No general in American history held the kind of absolute power General Pershing wielded. With complete backing from President Woodrow Wilson and Secretary of War Newton D Baker, Pershing could shape the American Expeditionary Force, due to deploy on the Western Front of the First World War, as he saw fit. But how successful was his military strategy?
The original caption reads, ‘Some shell cases on the roadside in the front area, the contents of which have been despatched over into the German lines’ – matter-of-fact, official war-speak that belies the meaning of this vast heap of metal cylinders.
Imperial War Museum curator Paul Cornish discusses the machine gun, the iconic weapon of the First World War trenches.