John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) was the general in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces to victory over Germany in World War I, 1917–18. He rejected British and French demands that American forces be integrated with their armies, and insisted that the AEF would operate as a single unit under his command, although some American divisions fought under British command, and he also allowed all-black units to be integrated with the French army. US forces first saw serious battle at Cantigny, Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Soissons. To speed up the arrival of the doughboys, they embarked for France leaving the heavy equipment behind, and used British and French tanks, artillery, airplanes and other munitions. In September 1918 at St. Mihiel, the First Army was directly under Pershing's command; it overwhelmed the salient which the German Army had held for three years. Pershing shifted 600,000 American soldiers to the heavily defended forests of the Argonne, keeping his divisions engaged in hard fighting for 47 days, alongside the French. That victory was one of several factors causing the Germans to call for an armistice, although Pershing himself wanted to continue the war, occupy all of Germany, and permanently destroy German militarism.