In 1918, the United States and its allies were locked in the gruesome trench warfare of World War I. Each side was dug in and minimal progress made by either side came at tragic human cost. In early October 1918, General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, was determined find a way to end the war by Christmas. Pershing's plan was to commit French and American forces in an advance through the French Argonne Forest, punching a hole in the German lines. This would mark the beginning of the end of the war.