What if World War I Had Kept Going? On Nov. 14, 1918, American Expeditionary Force artillery spoke once more. Hundreds of American 75mm guns hammered German positions on the east bank of the River Meuse. After a barrage lasting half an hour, tens of thousands of Doughboys went over the top. Gen. John J. Pershing’s grand offensive toward the German Rhine and Saar valleys had begun.