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Americans aim to gain control of Grand Pre road

By J.W.T. Mason

NEW YORK -- The American progress between the Argonne Forest and the Meuse River is now approaching the Grand Pre road which cuts the forest in two. This road will serve as a connecting line, when captured, for the Americans on the west and east flanks of the forest.

It is apparently General Pershing's present purpose to move his front between the Argonne and the Meuse to Grand Pre and by affecting a junction with the French and Americans to the west, squeeze the Germans out of the southern half of the forest area.

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The Franco-Americans who are operating on the west side of the Argonne have recently halted their advance to the Grand Pre passage. Their drive toward Vouziers, which is the base for a turning movement against the whole of the Argonne, has come to a temporary rest because of the immense reserve force which Von Hindenburg has thrown into this sector.

Marshal Foch will not countenance a major offensive by the Allies at present anywhere along the west front. Hench the French and Americans are abstaining from costly frontal attacks in an effort to reach Vouziers and clean out the Argonne of its innumerable machine gun nests and concealed artillery positions by a single movement.

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But while waiting for a more favorable opportunity to resume the advance to the west of the Argonne, General Pershing has undertaken the very arduous work of forging ahead on the east border. The Americans are little more than five miles south of the Grand Pre, but they are subjected to a constant flank attack all the way by the enemy concealed in the Argonne.

The fact that the American front between the Argonne and the Meuse measures no more than a dozen miles is also a handicap. Nevertheless, the creeping advance continues, the Americans are following the course of the Aire River which borders the Argonne on the east and runs through the Grand Pre pass into the Aisne on the western side.

When the Americans reach Grand Pre, their right wing on the Meuse can be advanced very considerably toward Stenay, to cut off Luxemburg, which continues to be General Pershing's main objective.

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