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General John J. Pershing
General John J. Pershing, commander of the U.S. Independent Army of World War I in Europe

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American Forces under General Pershing Launched First Major Offensive in WWI
September 12, 1918

Since 1917, when the U.S. declared war on Germany and entered World War I, American divisions had fought in Europe. But they had only fought in support of the major French or British units already firmly entrenched in the effort. On September 12, 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) under General John J. Pershing launched their first major offensive in Europe as an independent army. Their successful campaign was a major turning point in the war for the Allies. Ultimately, U.S. forces helped to defeat Germany earlier than expected.
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