On September 29, 1918, the 30th Infantry Division broke the Hindenburg Line, an important segment of the German defensive network on the Western Front during World War I. The action was part of a series of Allied assaults known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which led to the Armistice of November 1918.
The 30th Division was organized from National Guard regiments from North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, supplemented by volunteers and draftees from around the United States. It was nicknamed the “Old Hickory Division” because of the historic ties that all three states had to Andrew Jackson.
The Division was assigned to the Second Corps of the American Expeditionary Force, which in turn was detached and operated under the control of the British. During the attack on the Hindenburg Line, the Division was part of the British Fourth Army.
The 119th and 120th Infantry Regiments, originally North Carolina National Guard units, led the assault. The Germans opened fire and inflicted heavy casualties. The attack of the 119th made little progress, but the 120th captured the village of Bellicourt after heavy fighting, breaking the Hindenburg Line.
Later in the afternoon, the Australian Corps took over the assault and further exploited the initial breakthrough.
Other related resources:
· Memories of World War I: North Carolina Doughboys on the Western Front and North Carolina and the Two World Wars from North Carolina Historical Publications
· Military history resource guide from the State Library
· Posters from World War I from the State Archives
· Wildcats Never Quit, a resource on World War I from the State Archives, State Library and N.C. Museum of History
· World War I on NCpedia
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