MIGHTY HISTORY

8 rarely seen photos from World War I

Soldiers with the American Expeditionary Forces in France in World War I fought through hardships and German lines to liberate their allies and drive back Imperial forces. U.S. soldiers and Marines fought from 1917 to 1918, helping tip the war in favor of the Allies over the Central Powers.

"The Great War" was named for its size, not the experience of fighting it. Troops lived and slept in the mud and rubble, they fought through heavy machine gun fire and poison gas to roll back Imperial Germany's occupation of France. About 2.8 million American men and women would serve overseas before the war ended. Here's a quick peek at what life was like for them:


1. Members of the 2nd Battalion, 167th Infantry Regiment, rest on and under an iron shelter near Neuville, France, on May 10, 1918.

(U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)

2. 132nd Infantry soldiers, pieced together from two Illinois National Guard regiments, drink captured beer and smoke captured cigars after driving the enemy troops out of Forgas, France, on Oct. 4, 1918.

(U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)

3. U.S. machine gunners firing machine gun across the fields of Villers-Tournell, France, on May 20,1918.

(U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)

4. U.S. scouts with 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, play cards in the trenches in Germany.

(U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)

5. A barber with an infantry company shaves the face of a soldier near the front lines of World War I combat.

(U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)

6. Battery A of the 108th Field Artillery fires toward Chatel Chehery, Ardennes, while under fire from German gas shells at Varennes-en-Argonne, France, on Oct. 3, 1918.

(U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)

7. American Expeditionary Force soldiers pose in their gas masks in the Lorraine sector in France.

(U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)

8. Cpl. Erland Johnson of Company L, 58th Infantry Regiment, sits in a frontline trench in a forest near the Meuse River, France, on Oct. 2, 1918.

(U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)