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Volume 8 Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces

Volume 8 Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces

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Published by Paul D Carrier

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Published by: Paul D Carrier on Feb 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE ST-MIHIEL OPERATIONSeptember 12-16, 1918
At an Interallied conference held on July 24. 1918, at Bombon, it was decided thatAmerican forces should reduce the St-Mihiel salient.Concentrations for this purpose wereinitiated during August and, on August 13, 19 18, American First Army Headquarters openedat Neufchateau. Later, these headquarters were moved to Ligny-en-Barrois where GeneralPershing took command of the entire Woevre area on August 30. 19 18.Plans for the St-Mihiel Operation crystallized by September 2. 19 18 and it wasdecided that, (1) the operation would take place about September 10, against both thesouthern and western faces of the salient and, (2) an attack to extend from the MeuseRiver on the east to the Argonne Forest, inclusive, on the west, would be carried out bythe American First Army about September 20-25.(Actually this latter operation began onSeptember 26 and is known as the Meuse-Argonne Operation.)At 1 a. m. on September 12, 1918, the American First Army began its St-Mihiel offen-sive. By midnight of September 13, occupation of the limited objective of the operationwas practically complete and stabilization of the front was begun from the Moselle Rivernorth of Pont-a-Mousson. through Thiaucourt. Vigneulles-les-Hattonchatel to Les Eparges.
Order of Battle*(Left
to Right)
American First Army: General John J. Pershing, CommandingBrigadier General Hugh A. Drum, Chief of StaffAmerican V Corps: Major General George H. Cameron, CommandingAmerican 4th DivisionFrench 15th Colonial DivisionAmerican 26th Division
At time of organization
French II Colonial Corps: Major General Ernest J. BlondlatFrench 2d Cavalry Division (Dismounted)French 26th DivisionFrench 39th Colonial DivisionAmerican IV Corps: Major General Joseph T. Dickman, CommandingAmerican 1st DivisionAmerican 42d DivisionAmerican 89th DivisionAmerican I Corps: Major General Hunter Liggett. CommandingAmerican 2d DivisionAmerican 5th DivisionAmerican 90th DivisionAmerican 82d DivisionThe following American divisions were in corps reserve:ForV Corps -4th Division (less8th Inf. Brig.)11l-V ”- 3d Division11II,- 78th Division-2-
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.

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