The Meuse-Argonne Offensive took place towards the end of World War I, some 240 km (150 miles) east of Paris in northern France. In late 1918, Allied troops launched a 47-day offensive against the Germans, with more than 1.2 million Americans soldiers taking part, of which 26,000 were killed. Led by General John J Pershing, the US part in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive began on September 26, 1918, with nine American divisions moving through the Argonne Forest to the River Meuse, cutting off German rail communications and helping to trap the Germans on two fronts in northern France and Belgium. By October 11, US forces had penetrated the Hindenburg Line, and on November 1, Germany was in retreat across the entire front. The Armistice was called for 11am on November 11 and World War I was finally over.
The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery is near Romagne-sous-Montfaucon in the department of Lorraine, and pays tribute to the US troops who died in the last great offensive of World War I. Covering 130.5 acres (52.8 ha), it is the largest US cemetery in Europe and has eight sections swathed in neat rows of white crosses marking the 14,246 US servicemen who are buried there. Opposite a tranquil reflection pool stands a white marble chapel, its flanking walls bearing the names of US soldiers whose bodies were never recovered after the war.
Rue du Général Pershing, Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. Open daily 9am–5pm. Renovations are due to start at the cemetery in mid-September 2015 (mooted to last a year), which will affect only parking and accessibility to the visitor center. The TGV to Meuse from Paris Est leaves five times a day and the journey takes just under an hour; from there it is a 38.5 miles to Romagne-sous-Montfaucon by hire car or taxi. Otherwise the best way to reach Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery from Paris is by organized tour or private car.