Montsec is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. Fighting in World War I and World War II took place in and around Montsec. The Montsec American Monument was built here during the 1930s by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The monument, dedicated in 1937, commemorates the American forces who fought in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in World War I.
Location of Montsec
|Arrondissement||Arrondissement of Commercy|
|Canton||Canton of Saint-Mihiel|
|Intercommunality||Communauté de communes de la Petite Woëvre|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Daniel Lombard|
|5.95 km2 (2.30 sq mi)|
|• Density||14/km2 (37/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||226–376 m (741–1,234 ft) |
(avg. 370 m or 1,210 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
During The Great War, also known as World War I, the village was occupied by the Germans in 1914 during the Battle of Flirey. A hill, sharing the same name, commands a view of the Woëvre Plain, and was used by German forces as a strong point and for observation.
During the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in 1918, 1st Division attacked in the area of Montsec, bypassing it. The 1st Division was joined by the 26th Division, attacking on the other side of Montsec, also bypassing it. Both the 1st and 26th Divisions were able to accomplish it by a smoke screen being placed on the hill.
The monument was designed by Egerton Swartwout, and has been described as a doric temple. It was built during the 1930s by the American Battle Monuments Commission; it was dedicated in 1937. The monument commemorates American forces involved in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel. These included the First and Second armies.
During World War II, German forces occupying France left the monument untouched. As American forces advanced, and began to displace the Germans, the memorial was damaged by American artillery. The monument was later restored.
Egerton Swartwout (March 3, 1870 – February 18, 1943) was an American architect, most notably associated with his New York architectural firm Tracy and Swartwout and McKim, Mead & White. His buildings, numbering over 100, were typically in the Beaux-Arts style. 6 of his buildings are recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and 3 others are given landmark status by their City Commission's