St-MihfelMe-e-ArgonneDocuments of the High Command Pertaining to Both Operations
Les Armees Francaises dans la Grande Guerre, Tome VII, Vol. I,Annexes. 1st Volume: Letter
Plans for Renewal of Offendue
[Editorial Translation]General StaffCOMMANDER-IN-CHIEFALLIEDARMIES,No. 1848 (Annex 51June 27.1918.General Foch. Commander-in-Chief, Allied ArmiesTo Commander-in-Chief. Armies of North and NortheastIt is important to begin consideration, immediately, of a renewal of the offensive bythe Allied Armies, in 1918. as soon as available means permit.In order that this offensive may be launched at the proper time and under the bestpossible conditions, it is necessary that, from this moment, the command, as well as thetroops which are to execute it be prepared.For the command, it is essential that the staffs clearly oriented concerning themethod of procedure which will be most suitable, bearing in mind instructions on thissubject recently published.Obviously, there can be no question of again issuing instructions concerning the offen-sive simultaneously regulating principles and details of application. What is required, isto state governing principles in a broad directive and, insofar as their application is con-cerned. to depend upon the initiative of the leaders (army and army corps commanders) whowill be responsible for the conduct of operations.Therein leaders will certainly be able to find, from the additional experience whichthey have gamed during recent combats, and from German documents which have recently comeinto our possession, means whereby they will be able to put into practice the method whichwill be indicated to them.Any other method of procedure would, moreover, entail inadmissible delays on accountof the little time which remains at our disposal before renewal of operations.In addition, we must take account of the fact that our offensive mass will probablyconsist of Allied troops [French, American, British].In order that these various troops may be able to act harmoniously it is indispensablethat their staffs immediately receive some indication as to the general ideas which are toguide them in their preparations, as well as concerning the documents to which they can refer.Such a directive having been issued, it will become a question of conditioning thetroops so that they will be able to attack in accordance with the method which is adopted.