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wooded, hilly region in eastern France that forms a natural barrier between Champagne and Lorraine. The Argonne is about 40 miles long and 10 miles wide (65 by 15 km). The hilly massif rarely exceeds 650 feet (200 m) in elevation but is slashed with numerous deep valleys formed by watercourses associated with the Aire and Aisne rivers, which constitute a barrier to transportation. The area has little but strategic importance. It was here the Prussians were repulsed in 1792 by the French at Valmy and where U.S. forces swept over the Germans (Meuse-Argonne Offensive) in 1918.