Cantigny American Monument France

Overview

The World War I Cantigny American Monument is located in the village of Cantigny (Somme), France. This battlefield monument commemorates the first large offensive operation by an American division during World War I. It stands in the center of a village which was captured during that attack. The village was completely destroyed by artillery fire. The location of Cantigny on high ground was an essential location for German forces. Its seizure by the Americans would weaken the effects of the German offensives in that sector. The 28th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division, reinforced by companies of the 18th Infantry Regiment, led the attack. Its assault began at 6:45 a.m. on May 28, 1918.

Support included American and French artillery, mortars, machine gun, flame throwers, and tanks. Although they encountered heavy German resistance, the 1st Division units prevailed, seizing all objectives by noon. German counterattacks and heavy artillery bombardments continued for three days. The 1st Division units held firm to the ground they had gained. On June 2, the 1st Division assumed control of more of the sector, releasing French units to fight elsewhere.

The monument consists of a white stone shaft on a platform surrounded by an attractive park, developed and maintained by ABMC. The quiet surroundings now give no hint of the bitter hand-to-hand fighting which took place nearby many years ago. The World War I Cantigny American Monument is located in the village of Cantigny (Somme), France about four miles northwest of Montdidier, France on route D26 from Montdidier to Ailly-sur-Noye, France. It is about 66 miles north of Paris via Chantilly or Senlis, France. The Cantigny Monument is on the west side of highway D26, four miles northwest of Montdidier.

Cantigny American Monument Dedication

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