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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 Novem-
ber 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 dep6 ts and dumps
cannot be overstated.

6. It made the first composite study of the forage situation
of the Allied armies in France. As a result thereof you
reduced the American forage ration to the British
standard and issued additional regulations against waste,
thus tending to relieve a later forage crisis among all the
Allied armies.

7. For the first time since the beginning of the war it pre-
pared a map showing the complete installations in the
rear of the three armies with details as to capacity,
etc.

8. It secured information as to the common situation of
inter-Allied reserves of 60 c.m. railway material and



A: REPORT TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 303

personnel, creating a liaison of officers in charge of them
in such a way as to generally improve the coordination
between the Allied armies.

9. It secured Allied agreement for the construction and
maintenance of second-line telephone and telegraph
systems to enable all General Headquarters and the
Headquarters of the Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of
the Allied Forces, to be linked together during the con-
templated advance. With the signing of the armistice
this agreement provided the channel by which telephonic
and telegraphic liaison was provided in the occupied
territories. In this connection it issued inter-Allied in-
structions designed to cover

(1) The establishing of general principles to be fol-
lowed in connection with the construction of
telephonic and telegraphic systems between the
Allied armies, and between these armies and the
rear and the employment and coordination of
present systems in reconquered territory.

(2) To make known to all the Allied armies the
amount, as well as the methods of the cooperation
that each army should extend to the other armies.

This included:

(1) General rules governing the establishment of
communication, under which were

(a) General rules of construction.

(b) General rules of operation.

(2) Assistance to be rendered by the Allied armies in
the establishment of communications.

10. It established a school of instruction for regulating
officers (railroad) of the Allied armies by which it se-
cured coordination in the use and understanding of the
French railroad and supply systems in the zone of the
armies.

11. It provided for the regulation of the gasoline supply in
the zone of the armies and the pooling of gasoline cans



304 JOURNAL OF THE GREAT WAR

and thereby simplified and expedited the operations of
the inter-Allied petrol conference.

12. It investigated the labor situation in France and the
armies and demonstrated the impracticability of pooling
the same. This resulted in a stimulus to the activities
of the independent agencies of recruiting in the Amer-
ican E.F.

13. The consideration of the general wood and tie situa-
tion by the Board, while it precipitated coordination
in this particular connection between the Minister of
Armament and the American E.F. instead of through
the Board, unquestionably greatly contributed to the
reaching of a satisfactory understanding with the French
on this subject which solved at the time the wood
emergency confronting the American E.F.

14. It prepared the study setting forth the ration and other
demands of the various armies which would have
enabled a reduction in tonnage to be made to the abso-
lute minimum should the war have continued and the
transport crisis further developed.

15. It is securing by order a statistical statement of all
troops, supplies, and means of transportation of the
Allied armies in France, as of date October 31, 1918.

16. It is securing a coordinated statement and comparative
study of the supply systems of the Allied armies in
France for future military study.

17. It demonstrated, in a number of other matters than those
referred to above, that through it alone could a coming
crisis in supply transportation and technical military
handling of the Allied rear be measured so as to indicate
and to justify the necessary and appropriate prepara-
tion for it on the part of each army.

1 8. Lastly and of great importance, members of the Gen-
eral Staff or chiefs of independent services of the Ameri-
can E.F. and of the other armies, attending at different
times the meetings of the Board and listening to the dis-



A: REPORT TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 305

cussion of the Allied situation as a whole, derived a more
intelligent understanding of how their activities, whether
under authoritative direction or not, could be conducted
in better coordination with similar activities of our allies.

Strength of Allied Armies in France in Men and Horses
on October 31, 1918

The following completed figures as to the Allied armies in
France, as of date October 31, 1918, are given from reports
received by the Military Board of Allied Supply. They
apply:

(a) To the American, English, and Italian armies for the
forces in France.

(b) To the French army for the forces in the Army Zone.

(c) To the Belgian army for the forces in the field and
bases, to the exclusion of hospitals and formations
behind the lines.

Men Horses

American Army 1,903,000 164,000

English Army 1,965,000 42O : ooo

Belgian Army 200,000 42,000

French Army 2,813,000 643,000

Italian Army 45,000 6,500

Total 6,926,000 1,275,500

Brigadier-General George V. H. Moseley
You were most fortunate in having for Assistant Chief of
Staff, G-4, G.H.Q., Brigadier-General George V. H. Moseley,
whom you had placed in his important position by reason of
his experience and special fitness. General Moseley showed
a remarkable perception of tfce necessity for a complete un-
derstanding with the head of the French Fourth Bureau,
General Payot, and the American member of the Military
Board of Allied Supply. Preserving that openness of mind
in seeking information, which is a distinguishing mark of real
military or civilian leadership, General Moseley drew upon



306 JOURNAL OF THE GREAT WAR

the immense experience of our allies which had been obtained
at such great cost. A bigoted mind or one sensitive as to the
effect of a request for information upon personal prestige, as
the head of G~4, G.H.Q., would have wrought incalculable
damage. With General Moseley results were always upper-
most, and while not disregardful of his military prerogatives
he at all times subordinated them to Allied exigencies at the
front. Both General Moseley and the American member were
sensible of the dual jurisdiction in certain cases of the General
Staff and the superimposed organization of the Military
Board of Allied Supply. While they were never in disagree-
ment upon any specific proposition, their fear of possible dis-
agreement was such that as Commander-in-Chief you at one
time considered two arguments, each made without the
knowledge of the other disputant; one by General Moseley
that the American member of the Military Board of Allied
Supply should take his place as Assistant Chief of Staff, G~4,
G.H.Q., and one made by the American member that General
Moseley should also act in his place upon the Military Board
of Allied Supply. Your conclusion from this circumstance was
the obvious one, that no disagreements were liable to arise
between the American member of the Military Board of
Allied Supply and the General Staff and that no change need
be made of personal assignment in consequence.

My letter of August 24, 1918, to you upon the activities of
the Military Board of Allied Supply and the relation of the
American member to the General Staff. American E.F., is
given here not only as containing this suggestion relative to
General Moseley and as outlining the situation of the work
and environment of the Board at that date, but because it
formed the basis of a request by you made by letter to Lord
Milner, under date of September 2, 1918, that the British
General Staff be given representation on the Board in addi-
tion to the War Office, which request was granted as evidenced
by the following letters from yourself to Lord Milner and
from Marshal Haig to you:




Left to right: BRIGADIER-GENERAL FRANK McCOY, MAJOR-GENERAL J. G.
HARBORD, BRIGADIER-GENERAL GEORGE VAN HORN MOSELEY



A: REPORT TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 307

August 24, 1918

From: The General Purchasing Agent, A.E.F.
To: The Commander-in-Chief, A.E.F.
Subject: Activities of the Military Board of Allied Supply and
Relation of American Member, Military Board
of Allied Supply, to the General Staff, A.E.F.

I. The Military Board of Allied Supply, the formation of
which by the Governments was due to your initiative and
strenuous efforts as Commander-in-Chief of the A.E.F., has
now been in existence for two months. Its activities may be
summed up as follows:

First. The first composite picture of the motor transport
of the three armies has been made, the conclusions arising
from which are self-evident and are to-day affecting our army
policy. It has considered the question of a mobile automobile
reserve behind the Allied armies, securing the information
for the respective Commanders-in-Chief in their determina-
tion of it.

Second. For the first time a system for the proper circula-
tion and handling of automobile transports, considering the
Allied armies as a whole, is being studied and arranged and
will soon be put into form to be submitted for your approval.

Third. The first composite study of the forage situation
has been made and in connection therewith you have re-
duced the American forage ration to the British standard
and issued additional regulations against waste, thus tending
to relieve a later forage crisis among all the Allied armies.

Fourth. Ammunition between the Americans and the
French has been pooled along the front.

Fifth. For the first time a map has been prepared showing
complete installations in the rear of the three armies as to
locations. When the final details of capacity are secured the
importance of this map in connection with the consideration
of the construction policies of the three armies is manifest.

Sixth. The creation of an inter-Allied reserve of 60 c.m.
railway material and personnel is under consideration,
which, whether it results in action or not, will for the first
time give such information as to the common situation as to
greatly and beneficially affect the individual policy of each
army.

Seventh. The investigations of the Board in connection
with labor have demonstrated the impracticability of pooling



308 JOURNAL OF THE GREAT WAR

the same and therefore stimulated the independent agencies
of recruiting.

Eighth. The consideration of the general wood and tie
situation, while it precipitated coordination in this particu-
lar connection with the Ministry of Armament instead of
through the Board, unquestionably greatly contributed to
the reaching of the recent satisfactory understanding with
the French on this subject.

Ninth. It has demonstrated that through it alone can a
coming crisis in supply, transportation, and technical mili-
tary handling of the Allied rear be measured so as to indicate
and to justify the necessary and appropriate preparation for
it on the part of each army.

Tenth. Lastly, and of great importance, no member of the
General Staff or chief of independent service of the A.E.F.
has attended one of the meetings of the Board and listened
to the discussion of the Allied situation as a whole without
having derived in my judgment a more intelligent under-
standing of how his activities, whether under authoritative
direction or not, can be conducted in better coordination
with similar activities of our allies.

The importance of its work from a tactical, supply, and
military standpoint, in spite of great opposition, is self-
evident.

2. In some respects the name Military Board of Allied
Supply is unfortunate. It is apt to create in the minds of the
chiefs of services the idea that it is an organization primarily
to pool and divide supplies; in other words, an organization
through which somebody is trying to deprive the A.E.F. of
a portion of its already inadequate supply or through which
the A.E.F. is seeking to secure replenishment from the in-
adequate supplies of the other armies. Facing an approach-
ing inadequacy of supply, the chief, with this conception of
the Military Board of Allied Supply, naturally sees in its
existence no possible good and only a menace. We encounter
a natural fear in all the armies of a possible authoritative
action of any outside body enabled to interfere with supplies.
This feeling ignores the useful activities of the Board in
connection with the coordinated use of transportation from a
tactical standpoint and of construction coordination, to say
nothing of other important matters entirely disassociated
with any question of pooled supplies. As a matter of fact,
however, with each army, confronted as it is by insufficient



A: REPORT TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 309

supplies, a situation is indicated in which in the future the
existence of this Board and its powers is rendered of supreme
importance not only to the A.E.F., but to the other armies
as well. The continued importation of American troops and
the present condition of supplies will inevitably create a
crisis. Through the force of your personality constantly ex-
ercised and through continued and stern admonition, you
have taught the A.E.F. already to think in terms of emer-
gency and deficit rather than in terms of surplus, for no one
has realized better than yourself that the time is rapidly
approaching when a surplus will turn to a deficit and finally
an acute deficit. At such a time the military machinery upon
which reliance must be placed is the Military Board of Allied
Supply. The continuance of the importation of troops during
the fall, unless accompanied by a coordinated importation of
supplies apparently impossible will unquestionably at
times create points and situations along the fighting line
where military authority and not common consent must be
relied upon to insure such a distribution of supplies as will
maintain the troops actually at the front. In the distribu-
tion of supplies this Board may not commence to function
until the absence of its functioning means in a way that is
evident to all that fighting troops must leave the line. We
must look ahead. If one feels that there will not be a different
situation than exists at present about the division of food
supplies when related to the continuance of actual military
operations, it is only necessary to recall the attitude of our
friends the English in connection with ships up until the
time of the German victory around Calais, after which they
turned Allied defeat into certain Allied success by the sea
transportation of the bulk of the American army. When the
time of real crisis arises this Board is the agency through
which an intelligent view of the situation is practicable and
through which proper measures can be taken. It is also the
only body, by reason of its common knowledge, which can
give advance notice of approaching emergencies and make
the suggestions to the armies useful in the attempt to avoid
them. If, from the minds of all, there could be removed the
shadow of apprehension that an outside authority was look-
ing with designing eyes upon our insufficient stocks, it would
contribute to the feeling of earnest cooperation with the
Military Board of Allied Supply. As the segregation of the
troops into armies of different nationalities does not affect in



310 JOURNAL OF THE GREAT WAR

any way the desirability of central military control of move-
ment, so the fact of the existence of a large field army of the
United States should not be allowed to overshadow the ne-
cessity in times of emergency, for the support of that army,
of a central Allied control over certain transportation and
supplies especially in the military zone. Upon the basis of
the retention by the Commanders-in-Chief of the respective
armies of the final authority for the distribution and trans-
portation of supplies to their respective armies, it will still
be through the machinery of the Military Board of Allied
Supply which you have created, and which cannot be set in
motion without your approval, that part of the supply and
transportation business of the Allied armies which is in-
separably connected with general tactical movements will be
provided for without interfering with such final authority.

3. Largely because of the personality of such men as
McAndrew, Moseley, and Eltinge, with whom I chiefly work,
there is between the American member of the Military
Board of Allied Supply and the General Staff the closest co-
operation and understanding. The crisis of the present situ-
ation from the supply and transportation standpoint will
probably be reached within from sixty to ninety days. To
properly meet it the Military Board of Allied Supply and the
General Staff must practically function as a unit. The
authority actually existing in the Military Board of Allied
Supply in connection with matters of coordination, under the
terms of the agreements which you secured from M. Cle-
menceau, is great and it is necessary that it should be. Power
governing the rear of the three armies cannot be exercised
by the staff of a separate army nor can the powers of the
Military Board of Allied Supply be set in motion in the way
that you intended unless its decisions, approved directly by
you and based upon a common viewpoint (impossible to be
obtained by a staff not represented on the Board), are ac-
cepted by each army as automatically and in as unquestioned
a manner as a direct order from a Commander-in-Chief him-
self. Conflicts having their roots in human nature, which are
inevitable between two bodies with concurrent jurisdictions,
one acting under one authority and one under another, must
be avoided. A very sure prevention for this between the
General Staff and the Military Board of Allied Supply is to
have the supreme authority of the unit, to wit, yourself or
the General Staff, represented authoritatively on any outside



A: REPORT TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 311

board which is created to coordinate and regulate the unit.
It is a tribute to your great Staff that as yet the Military
Board of Allied Supply has experienced from it only the
closest cooperation and understanding. If this does not
continue, it will arise out of the fact alone that there cannot
be between the General Staff and myself as the present mem-
ber of the Board continuous juxtaposition and common
knowledge of all the elements of a problem. The first view-
point of the Staff is properly the necessities of the A.E.F.
irrespective of necessities directly counter of the three
armies considered as one. With the General Staff in pos-
session of the complete knowledge in detail, derived from
the composite pictures of the necessities of the three armies
presented by the Military Board of Allied Supply, a more
proper military coordination and cooperation will be reached.
As you yourself have indicated, the A.E.F. may be in a po-
sition under certain circumstances and at certain times where
it must subordinate and subrogate its temporary needs for
the common good in order to make sure in the long run its
own existence through final victory. The General Staff can-
not be the judges of what is in the long run for the interest of
the A.E.F. until it is put in a position by knowledge of the
facts relating to the three armies as to what is essential and
what is not essential for the A.E.F. to do as a unit in its own
best interest. I therefore suggest that you personally appoint
as a member of the Military Board of Allied Supply, either
in my place or as an additional member, either the Chief
of Staff, General Moseley, or Colonel Eltinge. I am of the
opinion that to have the American and French rears properly
coordinated, an authority to match Colonel Payot's, who is in
command of the French rear in the Zone of the Advance,
should exist in the representation of the A E.F. upon this
Board. The gentlemen named have had experience arising
not only out of military service, but continued contact with
the technical rear of our own army, neither of which I have
had. They also have the bird's-eye view of the operations
of the rear of the A.E.F., which is as essential to a proper
understanding of its necessities as is the knowledge arising
only out of a membership on the Military Board of Allied
Supply of the necessities of the rear of the Allied armies con-
sidered as one. An order of the Military Board of Allied
Supply thus constituted would produce a mental status quo
on the part of the chiefs of the American services much more



312 JOURNAL OF THE GREAT WAR

conducive to prompt and efficient action than would other-
wise be the case. If the Military Board of Allied Supply was
known by the army to be expressing the conviction of the
Commander-in-Chief personally, which of course is always
the case, since its every action is first submitted to you, at-
tention would be given primarily by the chiefs of the services
to carrying out its mandates with less discussion of their
wisdom which tends to delay.

CHARLES G. DAWES, Colonel, Engineers

AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF

France, September 2, 1918

RT. HON. VISCOUNT MILNER, G.C.D.
Secretary of State for War

London, England
MY DEAR LORD MILNER:

The attached letter of Colonel Dawes clearly sets forth the
importance of the coordination work of the Military Board
of Allied Supply in the rear of the three armies, as well as the
necessity for the closest touch with it by the General Staff of
each army.

Desiring to keep Colonel Dawes as the American member,
I have not followed his suggestion to substitute a member
of my General Staff in his place, but have given him author-
ity, in his discretion, to call in members of the Staff and
Chiefs of the Services to assist him.

Therefore, in the case of the French and American armies
there is the closest contact and cooperation of the General
Staffs with the Military Board of Allied Supply. The British
General Staff, however, does not have direct representation
on the Board, since the British member represents the War
Office alone.

Since, for the preservation of final authority of the re-
spective Commanders-in-Chief over the lines of communica-
tions of their respective armies, Marshal Haig and I have
not acceded to Marshal Foch's desire for a central control of
the rear under Colonel Payot, and since this Board provides
a proper agency for central control, without lessening the final
authority, I earnestly request that the British General Staff
be given representation on the Board in addition to the War
Office in order to further strengthen it in its important work.



A: REPORT TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 313

If General Travers-Clarke should be directly represented
on the Board as is a similar authority in the other two armies,
much delay in its work would be avoided and its general
purposes be effectively forwarded.

With expression of my high personal and official esteem,
believe me

Respectfully yours

JOHN J. PERSHING

P.S. My previous correspondence on this subject was
directed to the Prime Minister.

J. J- P.

General Headquarters,
September 14, 1918

From: The Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief, British Ar-
mies in France.
To: General Pershing, Commander-in-Chief, American

Expeditionary Force.
SIR:

I have the honor to bring to your notice that, acting under
instructions received from the War Office, I have appointed
Major-General R. Ford, Deputy Quartermaster-General at
my General Headquarters, to be Senior British Representa-
tive on the Inter-Allied Supply Board.

I feel sure that this action on the part of the War Office
will meet with your entire approval, since it means the
direct representation of each Allied General Headquarters
on this Inter-Allied Board, which now assumes the character
of an Inter-Allied Army Board.
I have the honor to be, Sir

Your obedient Servant

D. HAIG, Field Marshal

Commanding-in- Chief

British Armies in France

Beneficial Activities of the Board in coordinating Army

Services

Before comment upon the accomplishments of the Board,



Online LibraryCharles Gates DawesA journal of the great war (Volume 1) → online text (page 27 of 30)