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man and neutral (mainly Dutch) vessels supply the British and French armies, caught in American ports, commandeer- and they provided a more direct coning private ships, and reducing drastic- nection with that zone of operations ally the turnaround time of transports where the largest number of Americarrying American troops. By dint of can troops were located. these efforts, nearly half of the 2,000,000 Through its General Purchasing Board men of the A.E.F. and most supplies the S.O.S. bought a vast number of were transported in American vessels. articles in Europe to reduce the burden Allied shipping, mostly British, moved on scarce shipping. Additional tonnage the rest."

was saved by setting up an extensive THE SERVICES OF SUPPLY IN salvage program. FRANCE. When the troops and supplies In the early summer of 1918 the logisof the A.E.F. reach Europe, they be- tical requirements of the A.E.F. multicame the responsibility of the Services plied so enormously that S.O.S. apof Supply. Shortly before he arrived peared to be on the verge of a complete in France, Pershing established an or- breakdown. In this crisis Pershing reganization to provide the A.E.F. with organized it in order to give it greater facilities for its supply, shelter, trans- administrative flexibility and to clarify portation, replacement, evacuation, and command relationships. On 29 July 1918 other logistical requirements. This or- he assigned Maj. Gen. James G. Harganization was designated successively bord, one of his ablest combat officers, the Line of Communications (5 July as its new commander. Harbord quickly 1917), Service of the Rear (16 Febru- boosted the lagging morale of S.O.S. ary 1918), and Services of Supply (13 troops by introducing a spirit of comMarch 1918). As the number of Amer- petition among supply and service units, ican troops in France increased, the and thereby increased the movement of supply organization expanded until on tonnage by some twenty percent. 11 November 1918 nearly a third of the ORGANIZATION AND TRAINING A.E.F., as well as many prisoners of OF THE A.E.F. IN FRANCE. The dewar and civilians, were employed in its cision of our Government to form a multifarious activities. At the height of separate American Army on the Westits operations the Services of Supply ern Front was clearly enunciated in the (S.O.S.), for administrative purposes, instructions which the Secretary of War was comprised of eight Base Sections gave to General Pershing at the time located around ports of debarkation; an of his appointment as Commander in Intermediate Section, operating in com- Chief, A.E.F. Pershing was to cooperate munication centers along the rail routes with the Allies in operations against the of west central France; and an Advanced Germans, but at the same time was to Section, functioning in the area immedi- maintain the American forces as “. ately behind the front. In addition there a separate and distinct component of were two independent districts, one at the combined forces ..." Nevertheless, Paris and the other at Tours. The Com- almost from the very beginning of the manding General, S.O.S., who was di- Allied consultations on use of American rectly responsible to Pershing, had his troops in France, the French and Britheadquarters in the last-named city. ish, hard pressed for manpower, brought

Major facilities of S.O.S. were con- great pressure to bear on Pershing and centrated near the ports of debarkation the War Department in favor of amalin southwest and southern France and gamating American combat units with along the rail net running south of Paris experienced Allied units. They conto the northeastern provinces of Cham- tended that this was the best way for pagne and Lorraine, center of A.E.F. ac- inexperienced American troops to gain tivities. (For a fuller discussion of the combat training, and the quickest and choice of this area as the American sec- most effective means for giving the wartor, see below.) These ports and rail weary Allied armies desperately needed routes were less burdened than those help against the Germans. The British farther north, which were being used to offered to make ships available to trans

& For further details of transportation probleans in World War I, and for data on the land and water movement of men and supplies, see chapter 13.

port infantry and machinegun units from the United States, provided that they be trained and employed in the British zone of operations.

While Pershing made some concessions to these Allied demands, especially during the critical period of the great German offensives in the spring of 1918, he consistently adhered to the American contention that only by formation of an independent American army in France could the A.E.F. attain that selfconfidence and sense of national pride essential to a successful fighting force. He constantly emphasized the importance of shipment from the United States of all types of troops needed to form divisions, corps, and army units. Only in this way could he build a well-balanced force that would furnish opportunities for giving higher officers the training in staff and command responsibilities which they had not been able to acquire in the small peacetime Military Establishment.

When the Allies found themselves with their backs to the wall in the spring of 1918, both the Americans and the British and French made concessions to expedite the shipment of American troops and the use of American units where they were most needed on the Western Front. Thus, by the London and Abbeville agreements of April and May, arrangements were made for the British to transport American troops to France at a greatly accelerated rate, but with priority for infantry units to be trained and used in the British and French zones until the crisis had passed. In return the British and French acknowledged in principle that an independent American army under its own commander should be formed as early as possible. The speedup in troop shipments from the United States brought nearer the day when there would be enough American units in France to form an operating field army.

Selection of a zone of operations for the proposed million-man American army occasioned far less difficulty than the matter of shipment and employment of American troops. The British were committed to the northern part of the front in Flanders, Artois, and Picardy, near the Channel ports so vital to them.

The French were most concerned with the central sector which protected the approaches to Paris. This left available the quiet zone in Lorraine southeast of Verdun, occupied in 1917 by only a few French units. After consultation with the Allied leaders, Pershing and his staff agreed in July 1917 to take over responsibility for this part of the front.

Strategically the sector was attractive because it offered several worthwhile offensive objectives in the German-held territory beyond, including the fortress of Metz, the Briey iron mining district, and very important lateral rail communications. Logistically it was the most satisfactory area for the A.E.F. because, as previously noted, it could be readily supplied by the less congested ports and railroads of southwestern and southern France. Finally, from the standpoint of training, the region back of the sector contained extensive areas where A.E.F. divisions could carry on joint activities with French divisions.

On 1 September 1917 Pershing moved A.E.F. headquarters from Paris to the Damrémont Barracks at Chaumont, centrally located some distance behind the Lorraine front. He decided to adopt a scheme of staff organization for the American forces similar to that in the French Army. This divided the staff into three main divisions-a general, a technical, and an administrative staff. In A.E.F. headquarters (G.H.Q.) the general staff consisted of five sections operating under a Chief of Staff and his assistants. The sections dealt respectively with administration (G-1), intelligence (G-2), operations (G-3), supply (G-4), and training (G-5). Similar general staffs, modified to conform to special needs, were organized for all armies, corps, and divisions. Pershing took immediate steps to train the large number of staff officers that would be needed to insure proper exercise of control in a force the size of the A.E.F. A General Staff College was established at Langres to give selected officers a three-month course in staff functions.

In the area around Chaumont many divisional training centers and special schools were set up to carry on troop training and to provide instruction for subordinate commanders, specialists, and candidates for officers' commissions. Di



vision training in France lasted about three months. In general it included, successively, small unit instruction, service in the line in a quiet sector with British or French units, service at a training area to correct observed deficiencies, and open warfare training.

LAND CAMPAIGNS, 1917. The year that America entered the marked by near disaster for the Allies on all the European fronts. A French offensive in April, with which the British cooperated, was a failure, and was followed by widespread mutinies in the French armies. The British maintained strong pressure on their front throughout the year; but British attacks on the Messines Ridge (7 June), at Ypres (31 July), and at Cambrai (20 November) failed in their main objective—the capture of German submarine bases-and took a severe toll of British fighting strength. Three American engineer regiments—the 11th, 12th, and 14th-were engaged in construction activity behind the British lines at Cambrai in November, when they were unexpectedly called upon to go into the front lines during an emergency. They thus became the first A.E.F. units to meet the enemy (Cambrai Campaign, 20 November-4 December 1917).

Meanwhile the Allied situation also deteriorated on the Eastern and Italian Fronts. In Russia, after the abdication of Czar Nicholas II in March, the moderate constitutional government continued the war, launching an offensive in Galicia in July. But the great success of the German offensive against the Russians at Riga in September 1917, in which the German commander, General Hutier, first used his new infiltration tactics, further undermined the tottering Kerensky regime. In November the Bolsheviks seized power. They immediately began negotiations to get Russia out of the war. An armistice between Russia and the Central Powers signed on 15 December 1917, and the Treaty of Brest Litovsk on 3 March 1918 ended Russian participation in the conflict. Germany at once transferred most of her forces on the Eastern Front to the west in preparation for the great offensives of 1918.

In November 1917 the Allies suffered further reverses on the Italian Front

when an Austro-German force, using the new Hutier tactics, inflicted losses of nearly 300,000 on the Italians at Caporetto. Italy stayed in the war, but could contribute little to the Allied cause until late 1918.

GERMAN OFFENSIVES AND OTHER OPERATIONS, 21 MARCH-18 JULY 1918. After the collapse of Russia and the Italian debacle in late 1917, the German leaders decided that the time had come for Germany to make a supreme effort to end the war by a conclusive victory on the Western Front. Time was running out for Germany. The Allied convoy system had nullified the unrestricted submarine campaign, the blockade was wly choking th economy of the Central Powers, and American soldiers were arriving in Europe in constantly increasing numbers. For the first time since 1914 Germany had a superiority in combat strength on the Western Front. General Erich von Ludendorff, now in virtual supreme authority in Germany, believed that he had sufficient forces to strike a decisive blow. Furthermore, he had reason to believe that the newly developed Hutier tactics, employed with success at Riga, Caporetto, and Cambrai, had been able to rectify the unbalance that had arisen between offense and defense because of the effectiveness of automatic weapons. These tactics were designed to achieve surprise with a short, intensive artillery barrage, followed up immediately by infiltration of enemy defenses with assault troops accompanied by light artillery. Strong points were bypassed as every effort was made to maintain the momentum of the attack. In early 1918 Ludendorff reshuffled his combat divisions to form elite battle groups, which were given the intensive training necessary for successful application of the new offensive tactics.

First German Offensive (Somme Defensive Campaign), 21 March-6 April 1918. After considerable study, the Ger. man high command decided to attack on the British-held Somme front in the direction of Amiens. A breakthrough at this point would separate the French from the British, push the latter into a pocket in Flanders, and open the way to the Channel ports.

The offensive began on 21 March 1918


with three German armies (about 62 divisions in all) in the assault. British defense lines were pierced in rapid succession. By 26 March Amiens was seriously threatened, and on the following day a gap was created between the French and British armies. But the Germans lacked reserves to exploit their initial phenomenal successes, and the Allies moved in enough reserves to bring the offensive to a halt by 6 April. The Germans had advanced up to 40 miles, had captured 1,500 square miles of ground and 70,000 prisoners, and had inflicted some 200,000 casualties. They had failed, however, to achieve any of their strategic objectives: destruction of the British army, disruption of Allied lateral communications, and capture of Amiens. Furthermore, they had suffered comparable casualties, many of them in the highly trained assault divisions that could not easily be replaced.

On 25 March 1918, at the height of the German drive, Pershing placed the four American divisions at that time ready for combat at the disposal of the French.

But only a few American units were engaged in the “Somme Defensive" (the Army's name for this campaign). They included the 6th, 12th, and 14th Engineers and the 17th, 22d, and 148th Aero Squadrons, a total of about 2200 men.

For the Allies, perhaps the most significant result of the battle was the establishment of a unified command. The Italian defeat at Caporetto had led to the formation of a Supreme War Council in November 1917, composed of the heads of the Governments of Great Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, each with a civilian assistant and a permanent military adviser (in the case of the United States, Gen. Tasker H. Bliss). Organization of the Council was a move in the direction of a unified command, but no substitute for it, since the Council could act only by unanimous decision.

In the March 1918 crisis Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, the British Commander in Chief, had requested Petain, the French Commander in Chief, to provide the assistance which the French

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had earlier promised the British if they should need it. In response the French commander offered only a few units, contending that he needed every man available for the attack which he believed the Germans

about to launch against the French sector. The outraged Haig, who had long resisted any kind of unified command, now insisted that a supreme commander be appointed at once. An inter-Allied conference on 26 March made General Ferdinand Foch, hitherto Chief of the General Staff of the French armies, the coordinator of action of British and French forces in the vicinity of Amiens. Two days later Pershing placed all American forces under Foch's orders. On 3 April Foch's coordinating powers were extended to include all Allied forces on the Western Front, and on 14 April he was given the official title of General in Chief of the Allied Armies in France.

Lys Campaign, 9-27 April 1918. Ludendorff still hoped to destroy the hard-hit British Army before it had a chance to recover from the effects of the Somme drive. This was the purpose of a new German attack launched on 9 April 1918 on a narrow front along the Lys River in Flanders. The Germans committed 46 divisions to the assault, and, using Hutier attacks once again, quickly scored breakthrough. The British situation was desperate for some days. Haig issued his famous "backs to the wall" order and appealed to Foch for reinforcements. But the Allied Supreme Commander, convinced that the British could hold their line, refused to commit reserves he was building up in anticipation of the day when the Allies would again be able to seize the initiative. Foch's judgment proved to be correct, and Ludendorff called off the offensive on 29 April.

Since 21 March the Germans had suffered some 350,000 casualties without having attained any vital objectives; in the same period British casualties numbered about 305,000. About 500 Americans participated in the Lys Campaign, including troops of the 16th Engineers, 28th Aero Squadron, and 1st Gas Regiment.

Aisne Campaign, 27 May-5 June 1918. The next major German attack fell on

27 May on the thinly held but formidable terrain along the Aisne River known as the Chemin des Dames. The original objective of this new offensive was to draw southward the Allied reserves accumulated back of the British sector, in preparation for a final German attempt to destroy the British Army in Flanders. The French and British defenders were taken completely by surprise, and their positions were overrun rapidly on a forty-mile front. German progress on the first day was so rapid (advances up to 13 miles were made at some points) that Ludendorff altered his plans and decided to make the diversionary attack a main effort. Most of the Aisne bridges were captured intact. The thrust toward Reims failed, but Soissons was taken, and by 31 May the Germans had reached the outskirts of Château-Thierry on the Marne, less than 40 miles from Paris.

In the next few days the Germans sought to exploit and expand the deep and exposed salient which they had established. But by 4 June they had been stopped everywhere. Some 27,500 American troops took part in the check of the German advance. The 3d Division foiled enemy attempts in the period 1-4 June to secure a firm bridgehead across the Marne at Château-Thierry. West of the town the 2d Division, which included a Marine brigade, defended the road to Paris, and 6 June successfully counterattacked in Belleau Wood.

Cantigny, 28-31 May 1918. Meanwhile, in an action at Cantigny in late May which coincided with the German drive on the Aisne, Americans had their first chance to demonstrate their offensive capabilities. The enemy offensive in March had exposed the left flank of the French First Army south of the Somme. The French began preparations for a counterattack to remedy this defect in their defenses, and called upon the A.E.F. for assistance. The 1st Division, which had been manning a quiet sector near Toul since 7 April, was brought west to a place in the line near Montdidier and the exposed French flank on 27 April.

In front of the 1st Division position was the village of Cantigny, located on high ground which the Germans were using to advantage for observing the



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