the other divisions further west, as is evidenced
by Field Order No. 51, 1st Army Corps, issued the afternoon of September 12, which is quoted below:
“1. The enemy has been thoroughly defeated along our whole front.  The number of prisoners
taken by the corps amounts to more than 4000.  A number of his guns were also captured.  Every
objective laid down by the army for two days was attained in one day under very trying weather
conditions.  The spirit and dash shown by the troops is very gratifying to the Corps Commander, and
reflects credit upon all concerned.”
Such was the glorious fashion in which the 90th Division made its debut in the arena of
combatant divisions of the A. E. F.  Seven German officers – one a major – and 575 enlisted men passed
through the divisional prison cage that day.  The prisoners confirmed the order of battle that had been
anticipated.  Opposing the 357th Infantry and extending as far east as the valley in the Bois de Friere had
been the 332d Reserve Regiment of the 77th Reserve Division.  This division had been almost routed by
the deep advance on its front.  Prisoners were also captured from the 153d Landwehr Regiment, which
held most of the front opposite the 358th and the 359th Infantry, and from the 94th Landwehr Regiment,
opposite the 360th Infantry.  Prisoners were not captured from the 68th Landwehr Regiment, the third
regiment of the 255th Infantry Division, until later.  The 68th Landwehr Regiment straddled the Moselle
It should be remembered that the majority of men composing the Division which had achieved
this success had been in the military service approximately four months, while the officers were veterans
of almost exactly a year’s standing!  Opposing these youngsters were the men of the 255th Infantry
Division, most of whom were between the ages of 35 and 45; men who had received years of peace-time
training in addition to their four years of service at the front; men who had long been in this particular
sector and knew every foot of the terrain.  Owing to the number of men from Alsace-Lorraine in its
ranks – some of whom had deserted and come into our lines before the attack – it was rated only as a
fourth-class division, but it was considered first-class for a purely defensive operation.
But the outstanding feature of the German defense was the organization of the terrain.  This had
been in 1915 one of the most bitterly contested spots on the Western front, and the elaborate system of
artificial defenses which had resisted the fierce onslaughts of the French, not only were still intact, but
had also been augmented and improved during the three years of comparative quiet.  The trench system
extended seven kilometers in depth from the front line to the elements of the Hindenburg line running
westward from the vicinity of Pagny-sur-Moselle.  The system consisted of deep revetted trenches and
concrete dugouts, protected by a continuous mass of wire entanglements from one to two kilometers in
depth.  Even the dewberry vines conspired to augment the delaying power of these seemingly
impregnable lines of defense.
The dugouts were marvels of comfort and convenience.  Slight wonder the Germans had been
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