The 82nd ‘All American” Division was famous in the Second World War as one of the airborne divisions operating in the European theatre, but it has an earlier, equally honourable history.
As one of the first batch of American divisions raised for the fighting in France in the First World War, it arrived in France in May 1918. Originally equipped with American weapons, these were changed to British, and then back again to American and French weapons before the division went into battle. It was the second division to arrive at the front, replacing the 26th US Division on the Woëvre front as from 25 June 1918.
This history of the division gives details of the fighting in which the division was engaged from then on to the end of the war. It covers operations in the St Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne attacks, with after the battle accounts by the participants – at all levels. A number of the battle accounts are at battalion level, and of particular interest are the actions of 2 Battalion, 326 Infantry Regiment at the Marcq bridgehead, and the 163 and 164 Infantry Brigades at the Kriemhilde Position.
There are also numerous appendices on services attached to the division and a set of secret orders from 6 to 17 October 1918, which make fascinating reading.
OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE 82nd (American) DIVISION ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
The division arrived in France in May 1918 and entered the line at the end of June. Fought at St Mihiel and on the Meuse-Argonne front. Casualties totalled 8,077 of which 1,413 died. Awarded two Congressional Medals of Honour, one of them being Sgt Alvin York