This is what I came to see: The Wheat Field -- across which on 6 June, 1918 the 5th and 6th Marines had to charge -- from that tree line -- into German machine guns emplaced in those trenches we just saw.
Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly -- already a recipient of two Medals of Honor -- prompted his men of the 73rd Machine Gun Company forward with the words: "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"
The first waves of Marines—advancing in well-disciplined lines—were slaughtered.
Marines and German infantrymen were soon engaged in heavy hand-to-hand fighting. The casualties sustained on this day were the highest in Marine Corps history up to that time.
However, the Marines now had a foothold in Belleau Wood.
The woods were attacked by the Marines a total of six times before they could successfully expel the Germans. They fought off parts of five divisions of Germans often reduced to using only their bayonets or fists in hand-to-hand combat.