The Battle of Belleau Wood saw the U.S. forces recapture the woods on the Metz-Paris road around Chateau-Thierry, taken at the end of May by the German Seventh Army forces. The June 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood was quite significant for the American Army, which often refers to this battle as a key component of the United States Marine Corps’ lore and dedication; the soldiers, led by General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, held off a critical sector of the final German offensive, teaming up with the French and British forces to stop the advances that would eventually lead to the German Empire’s recognition of the Armistice of November 11—one of the first actions of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe.
Once the site of a fierce battle that caused substantial casualties, Belleau Wood is now home to a vast memorial in honor of the three-week long action. In the center of the road leading to the woods is a flagpole and a monument, erected in commemoration of the valor and bravery of the 4th Marine Brigade who captured this area in 1918 as well as the actions of the of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Division, who not only survived but overpowered the German attacks. Shell holes, war relics, weapons and trenches can be found in heaps in the vicinity, especially near the monument. The entire site is dedicated to the sacrifices and achievements of fighting men in the region, as well as the cooperation of French and American forces during World War I.
Belleau Wood is located in Belleau in the region of Picardie, 87 kilometers (60 miles) outside of Paris. It is reachable in just over an hour via route A4 and D1003. It is located on the high ground to the rear of the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.