On this day, one hundred years ago, Jay and the 301st Engineers came to the end of their month-long march of 328 km into Germany and became part of the Army of Occupation, stationed in the town of Brohl, a small town on the Rhine River. Jay and Company A would spend most of the next six months in this town along the Rhine before being sent home.
“According to the terms of the Armistice, the Allied and Associated Armies were to occupy all of that portion of Germany to the west of the Rhine and the three bridgeheads at Cologne, Coblenz, and Mainz. To secure the adequate protection of these bridges, the Allies were also to take over all territory on the east bank bounded by a radius of thirty kilometers from each point, and in addition a neutral zone ten kilometers wide was to separate the occupied and German ground.
“The town of Brohl stretches along the west bank of the Rhine on the Coblenz-Cologne highway at the junction of the Brohl River.”
– The Three Hundred and First Engineers – A History 1917-1919
“The city itself could scarcely be termed beautiful. In fact it was somewhat squalid and dirty before the arrival of the Americans who issued an order through the Burgomaster for the policing of the streets and disposal of all refuse. But situated as it is close against the hills on one bank of what has been termed the most beautiful river in the world and overlooking the river itself, the majestic hills covered with vineyards and studded occasionally with the ruins of feudal castles, it has appealed to the majority as not such a bad place for Europe. And it was particularly welcome to those footsore and weary troops because it was to be the final destination of the regiment after 328 kilometers of hiking.”
– Short History of the 301st Engineers
The arrival at Brohl marked the end of a very long march…
“…the end of a march of 328 kilometers covered between the dates of 17 November and 18 December. Of these 32 days, only 14 were spent in marching, making the average day’s march for the regiment 23.5 kilometers.”
– A Short History of the 301st Engineers