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together, taking dinner by ourselves in a little restaurant near
the Arc de Triomphe. Here we discussed the best method of
handling our supply problems. If it was not for his thorough
understanding of the difficulties of my situation and his ever


loyal and sympathetic aid, I fear I could not keep myself at
times from discouragement, which is generally equivalent to a
paralysis of effort. But his words of commendation are a
stimulus, equal almost in their force to the combined sense of
duty and fear of failure. That is a tribute I can justly pay to
his character and personality.

Saturday I visited the i64th French Division in the line,
taking Colonel Byllesby and Captain Dyar with me. French
G.H.Q. sent a liaison officer with us. At the front the French
Colonel commanding a brigade accompanied us also, besides
another French Commandant from Division Headquarters.
Interesting trip front comparatively quiet ; some artillery
firing back and forth. Coming back saw General Bullard at
the headquarters of General Degoutte, the latter being in
command of the 6th Army. General Degoutte insisted on our
staying to dinner, although it was after he had finished
about 9 P.M. He wanted me to stay all night, as he was sure
the Germans would attack before morning and thought it
would be interesting for us to watch events in his office. He
showed us all his maps, location of troops, preparations, etc.
In the 6th Army now there are about 300,000 troops, one half
of whom are Americans. Bullard, who is under Degoutte,
tells me he has great confidence in him. As General Harbord
was waiting for me in Paris had to leave for there.

At French G.H.Q. they tell me they have located six rail-
road tracks behind the German lines which they believe are
to carry the big guns for the bombardment of Paris. This they
expected last night or this morning to commence with the
German offensive. They expected the German attack on a
front of sixty kilometers, especially heavy at three different
points. Passed a brigade of French cavalry on our way back.

To-day Major-General Harbord is with me. He has re-
ceived his promotion as commanding in the recent actions
the famous Marine Brigade. His casualties during thirty days
of fighting were about 3600 out of 8000.

At Major Collins's suggestion saw Walter Damrosch, and



he agreed to go to Chaumont to help out the reorganization
of army bands, and to assist in forming the headquarters band
along the line of my suggestions to Boyd, which have been
adopted, providing for its selection by competition. General
Pershing's desire for a fine army band will now be realized.

Witnessed the I4th of July military parade this A.M. or
part of it from the top of my automobile on the way to my
office. Have a good automobile a Cadillac which takes
the French roads easily and continuously from thirty-five to
fifty miles per hour without shaking us up much, notwith-
standing the roads are now a little rough in spots owing to the
heavy army transports.

Inspected a French battery of 280 mm. guns (3) yesterday
which was camouflaged better than any I have yet seen.
Nothing improves on Nature's own fresh foliage for camou-

Worked at office this morning. Lunched and took a walk
with General Harbord, who has left me for a time to visit two
of his wounded Colonels in a hospital. This is a holiday.

Paris, Sunday, July 21, 1918

THE great counter-attack of the French and our army keeps
bringing almost hourly emergencies to be dealt with. Have
just returned from British Headquarters at Montreuil. This
is noon, and am called to French Headquarters this afternoon
on the ammunition and transportation situation. Received
letter from Payot by messenger this morning saying^ Foch
wants immediate pooling of French and American ammuni-
tion. 1 This we shall arrange by to-morrow afternoon at our

1 See Report of Daily Activities, July 26. Appendix C, vol. n, p. 156.

July 20, 1918



Representing the American Army

The General Commanding-in-Chief the Armies of the North and North-
east has received the following information which he has transmitted to
the General Commanding-in-Chief the Allied armies:


Board meeting then. If we can get the men and supplies
to keep up the present counter-attack the German salient

The ammunition delivered up to this date to the American services
by the French services of the interior would amount to
3,162,000 cartouches of 75
430,000 shots of 155 Court Schneider

24,000 shots of 155 G.P.F. (Grande Puissance Fillaux)
Of these quantities

1,206,000 cartouches of 75 5 more or
and 89,000 shots of 155 Court 1 less

would be actually at the disposal of the American army in the French
general reserve warehouse, in addition to the ammunition destined for the
Armies of the North and Northeast.

The remaining part has in effect been delivered to the American services.
No new delivery on these stocks has been made to the American divi-
sions, whose supply is secured in the same conditions as the one of the
French divisions, by drawing from ammunition at the disposal of the Gen-
eral Commanding-in-Chief the French armies.

The actual situation of the French stocks necessitates the putting in
common of the ammunition supplies.

There is, therefore, an immediate interest that the munitions belonging
to the American army, mentioned above, which remain in the general
reserve warehouses, remain in the common reserve as well as those that
could exist actually in the American dep6ts, and it would be necessary for
you to have all the necessary information on the importance and location
of these dep6ts so that we could treat the question.



July 24, 1918

Chief of Staff, G.H.Q., A.E.F.

G.P.A. 129. At meeting of the Military Board of Allied Supply, at which
Generals Moseley and Wheeler were both present, following decision was
taken unanimously, and under the international agreement constituting
the Board becomes orders for the French and American armies. The
French army is to-day issuing the necessary orders and it is requested that
the necessary orders be immediately issued by the American army carry-
ing out the arrangement. The following is copy of the order: "One. The
supplies of similar munitions of French manufacture in the French and
American armies are placed in common. Two. Tests will be made by
French artillerymen on the use of munitions of American manufacture. If
these tests are favorable, these munitions will also be placed in common.
Three. The French and American munition depSts will serve indiscrim-
inately the French and American armies. Requisitions upon French
dep6ts will always be made by the French Direction of the Rear; those



toward Chateau-Thierry can be pinched off. Great ques-
tions press. We need space in schoolhouses or other build-
ings for 45,000 beds along the front. Am trying to arrange
this. Have been at Coubert (Field Headquarters Board
of Supply, Allied Armies) at our meeting Wednesday, ijth.
Stayed all night. We shall on next Monday have a map
the first one made during the war of all installations in the
rear of the three armies. When I consider the past lack of
coordination of the Allied rear I wonder that the Allies have
held out against the consolidated Germans. But from now
on all will be changed in the rear just as the arrival of the
Americans and the unified command of Foch is changing the
situation at the front. Victory sure and complete is in
the future.

Was the guest of Lieutenant-General Travers Clarke at
G.H.Q., B.E.F. Was invited to dine with Sir Douglas Haig
last evening, but could not wait owing to important matters
waiting for me at Paris. Major Bacon (Robert) rode back
with me. On way back called on General Bell commanding
33d Division (Illinois troops). Went through deserted and
bombarded Amiens.

Travers-Clarke wants to and should go on our Board in

upon the American depdts by the Fourth Bureau of the American G.H.Q.
to whatever army they may be destined. Four. The French and American
armies will communicate with each other periodically the situation of the
above-mentioned munitions existing in their respective dep6ts as well as
the anticipated output for the manufacture of these munitions."


Extract from my report as member representing A.E.F. on

Military Board of Allied Supply

5. By its order the ammunition at the front was pooled between the
French and American armies. What this meant to the American army is
indicated by the fact that it fired of French 75 mm. alone about 6,000,000
rounds. On September 27, October 4, 9, 14, and November i, our five
heaviest firing days, 1,158,940 rounds of 75 mm. ammunition were fired
by our First Army. The importance of entire freedom of access of the
American army to French advance ammunition dep6ts and dumps cannot
be overstated.


Beadon's place as representing the British army. This is right,
as he is first in authority over the British rear. He is going
to London and will take matter up with Milner. Am sending
him copies of minutes of our Board meetings. He says he has
been kept in the dark about it. Sooner or later the English
will be as thoroughly committed to the coordination of the
rear as are Payot and myself.

On these trips of mine to the front and to our field head-
quarters so many things of interest occur that I regret one
cannot be a historian and a participant in action at the same
time. But others with more time must draw the pictures.

Paris, July 24, 1918

OUR counter-offensive continues to go well. If we only had
500,000 more American troops here I think the war would be
ended. Am plunged in the midst of difficult adjustments of
an insufficient supply situation with the French and English
involving as well supplies in the battle area as in the rear. In
it all our Military Board of Allied Supply looms greater and
greater as the agency to save a future situation of great
emergency which will confront the three armies when the
American programme of men is nearer completion.

Have conferred much the last two days with General
Pershing, with Stettinius, with McFadden.

Stettinius says in America every one thinks that I per-
sonally purchase everything for the A.E.F. as well as simply
coordinate purchases the latter being my real function.
I therefore realize that in a public sense I become responsible
for anything that goes amiss. So far from being made nervous
by this feeling I approach the end of the war with complete
confidence that the work of this great organization which I
have builded, its methods, its purposes, its triumph over
difficulties, its cleanness, will add its good part to the prestige
of our army. So far as I personally am concerned I have given
the best I have to the work. In it I have had, especially in the
earlier part of it, my hard contests: but now the organization


is builded, it has done and is doing its great work, it is honest
and clean, and with the full publicity which its importance
wiTT give it when attacked, while contests are still before me,
I shall fight from the strong fortifications of unquestioned

Referring again to the band of the National Army, sent at
Collins's suggestion Walter Damrosch to G.H.Q. He came
back fully authorized to comb the army for musicians and a
leader. Competition will control selection of the musicians,
and the field of competition being broad a wonderful band
should develop.

Lunched and dined at Harjes's house yesterday with
Stettinius. His presence will be a great help to all of us. Sam
Felton has arrived. To him I really owe my commission in the
army. Enjoyed visiting with him. He has done his great part
in our transportation. Am overwhelmed with work, but will
try to struggle along with these notes.

Paris, Augusl 4, 1918 (Sunday)

DURING the last week I have been on the road most of the
time. While I was at field headquarters last Sunday General
Harbord left at my room a note saying he was going to Tours
to meet General Pershing, who had made him Commanding
General, Service of Supply. On Monday evening I joined
them at Tours, and went on their special train for a tour of the
ports. General McAndrew, Chief of Staff, General Jadwin,
Colonel Wilgus, and a few others besides the Commander-
in-Chief's personal aides, Colonel Boyd and Major Bowditch,
were on the train. Have not time to describe the trip.

Followed the Commander-in-Chief before thousands of
troops in line, past thousands of my own laborers, through
barracks, over docks, through machine shops, and through
hospitals containing thousands of our wounded. John's
purpose in the trip was not only to inspect progress, but to
inspire the Service of Supply with increased enthusiasm and
desire to accomplish. He has developed great ability as a


public speaker. He makes six or seven thousand people hear
him with ease in the open air. He is direct, extremely force-
ful and wonderfully impressive. He never said one weak,
unwise, or thoughtless word. In the hospitals the spirit of
the wounded is wonderful. Outwardly cheerful and smiling
and full of encouragement, but with a heart breaking with
sympathy, dear old John marched through the long aisles,
with such of the poor fellows as were able standing at "atten-
tion " by their cots. What wrung my own heart most was the
poor blinded men, so anxious to see their Commander-in-
Chief, but standing there at attention in a darkness which
would never be lifted. John talked to them. All seemed cheer-
ful, except those too closely clasped in the arms of death to
know what was going on. Under the new method of treatment
the horrible wounds of the men were exposed to the air, and
before our eyes were the horrors of war.

The bands which met us, the pomp and circumstance which
surrounded us as we started each morning on our tour of in-
spection, the long lines of soldiers at attention, were one part
of war. But the day wore on. In dust and heat we passed the
toiling thousands bending to their work in sun and dirt. And
then the long hospital trains and the shattered men in agony
and suffering at the hospitals. The real impression of what
war is came at the end of the weary day.

In order to be at the meeting of the Military Board of
Allied Supply on Friday I left the party at St. Nazaire, having
also visited Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Nantes, and Bassens.
At St. Nazaire I met my old comrades of the I7th Railway
Engineers who have done such wonderful work. Colonel
Sewell is now Commander of the base. Ten thousand men
are now working under the supervision of the lyth. Montoir
is their project among others. Was overwhelmed with the
immensity of our army work and accomplishment every-
where. Passed by the tens of thousands my prosaic railroad
ties which we had secured from Portugal, passed by Belgian
locomotives, passed by our laborers everywhere, and felt a


pride that I had helped some, though the sight of the wonder-
ful accomplishments of others must keep any one of us hum-
ble if honest in mind.

On Friday was at Coubert where we had a meeting of
great importance. The great composite pictures we are
making for the first time of the needs of the three armies
are already profoundly affecting our plans and activities.
The great experience and high authority of Payot his
wonderful ability are invaluable assets to the Board. I
like him very much. We are good friends. Every morning
of a meeting he sends his representative to Paris to consult
as to our prospective work at the meeting. We cooperate
most intimately.

We shall secure a reduction in the forage ration of the
A.E.F. at our next meeting. We are working on the mobile
automobile reserve for Foch. 1 We have already pooled am-
munition at the front, but no less important is the effect
upon individual army policy, in the line of practical cooper-
ation, of the wonderful pictures of common needs for the
three armies which we are now making and furnishing to
those whose departments are involved. From common
knowledge arises coordinated effort. I marvel that the ne-
cessity for this cooperation in the rear did not force its
adoption years ago before the United States entered the war
in France.

At Paris Herbert Hoover, the U.S. Food Controller, sent
for me and we had a long conference Saturday. This morning
I took breakfast with him. Shall meet him again to-morrow
in an endeavor to assist him in securing concessions of food
from England (which has accumulated a large stock) for
the benefit of France. He wants a letter from Pershing in-
dicating the importance from a military standpoint of the
immediate relief of the people of Bordeaux. I like him very
much. He is a wonderful executive a man inspired only
by the principles of true and unselfish devotion to duty.

1 See Report of Daily Activities, August 13. Appendix C, vol. u, p. 163.


Am leaving for Coubert this afternoon (and Provins after-
ward) after meeting General Pershing, upon his arrival from
his trip, by his direction. Am taking Sam Felton with me.
The Staff of Payot is giving him a dinner at French G.H.Q.
to-night on the occasion of his promotion to officer of the
Legion of Honor, and he has asked me to be present.

Paris, August 8, 1918

IMPORTANT matters press hourly. This week with Loucheur,
Tardieu, Ganne, General Chevalier, and others of the
French, General Jadwin and I arrived at an agreement on
the railroad-tie situation through which there will be assured
the maintenance of the reserve of ties behind the lines neces-
sary to support an advance of the Allied troops.

This morning Harjes called at my rooms before I was up
to warn me of Payot, whom he believed from French in-
formation to be untrustworthy and who had said to others,
according to Harjes, that he (Payot) "could lead me by the
nose." I replied to Harjes "that any one could lead me by
the nose, provided he knew the road better than I did, and
it led in the right direction." This leads me to make a few
notes concerning Payot and our relations. In every possible
way I encourage Payot to initiate and suggest methods of
coordination for the rear of the armies because he is the best-
informed man on conditions of the rear and its needs in
France. In all sincerity I create in his mind a feeling of my
dependence on him, for he has the knowledge and experience
while I am only in the process of acquiring it, and never shall
acquire it as he has it. In every way I encourage the use by
the French of our Board. I declined the suggestion of my
Staff that we have an American version of our meetings
made as they thought the French did not include in our
minutes of proceedings a sufficient record of our own part in
them. It was only a non-essential and the suggestion would
imply distrust as well as vanity on my part. That anybody
should think they could hurt Payot in my estimation for



asserting his influence, when for over a month General
Pershing and I fought to transfer entire control of the rear
of the three armies to the French command, shows that they
have little conception of how in earnest we are to secure
proper coordination. As a matter of fact Payot is entirely
trustworthy. He only wants to win the war. Naturally he is
ambitious and this is no crime. Close cooperation with
him by me means I can get useful things done. If I let others
influence me to unwise attitudes suggested by personal van-
ity I shall fail to be of high service to the common cause. I
have a good sense of direction. No one can lead me down a
wrong road. And Payot, least of all would, if he could, de-
ceive me as to wise military measures.

Received telegram from Harbord to-day saying that the
Commander-in-Chief is issuing orders reducing A.E.F. forage
ration to the English basis. Thus again our Board, by mak-
ing a picture of a coming crisis, lessens the danger by com-
pelling economy in time to help meet it.

This noon was the guest of General Sackville-West at
Versailles, where I went to please my friend Beadon of the
Military Board of Allied Supply. Had a pleasant time.

DeauvilU, France
Friday, August 16, 1918

FOR the first time in fifteen months I am taking a few days'
rest vacation. Harbord asked me to take an inspection
trip with him, but I wanted more quiet than is possible on a
trip with an active General like Harbord. I came, therefore,
to Havre on Wednesday, spent the day and night with my
friend Van de Vyvere, and came to Deauville yesterday ac-
companied by one of Van de Vyvere's clerks who acted as my
interpreter. Find I am not as tired as I thought and a few
days of sunlight out of doors and sea bathing will put
me in the fittest shape again.

Last Sunday we had an important meeting of the Military
Board of Allied Supply at Coubert. Took my friend Colonel


Sewell, McRoberts, and Mr. Walcott and Mr. Bell, of the
Hoover Commission, with me; also Major Fairchild, a friend
of McRoberts's. After our meeting we stayed all night at
our headquarters at Coubert, and on Monday morning,
under the guidance of Commandants Brault and Lescanne
and Lieutenant De Sieves, all of whom are on Payot's Staff,
we left for the front. Our first stop was to call on General
Mangin, commanding the loth French Army, at his head-
quarters in the field. Like the most of the successful French
Generals he is a man evidently of intense nervous energy.
When I told him of the gratification of the American people,
as expressed in the American press, at his praise of the brave
American troops under him in his last successful drive, he
went to his desk and gave me a printed copy of his order
citing our troops. He said he could not over-praise their
battle qualities and the record they had made. Our next call
was on General Munroe, who like Mangin was most cordial.
He also said he could not speak too strongly in praise of our
American soldiers. We then went on toward Soissons, tak-
ing lunch in a battle-ruined chateau at Longpoint. We went
over the battle-field of Corsy and the St. Paul farm. My
nephew Charles, whom I had with us, gathered up helmets,
a gas-mask, and a rifle as souvenirs. Thousands of unex-
ploded hand-grenades remained; wreckage of battle was
everywhere. At points the dead were still being buried. De-
molished tanks were much in evidence during the day. The
St. Paul farm was a mass of wreckage. It was at the point of
the turn in the line. It was a point of crisis.

We reached the line of Soissons in the afternoon. A French
Colonel and some of his officers went with us to the brow of
the hill overlooking Soissons. We reached the brow of the
hill through an underground passage, but upon reaching
there emerged in view of the valley and of the Germans as it
proved. We watched the effect of our shells on the German
positions. Our troops occupy a part of Soissons and the
Germans are in the outskirts. We walked back to the Colo-


nel's dugout and when we were there the Germans opened
fire, dropping four large shells within one hundred and fifty
yards of us. The French Colonel and his officers insisted on
our drinking toasts of champagne in tin cups, which we did
to the sounds of the guns and the explosion of shells.

After our visit with them we went back to General Mun-
roe's, where they had prepared tea for us. I cannot state my
appreciation of the courtesy with which we were everywhere

We then returned over the recent battle-field, through
Chateau-Thierry, past the "Wood of the Marines" (Bois de
Belleau), where Harbord and his men fought at what I~think
will prove the Gettysburg of this war. Great stores of Ger-
man ammunition were taken. I have not time to describe
what we saw. History will describe all such things. We re-
turned to Paris through Meaux, our French escorts leaving
us there. The wreckage of one of these modern battles is
immense. From the effect of the shell-fire in villages, fields,
and forests I wonder anybody comes alive out of battle.

Paris, Sunday, 4 P.M.
August 25, 1918

EVERYTHING seems to contribute to the heaviness of my bur-
den of responsibility. Spent all day yesterday with Harbord
and three hours to-day with the Commander-in-Chief. I

Online LibraryCharles Gates DawesA journal of the great war (Volume 1) → online text (page 13 of 30)