Truman by David McCullough:
At a different point along the line, a swashbuckling American tank commander, Lieutenant Colonel George Patton, impatient for morning, wrote to his wife, “Just a word to you before I leave to play a part in what promises to be the biggest battle of the war or world so far.”
The bombardment began long before daylight when the air was chill, at 4:20 A.M., the morning of Thursday, September 26, 1918. Two thousand seven hundred guns opened fire all along the front with a roar such as had never been heard before. In three hours more ammunition was expended than during the entire Civil War—and at an estimated cost of a million dollars per minute. The American air ace Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, who took off in his place before daybreak, said, “Through the darkness the whole western horizon was illumined with one mass of jagged flashes.” From Hill 290 it looked as though the sky was on fire—“as though every gun in France was turned loose,” said Harry.