The German units had withdrawn to the northern bank of the river Meuse, in order to build up a new defence line. In great haste provisional trenches were dug in the outskirts of Sedan, between the ruins of houses.
Opposite the German troops were the 4th French Army (General Gouraud) and American units (General Pershing, Leader of the American Expeditionary Corps). Despite an appeal from the French general to General Pershing: "Laissez-moi Sedan" (Leave Sedan to me) when the troops advanced, both units became mixed up as a result of confusion at the front. Here the French as well as parts of the 1st American Division (recognizable by their armbands as the "Big Red One") attacked the German units lying in trenches.
However, before the Allied troops could capture Sedan itself, on 11th November news of the armistice reached them. The First World War was over!
Harry S. Truman, who would later become American President, captain of a field artillery section during the First World War, described the end of the war as he experienced it at the front: "My battery fired a barrage as ordered at prearranged times. The last salvo was in the direction of the village of Hermeville [...] The last round was fired at 10.45 hours. When we ceased firing, it was so quiet that I believed I'd suddenly lost my ability to hear."