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U. S.

ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS HISTORICAL STUDIES


GAS WARFARE IN W O W , WAR I
TH 33rd DMSION ALONG THE MEUSE
October 1918

U.S. h y Chemical corps Hutorid Office


W e e of the Chief Cbemicak Officer
Washington, D.C.
study No 8 JW 1958
The 33rd Division Along the Meuse
October 1918

rus fnarAns IN mBLD WAR I

Study Number 8
U.8. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS
HISTORICAL STUDIES

U.8. Army Chemical Corps Historion1 Offioe


Office of the Chief Chemical Officer
&my Chemioal Center, Maryland

196a
~ I
The 33rd Division Along t h e Meuse
October 19l.8

Prepared by

Bexmond C. Cochrane, Ph.D.

Under Contract D.4-18-108-CML-6214

with

U.8. Chmioal Corps

This i s an aocepted d r a f t study on gas warfare in World War I

Brigadier General, USA


Asst CCmlO for Planning k Doctrine
Foreword
.
This is a t e n t a t i v e study of t h e gas experienoe of

t h e 33rd Dlvlsion Along t h e Meuse during World W a r 1-

This study is presented 6 s a definitivm and o f f l o i a l

hlstory, but Is reproduced for aurrent reference use

r l t h i n t h e M i l i t a r y Establlahmsnt peodlng t h e publlaa-

t i o n of an approved history.

The author was assisted i n h l s researoh by Yr. Cuy

F. Poodfo:ion and Yrs. Charlotte I[. Bolln.

Note t o Peaerr Comments and suggestions r e l a t i v e


t o aoouracy and adequacy of treatment are invited, and
m y be t r m ' d t t e d t o t h e Chief, U.S. Army Chemical Corps
Historical Offloe, Army Chemioal Center. Maryland.
THE YSRD DIVISION ALONG TBB MEUSP
Oot ober 1918

H u r a t iw

Gas Disaipllne. . . . . . . . . 2
Plan of Attaok. . s . . . . . . . . . . 7 -
The Halt on the Corps O b j e o t l w - . . . . . 12 &

Harassing Fire wlth HE and Gas. . a . . . . 17

Resumption of the Advance . . a 26

Gas Attack on the B o i s dea Moriaux. . . . . . . + 32

Aoross t h e Meuse o .. e 0 o o . S0

Beenforoementa t o the East B a n k . . a . . . . 49

HS~tuation....untenabls...oondit~onof men...deaperaten. . . 58

ModestQalne . o o o a . . 66
. . .
0 9 0 0

3na o f t h e Cempalgn . . . , . 68

Bnalysia

The Battle Casualties o f the S3rd Division. . . . . . . 76

The Gas Casualties. . . . . o . a . . . 78

Gas Mask Exhaustion . . . . - * o . . . . 81

GesandIIEShelle * * - o e e o a 86

Use o f Gas by t h e 62nd F i e l d A r t i l l e r y . . . . . . . 93

The Yellow Cross Division . . . . . . . . . 94


-
?!E
Yap No. 1 Forgea Seotor, 26 Sep - 1 Oot. . 6

Map No. 2
- .
Area o f Operations, 331.6 Division,
LO Sep 20 Oot . . 10

Map NO. S Situation dea Poroes h e m i e s , 25 Sep . . . 11

Yap No. 4
30 8- * . . .
Approxhte Msposltion of 3Srd Division.
10

. . .
1

Map Bo. 6 -
Patrol Yap, 130th Infantry. 2 S Oot 29

Sketch of Brleulles . . . . . . . 30
Map No. 6 - . .
Bituation Ysp, 129th Ideatry, 2 8 Oot 53

Map No. 7 . . .
Sltuation des Poroes bumies, 8 O o t 40

Mnp No. 8 - . .
F i f t h Qsrmen Army Legenlcorto. 8 Oot 41

lrsp NO. 9 Lea Cote0 de YeuSe *. . . 42


Map No. 10 . . . .
Contra-Attque Allemande, 0 Oot 47

nap N O . 11 Situation M q , 129th Infwtry. D 20 Oob


b Overlay Approxinnte Diaposltion of 38rd Dir. 10 O O t
- . 66

Map No. 12
.
Yep t o A o o ~ s n yField Bofer...8aSt
Yeuse
Or the
. 66
Yep NO. 13 Fifth Oe- Lagenkarfe, 11 OOt . . 65

Pap No. 14 Situation des Poroea Snnmies, 16 Oot . 72


THE 33rd DIVXSION ALONG THE YBUS
OCTOBER 19l8

On t h e flraf day of t h e Meuse-Argome offenslve, B u l l a r d f s I11 Corps,


along t h e Keuse. was t o advance t o a position above Brieu1les-su~MeuN.

. On the seoond day t h e corps was t o oross t h e riwr and outflank t h e enmy
a r t i l l e r y and observation positlons on t h e heights e a s t of t h e Meuse. -
When t h e left and center of 111 Corps delayed halhray t o t h e Army
r
Objective on t h e f i r s t day, t h e enemy recovered f r o m h l s f l l g h t and iroln

superior p o s l t l o n s on both sides of t h e Meuse stopped t h e ndwnoe o f 111

Corps before Brleulles w i t h deadly aocurate a r t i l l e r y and maahhe gun

fire end w l t h gas.

For almost two weeks, under ceaseless harasslng f i r e r l t h HE and ga.,


t h e 3Srd Dlvlslon, on t h e r i g h t tlnnk of I11 Corps, held i t s posltlone

along t h e Meuse. On 8 Ootober it s p l i t its foroes and crossed t h e r i m

in en effort t o t a k e t h e helghta by f r o n t a l assault. Weakened by t h e gas

c a s u a l t i e s suffered west of the Meuse, t h e division was In no o o n d l t i o n t o

undertake such M assault. Both e a s t and lrest of t h e Meuse t h e r e were t o

be almost twioe as many gas a a s u a l t i e s and BB casualties. In t h e oplnion


of one of t h e dlvision medloal offioers, .every offlcer a d mnn in t h e
Division, worklng with combat b a t t a l l o n s &d in other orgmirations 0p-a-

ting.o.near t h e front, was gassed t o some degree during t h e operations

along t h e Meuse river."'

Rpt, Medlcal Officer, l h r d MG En, i n Xed H l s t of t h e 33rd Dlv, pa


26 (Med Dept Box 5704, fo1 1).

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Despite, or, possibly beoause of, t h e leva]. of gas d i s o i p l l n e t h a t seems

t o h a w been maintained in t h e dlvlsion, and t h e deep concern f o r gas d i s -


c l p l i n e by t h e higher oommsnd, it was gas nask exhaustion as maoh as b a t t l e

exhaustion t h a t wore out t h e division. This i s t h e study of a divislon t h a t


.
- was gassed incessantly u n t l l it broke dom.

1
Gas Dlsolpllne

The S3mJ Mvlrlon, born irm i t s l n s l g n l a as t h e Yellow Cross Division,

was organized a t Camp b g M , T-s, in Augu.t 1917 f r a o Illinois Ilationnl


Guard u n i t s brought up from duty along t h e Rio Grande. The d i v i s i o n a o r

prlsed the 129th and 130th Regiments, 66th Brigade, under Brlg. Gen. Edward

Lo King; t h e 151st snd 15216 BerlmeAs, 88th Brlgade, under Brig. Gen. Paul
B o l f r t h e 58th FA Brigade (whloh dld not join the d l r i s l o n ln &MOO untll

a f t e r t h e mr)i and maohlne gun, englnwr. signal, and s a n i t a r y t r a i n om-

ponsnts. In o d of t h e d i v l s l o n -6 M P j . Qen. Gwrge B e l l . Jr., %om


t o t h e whole Regnlar Army as p e r h q s t h e most emoting inspector general

t h a t was ever In it.*'

By Iebbl-uary 1918 t h e oustomvy administrative and personnel d i t f i o u l t l e s

of organlaation had been s u f f i o i e n t l y resolved t o begin intensive t r a i n l n g

sohoollug of t h e dlvislon, during whloh "the infantzy was given t o u r s of

d u t y l n a system of trenohes and was subjected t o gas a t t a a k s arranged by

t h e B r i t i s h and Frenoh i n s t r u o t o r s t o slmulate as closely as possible aotual


0

2-
i Xaj. Gene Robert 1. Eullard, P e r s o n a l i t i e s and Bemlnlscenses of t h e Uar
(Bern York, 1926). pe 268.

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b a t t l e conditions of t h e A l l i e d western f r o n t . " 3

In A p r i l t h e d i v i s i o n reoeived over 7,000 r e c r u i t s , t o b r i n g it up t o

strength, and a month l a t e r s a i l e d f o r France. Moving t o i t s t r a i n i n g a r e a

near Abbevtlle, t h e 33rd Division began t h e program of r e t r a i n i n g p r e s c r i b e d

. by GIIQ AEF, under t h e eye of t h e Fourth B r i t i s h Amy, and on 4 July, much

a g a i n s t the wishes of Pershing, f o u r companies o f t h e 131st and 1J2nd In- -


f a n t r y p a r t i c i p a t e d w i t h A u s t r a l i a n t r o o p s i n a minor o p e r a t i o n a g a i n s t t h e
.-
t o r n of H a m e l , east of Amiens. On 9 August, t h e e n t i r e 131st I n f a n t r y took

p a r t i n a B r i t i s h o p e r a t i o n in t h e Soume valley. In n two-day b a t f l e f o r


h r e s s a i r e Wood, t h e 131st l o s t 385 o f f i c e r s end men, and another 570 casual-

t i e s were suffered i n t h e reek t h a t followed as t h e 1 3 1 s t held t h e rood

a g a i n s t almost continuous HE and gas f i r e . 4

On 23 August, t h e d i v i s i o n left t h e B r l t l s h f r o n t f o r t h e Toul seotor


for f i n a l brigade and d i v i s i o n maneuvers, and was jolned t h e r e by t h e artll-

l e r y t h a t i n s t o serve it in t h e ooming campaign, t h e 52nd FA Brigade (27th

Division). under Brig. Gen. George A* Wingate. Two weeks l a t e r t h e d i v i s i o n

was placed under t h e XVII French Corps, Seoond French Army, and entered

+
Frederio L. Huidekoper, The H i s t o r y of t h e 33rd Division. A.E.F.
(Springfield, 1921). I, 21. h e H i s t o r by t h e Division Adjutant, comprises
four volumss in t h e series, Illino s n t h e World War, t h e f i r s t wlrnne of
which is t h e n a r r a t i v e h i s t o r y . The documentation is oomplete, but t h e h i s -
t o r y i s s l n g u l a r l y devoid of any opinion o r judgment. Nowhere in t h e h i s t o r y
P i s t h e Division Gas O f f i c e r , ls4 Lt. 'A. E. Vawter, mentioned, nor does any
record of h i s appear among t h e documents.

4
Histor -
I, 30, 35 49; Col J. B. Sanborn, CO 131st Inf. Rpt on Opus
of 8 d g . 18 Aug (33rd Div Box 17, 20.1). SOIS, 131st Inf, 10 19 -
bug (same f i l e ) i n d i o a t e t h a t phosgene and/or mustard gas was f i r e d on 131st
Inf p o s i t i o n s on e v e r y one of t h o s e days.

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t h e line along H i l l 304-ylort Hme-Cumieres, n o r t h r e s t of Verdun, oompleting

t h e rellef of t h e French u n i t e 3n t h e morn- of 10 September (Map No, 1).

n e t h e r or not it was theliB)ressaire Wood experience t h a t a l e r t e d t h e

d i v i s i o n , t h e 33rd, on oaming i n t o t h e l i n e , had a h i g h l y gas- oonscious 0019-

mando

- we are now in t h e gas Lono area....$very p o s s i b l e p r e c a u t i o n w i l l be tekcn


regarding paso The D i v i s i o n Comander d i r e e t s and i n s i s t s upon s t r i o k aom-
p l i a n c e w i t h h i s d l r e b t i w t h a t gas o f f i c e r s and ACOOa be used f o r no o t h e r
* purpose sxoept for g a s i n s t n a a t l o n and enforcement o f gas r e g u l a t i o n s .

The 132nd I n f a n t r y acted pr-tly i n t h e case of a breaoh of g a s d i s a l p l i n s r

I t has been observed t h a t m e n a t t a a h e d t o t r a n s p o r t and supply oompanles arb


wry careless about t h e i r helmets and r e s p i r a t c r s ~ ~ . . B a t t a l i o n ,company and
platoon commanders will begin at once a thorough i n s p e a t i o n of t h e i r 8 e O t O r s
t o see h a t s t e e l helmets and gas r e s p i r a t o r s are worn a t a l l times by a l l
troops. 2
This concern was a l s o e d d e n t i n m i n c i d e n t t h a t occurred on t h e a f t e r n o o n

of 13 September, Durir,: a gas m a s k i n s p e o t i o n of Battery D, 106th FAB a

number of wm from t h e 3rd Battalion. 131st Infantry, t h e v e t e r a n s of

Grensaire Wood, stood around and made remarks " t o t h e e f f e c t t h a t g a s was a

joke and, having been under fire s e v e r a l times, t h e y were wise enough now

not t o bother cnrryiF; masks., On numerous o t h e r occasions t h e y ihd laughed

and attempted t o make fun of t h e a r t i 1 : e r p e n waring masks."

The i n c i d e n t w a s reported by t h e b a t t e r y 6omme.nder a s d e t r l m e n t a l t o g a s

d i s c i p l i n e , and t e n indorsements on h i s l e t t e r i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e matter was

not t a k e n l i g h t l y . For one reek. a l l oompaniea of the 3rd B a t t a l i o n were

5
FQs 32 and 33, 132nd I d , 7 and 9 Sep (33rd Div Box 20. 92.1)- Such
oarelessness in d i s c i p l i n e had been general throughout t h e d i v i s i o n earlier,
See l t r Col E. Do Ardery, CGO 11 Corpe t o Asst CofS 0
Tng in 33rd Div (33rd Div Box 11. 5 5 ) .
-
3. 24 Jul, sub, Gas

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ID

. .:

.
,.


FO~G.ES SICT-, US..,-, Oc:t

,
given an e x t r a hour of gas mask d r i l l d a i l y and had read t o them a t eaoh as-

sembly a l e t t e r from the 131st ?!fantry coauPander describing the o f f m s e &

olosrng with t h e warning t h a t

A continuation of t h i s S p i r i t w i l l r e s u l t sooner o r l a t e r in a large number


of c a s u a l t i e s in your organization, when in a c t i o n or subjeot t o gas attaoks,
and t h e f a o t cannot be lmpresaed too strongly upon every man t h a t h i s l i f e
depelds upon s t r i o t conformity t o orders governing gas defense.6 *

On the t h i r d day of t h e St. Mihiel operation, t h e 3Srd Division and t h e


79th t o i t s left passed t o t h e oommand of Bullard's I11 Corps, and prepara-

t i o n s began f o r t h e o c d n g Yeuse-Argonne offensive. During t h i s perlod,

*utmost stress was l a i d upon the absolute nscossity f o r every proomtion

against h o s t i l e a e r i a l observation and gas a t t a ~ k s . " ~S t r e s s was a l s o Lald

upon t h e neoessity f o r q u i e t and a m i n k of movement, t o oonoeal the in-

tensive preparations being made j u s t behind t h e f r o n t l i n e s f o r t h e oming

assault. A memo fYom the -55th Brigade commander t o d i v i s i o n headquarters

reported an outbreak nearby8

F;, h z a , rsoeived very s t r i o t orders from youi offioe t o keep quiet, out o f

fire, grenades. and heaven k n


--
sight. and do everything possible t o prevbnt t h e anemy i'rom thinking any-
body i s here. The 79th on my l e f t is raising h e l l nurohine guns, r i f l e
m what. My only hope is t h a t they are doing
SO much t h e boahe will r e a l i r a they a r e a rookie o u t f i t and not pay any a t -
t e n t i o n t o it, but can't you do scmethlng t o g e t it stoppedt8

6
Ltr, CO Bty D 106th FA t o CO 106th FA, 13 Sop, subs Gas Diao of Inf.
and 10 I d s (33rd D i r BOX 46, 400.73)-

'I
History, I. 50 - 59.
*

8
Memo, B r i g Gen King t o CofS 33rd Div, 18 Sep (3316 Div Box 13, 32.15).

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Fortunately, as t h e d i v i s i c h i s t o r y said, most of the week m s marked by

bad weather... [ma the oomparative supineaess o f t h e enemy a r t i l l e r y .


On 19 September, a four-page t r a i n l n g o i r a u l a r on gas defense, w i t h
p a r t i c u l a r emphasis on mustard gas, was d i s t r i b u t e d throughout t h e d i v i s l a r .

T h i s olrcular. which was t h e f i r s t issued by t h e d i v i s i o n t o order temporary

evacuation ot position0 contaminated with mustard gas t o alterllate p o d -


-
tions, superseded all gas t r a i n i n g c i r c u l a r s up t o t h a t d a t e e n 9 The divi-

sion was t o have need f o r a l l t h e gas disoipline it oould muster, for it


.
was t o be under gas a t t a a k every day it spent along t h e meuse.

On t h e night of 2 1 - 22 September, t h e 4th and 80th Divisions ware in-

serted betreen t h e 79Ch nnd 33rd. and on 24 Septsmbr t h e d i v i s i o n reosived

t h e order f o r t h e attaek.

Plan of Attack
The First Army p l a n was t o a t t a o k in t h e d i r e a t i o n of Busaaoy and

Stonne, w i t h 111 Corps (including the 33rd pivision) cu t h e r i g h t maintain-

ing l i a i s o n with Claudels XVII Yrenoh Corps. holding f a s t e a s t Of the


Meuse, end w i t h I Corps on t h e f a r left keeping in touch w i t h t h e advance of

Mangins Fourth French Army.


The mission of 111 Corps was t o advanoe across t h e Butssew de Forges

(Forges Brook) north t o t h e Boia de Foret, above Briaulles-sur-Yeuse, t h e

9
Tng Ciro 177 (33rd Div Box 10, 50.9). There i a no reoord t h a t t h e of-
f i c e r and 30 NCOs per week authoriaed t o attend AEF and I Corps Gas Schools
beginning 6 Oot, d i d soo By then. oimumstances a e r t a i n l y a i l i t a t a d against =
it. (Ltr, TAG AF.F t o CG 33rd Div. 21 Sap, sub$ Instru in 0.8 Do?. 33rd Div
Box 47. 565.2).

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33rd division wheeling and organizing t h e west bank of t h e Mmse as quiokly

as possible t o p r o t e c t t h e rmy ILdvanoe (see Map No. 1).

The i n i t l a # ob eotive of I11 Corps was t h e enmys Hagen Stellung, a

ser.cs of trenches extending, =st of t h e Meuse, f r o m north and rest of

Malancourt throtgh t h e Bois de Forges t o t h e river. Beyoad l a y t h e Corps


Objeotive, t h e Volker Stellung oomplex, which ran from Yontblainrille, on

t h e edge of t h e Argonne Forest, aoroes t h e front t o Dannevoux. In t h e 1x1


Corps sector, it skirted south of Yontfaucon, thence between t h e Bols de

Sachet and t h e B o i s den Dola, and up t h e e a s t edge of t h e B o i s Jure t o

the Meuse. Both enemy position8 were t o be overrun on t h e morning of t h e

f i r s t day.

Above the f i r s t two enmy positions was t h e Kriemhil.de Stellung, a

defensive b e l t on t h i s front f r y tho B o i s des Ogons t o Brieulles-sur-

Meuse. with a second s e r i e s of p o s i t i o n s above t h a t from &devanne t o Dun-

sur-Meuse0l0 The Army Objective, through t h e first l i n e of the Kriemhilde

Stellung and including t h e heights of Bomagne, Cunel, d d Brieulles, m s

t o be reached during t h e afternoon of t h e first day. Penetration of the


11
Kriemhilde Stellung was t o be oompleted by e q l o i t a t i o n t h a t night.

The S9rd M v i s i o n w a s t o a t t a c k between t h e Passarelle du Don ( a

footbridge acroas Forges Brook midway betreen Bethinoourt and t h e Youlin

10
Hietoly, 61 - 62. 65 - 67.
11
M 20, F i r s t Army, 15 hrs. 20 Sop, par S(X)S (U. 5. Army in the
World Wars 1917-1919 (1948). I& 87; F i r s t &my Box 32).

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do Raffecourt) and t h e Meuse, and i n one bound t a k e D r i l l a n c o u r t and t h e Bois

de Forges, advance t o Dannevoux and organize t h e r i v e r f r o n t from D m e v o u x

down t o Cote de l'Oie (Kap No. 2 ) The a t t a c k was t o be made by t h e 66th Brig-

ade, w i t h two b a t t a l i o n s each of t h e 131st and 1321x3 I n f a n t r y in l i n e , r e m -

forced by Company A, 1st Gas and Flame Regiment, and accompanied by nine

tanks. "Proper p r e c a u t i o n s (<ere


- t o b d exercised a g a i n s t gas i n passing :

through woods and low ground."12

Opposite 111 Corps from Malsncourt t o t h e Meuse were t h e 117th end _I

7 t h Reserve Divisions. -
A 1 1 r e s e r v e s were east of t h e Ibeuse, s i n c e FiPth

5fully expected t h e next attaok,extending t h e S t . Mihiel operation, t o

be made i n t h a t s e c t o r (Zap No. 3). The rolling ground before I11 Corps

gave l i t t l e observational advantage t o t h e enemy f o r c e s on t h e immediate

f r o n t , but t h e enemy on the east bank o f t h e Meuse had a c l e a r f i e l d of

observation w e l l t o t h e south o f Forges Brook, and h i s a r t i l l e r y on t h e

C o t e s de Meuse commanded both s i d e s of t h e river.

F i r s t Army appears t o have been somewhat sanguine about t h e defensive

value of t h e Meuse i n i t s note t h a t t h e river provided " easy p r o t e c t i o n

for t h e r i g h t or e a s t f l a n k of t h e proposed operation," yet it expressed

s o m concern about p o s s i b l e enemy observation and fire from Hill 382, be-

low Bois Plat-Chene, and from t h e summits in t h e Bois d e l a Grande

_-
FO 23, 33rd Div. 9r00 a.m., 24 Sep, esp p a r 3(h)8 (33rd Div Box 5,
32.1). "In c a s e of an advance Bois de Forges would undoubtedly be gassed.
It should be cleaned up q u i c k l y and vaoated." Addenda t o I n t e l E u l 2,
33rd Div. 2 0 Sep (33rd Div Box 3, 20.6). But t h e enemy d i d not g a s t h e -
Hood during t h e a t t a c k .

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::.

:
jl
. M.AP .1"40. 5
M ~ n t a g n e . ~A S~ a r e s u l t , )[vII Renoh corps was d i r e c t e d t o join in the pre-

paratory bombardment. t o make deep r a i d s a t H hour, end t o a s s i s t qe


111

c o r p s , and d i v i s i o n a l W t i l h r y in an intense 15-mlnute n e u t r a l i z a t i o n with

yperite of knom h o s t i l e a r t i l l e r y and observation points on the Meuse


14
heightso

The Balk on t h e Corps o b j e a t i r e

A h a l f hour before midnight on 25 September, corps a r t i l l e r y began i t s


preparation f o r t h e attack. A t 0250 t h e 26th t h e Army a r t i l l e r y joined

ins and t h e 108th Engineers began oonatruotion of nine passages over t h e

marsh through which Forges Brook rau. using 12.000 faeoinee It had pre-

viously prepared. A t 0530 t h e d i v i s i o n a l a r t i l l e r y , reenfomed by twelva


French b a t t e r i e s , began i t s bombarezient Of W a r enemy P O s i t ~ O n Sand put a

standing barrage on t h e Bethincourt-Forges road as t h e troops aeme up and

began crossing t h e marsh." There is 110 eridenos t h a t 111 Corps or 35rd

Division a s s i s t e d i n t h e n e u t r a l i z a t i o n of t b Meuse heights.

Mvanoing with a r t i l l e r y d machine gun barrages end ooncealed in

smoke morning fog. t h e a t t s o k b a t t a l i o n s of t h e 66th Brigade crossed

_.
C - 3 Rpt, F i r s t Army, 7 Sep (USA i n the HU, Ix, 73 - 74).
14
Po 20, F l r s f Army, 15 hrs, 20 Sep, para 3(C), 3(H)6; Amex 1, bploy-
ment o f Army Arty. 19 Sep ( U U in t h e W, 4 85, 86 - 87, 96).

15
Of t h e 80,OOO rounds f i r e d by 111 Corps t h a t day, 3Srd Div a r t i l l e r y
fired 36,000 75-mm and 5.000 155-mm rounds (SO1 16, 33rd Div, 25
in 33rd Div BOX 2, 2001).
26 Sep, -

- 12 -
t h e enemyrire and trenches, m e t l i t t l e opposition, and between 1,000 and

1,330 had flanked the Bois de Forges and reached t h e Corps and Army Objeo-

tlves, from L a i t e r i e de Belhaine, e a s t of Dannevoux, dorn t o the e a s t e r n

edge of the Bois de Forges, opposite Brabant, between f i v e and seven k i l r -

meters from the l i n e of departure. &ring the l a s t few hundred y a r d s ad-


vance. reported one battalion, "The e n t i r e skyline in f r o n t was dotted with =
fleeing Boche.""

In t h e advance t h a t morning, t h e 131st Infautry l o s t 1 offioer and 19

men k i l l e d , 2 o f f i o e r s and 131 men wounded, bile t h e 132nd Infantry l o s t

1 o f f i c e r and 15 men k i l l e d and 72 men rounded, f o r a t o t a l o f 241 b a t t l e


aasualties. Almost 1,400 prisoners h a been taken, a s re11 as 42 guns and

mortars and 161 machine guns. 17

Similarly ovsrruning t h e enemy forces on t h e i r fronts, t h e 80th and

4th Divisions t o t h e left of t h e 33rd advanced t o t h e Corps Objeotive on

t h e morning of the 26th and halted there t o nit f o r V Corps, stopped a t

Montfaucon, t o come abreast. When ordered t o c o n t i m e t h e ndvanoe without


V Corps. almost six hours l a t e r . it was too l a t e . The h a l t a t t h e Corps

Objeative, w e l l below Brieulles, had been decisive. The r e t r e a t i n g enemy

had stopped and manned his defensive positions in t h e rear, as nearby re-

serve forces c u m d m t o f i l l gaps in t h e line and d i s f n n t IoseIIo forces

17
I, 76, 80; Brig Oen Wolf, Opns in the Mort H o m w SeoCor,
Box 15, 33.6); r p t , 13lst Z n f Sugsgsment in Forges Woood,
26 Sep (33rd Div Box 19, 33.6).

- 13 -
were s e t In motion. 18

Elements of t h e 5t." Yavarinn EleBeW Division, oming in t o support t h e

-
117th and 7th Reserve D l v l a l o n s i n t h e event of attack, had arrived a t

Vilomes at 0515, 26 September. A t 1025 t h e (iermnn coppaad l a m e d that the

Americana had broken through t h e defense line e a s t of Xontfaucon, and a t


-_ . 1155 elrrmants o f the divleion were aoross t h e Meuse and on t h e nsst edge of

the &is du Fays. A t IBW, i t s 12th Regimnt had attaoked t h e 4 t h and 80th
Dlrislona oomlng through t h e Bola de Septsarges. 1 9

On t h e 27th. agalnst mounting resistanoe, t h e l e f t of t h e I11 Corps

l i n e lnohed forward, oomlag t o a stop along t h e l l n e H i l l 295-weetern edge


. of Bois de Beptsarges-through the Bois de Brleulles- Hill 280-north edge of

Bole d e la Cote L m n o n t e 2 ' After t h e great s t r i d e made t h e first day, F i r s t


Army had OOLW t o a stnnflrtill along Apremont-~autlllola-Bois de La Cote

Lemonto The Army ObJeotlva ras not t o be reaohed f o r another f i f t e e n days.


The W a r Dlary of b r t l l l e r i e Komando ( k r 9s. 7th Reserve Dlvlaion,
reported t h e new d i s p o s i t i o n of troops and weapons made on t h e afternoon

of t h e 26th. As t h e Americans atopped t h e i r pursuit about noontime, the

18
Too l a t e , Fo 27, B i r d A r q , 29850 hra, 28 Sep, was t o say t h a t corps
were t u advance within t h e i r zones of m t i o n without renard t o ob.iectives.
See o r i g i n a l p a t t e r n of objeotives, USA in t h e RW, IX, il. Cf. Liddell
Hart, The Real War, 1914-1918 (Boston 1931) ppa 465 666- -
19
-_
5th Bav Be8 Dlv WD, 2 6 Sep (5th Bnv Res Div IIDdcA, 25 Sep
German F l l e a Box 14$, f o l 11. ppe 2 JI. - - 10 l o r ,
20
1x1 corps ppt of opus, 9 Sep - 11 NOT (111 Corps BOX 4, 11.4)*

- 14 -
scattered forceR of the d i v i s i o n halted. t h e 6th Bavarian Reserve Division

arrived t o f i l l in t h e i r gaps, and t h e 147th Infantry, 37th Division, w a s

brought up as support a t Brieulles. Two b a t t a l i o n s of f i e l d guns saved

from capture were put aoross t h e r i v e r near Vilosnes as a flanking group,

and a heavy b a t t a l i o n , two long mortar b a t t e r i e s , and a 16- oannon bat-

t e r y were reorganized back of t h e f i e l d guns as t h e heavy f l d i n g group.


-
A t l e a s t five other f i e l d b a t t e r i e s from reserve w e r e h a s t i l y brought
down t o augment t h e l i g h t flanking group. 2 1

While t h e s e d i s p o s i t i o n s were being made, t h e 1st Austro-Hungarian

-
Division (KuK) was direoted by Maas O s t " t o support with a l l means the

Maas West seator." r e s e t t i n g i t s a r t i l l e r y groups "for operations agalnst

t h e west bank of t h e Meuse." To t h i s end, a number of f i e l d end heavy


b a t t e r i e s from the 15th Division were t r a n s f e r r e d t o spell t h e a r t i l l e r y

groups of t h e 1st AuLustro-Eungarlan.22 On t h e 27th. s t i l l more a r t i l l e r y

wa8 brought down " t o support t h e b r m a n forces on t h a west bank of t h e

Meuse with flanking fire." The a r t i l l e r y of the 1st Austro-Hungarian w a s

ordered " t o put flanking fire in t h e area between Dannevoux-Gercourt and

21

German-
Ark0 95 RD, 26 Sep (7th Be8 Div-Sub Units-WAU, 23 Sep
Box 156. f o l XI, p e 51J. Arko 17 WD, 26 - -
11 Oat,
SO Sep (5th Bay
Re8 Div-Sub Units-WDlA, German F i l e s B o m f o l IIIa. pp. 210 -- ,-
m a t a flanking group remained on the east bank under t h e 7th Bes Dlv,
t h e rest of i t s b a t t e r l e s moving t o t h e B o i s de Cunel and Clery 10 (trende,
t h e i r prinolpal t a r g e t s t h e Bois du Fays, Bois de Brieulles, and Bois Cote
hmont.)

22
26 Sep, and Maas Olrt Opns 0 5803, 26 Sop
l8 Sep x, German M l e s B o x 116,

- 15 -
in t h e Bois d e Forges," t o p r e v e n t enemy orossing of t h e Meuse i n t h a t seo-

t o r , and t o "fire uncondit3onally with e v e r y t h i n g t h e y have. Conservation

of mumunition is o f no importanoe. '23

Z h i l e t h e 7 t h Reserve D i v i s i o n sought t o o o l l e c t i t s s c a t t e r e d foroes

and m o w them i n t o t h e Vilosnes-Slvry seotor. t h e 5 t h Bavarian Reserve

Division, spanning t h e river a t Brleullea. t e m p o r a r i l y oonsolidated t h e


7 t h Reaerw a r t i l l e r y w i t h i t s Own. men t h e 7 t h Reserve was i n plaoe, it

was t o resume oommand of it8 fhnking group on t h e west bank, r e o e i v l n g

missions from Yaaa West.24

Over t h e next s e v e r a l days, as Maas O a t assured i t s d i v i s i o n s on

e i t h e r s i d e of t h e river t h a t t h e r e m a "adequate t i m e t o g e t o u t o r d e r s

for t h e r e g u l a t i o n of methods of a n n i h i l a t i o n f i r @ e a e r e o i p r o o a l grouplng

of artillery...oomnunioations E-* l i a l s o n w i t h neighboring d i v i s i o n s , " t h e

a r t i l l e r y defense was oompleted. 'Large yellor or088 shoots ...kg t o


be prepared" and submitted f o r approval b y 2 O ~ t o b s r . ~ ~

23--
l~aasO s t mi, 26 Sop (German Piles Box 116, f o l I, p. 22); Mnns O a t
I(pt 1651. 27 Sep (German P i l e s Box 116. fol 11, ppe 14 16). -
24
24 Sep
Maas Neat 21at Co s Orders 501, 516, 27
9 Nov. w s Box 60, f o l 11. pp. 34, 36, - n
4
-
29 Sep (Maas West =A,

Notes 7 t h R b s Div arty (hrko 96) operated i n t a o t b u t t h e t r o o p s of


t h e d i v i s i o n seem t o have bsen=ingled w i t h those of t h e 1st A-H Dlv.
The German maps. below, make t h i s o l e a r , b u t no oonfirmhg rpt has been
found.

25
b a s Ost Order 3917, SO Sep (German F i l e s Box 48, f o l 810/SZe1S). A
p r i s o n e r on t h e 28th was t o r e p o r t t h e arrival o f 3 or 4 d i v i s i o n s on I11

-
Corps front. along w i t h much a r t y on t h e e a s t bnnk, i n c l u d i n g long naval
guns (SO1 19, SSrd Div, 28 29 SOP).

- 16 -
Harassing Fire w i t h HE and Gas

On 27 September, as enemy a r t i l l e r y began systematic s h e l l i n g of t h e

Bois de Forges, Cumieres, and t h e back a r e a s , t h e 65th Brigade o f 33rd Div-

ision, l n m t i v e i n t h e a s s a u l t , advanced t o p o s i t i o n s w e s t of Darmevoux

p r e p a r a t o r y t o r e l i e v i n g t h e 8 0 t h Division in t h e Bois do la Cote h o n t and


-.
B o i s de Dannevoux. Driven back r e p e a t e d l y b y enemy machine guns In t h e Bois

du Fays, t h e 4 t h Division needed a s s i s t a n c e , as did V C o r p s t o t h e l o f i t , and ,


f i r s t a regiment. then t h e e n t i r e 8 0 t h Division, was t o be srung around t o

t h e l e f t f l a n k of t h e 4 t h Division. Owing t o d e l a y of orders, a German

c o u n t e r a t t a c k from Brleulles on t h e morning of t h e 28th. and extremely

heavy enemy t i r e w i t h "many gas s h e l l s , " it was t h e morning of t h e 30th be-

f o r e t h e 33rd Division r e l i e f of t h e 8 0 t h w a s oompleted.26

During t h e enemy s h e l l i n g on t h e 27th" twelve 77-mm diphosgsne and

c h l o r o p i o r i n s h e l l s were r e p o r t e d t o have f a l l e n j u s t beyond t h e v i l l a g e

of Forges. No t r o o p s were i n t h e immediate a r e a a t t h e t i m e and t h e gas

was said t o have been q u i c k l y dispersed by t h e wind. Nevertheless, t h e

next day 43 men of Company A, 1st Gas Regiment, and 3 men of t h e 131st

G - FO 24, 33rd Div, 10130 p a . , 28 Sep; History, I. 8 5 89. T s l e order,


3. F i r s t Army t o I11 Corps, la59 p a . , 28 Sep (USA in t h e RW, M, 135)
-
d i r e o t e d " lengthening out t h e d e f e n s i v e front of 33rd Diva'
" Hostile s h e l l i n g on f r o n t w i t h i n t e n s e flre....Gas
used during n i g h t ZfromJright benk of Meuse River" (Mags 0
to G - 3, 33rd Dlv, 7r15 a.m.,
oonoentratlons

10115 a.m., 30 Sap, i n 3Srd Div Boxes 6 and


-
2 65th Brig

13, 32.16).
-
It was probably t h e 8 0 t h Div t h a t reoeived t h e "ordered oontaminatlon of
t h e v i l l a g e of D~MOVOUX and Bois des Moriaux w i t h yellow croas...carrled
h i l l E of Villeneuve &g early t h i s morning
d a i l y r p t , I t a l i a n Files Box 2. f o l I, p.
139)

- 17 -
Infantry, in t h e Forges area, were evaouated w l t h severe synptoms o f ohloro-

p i o r i n poisoning. I n v e s t i g a t i o n by 1st L t - h. E. Vawter. A c t i n g Division


Gas Officer. i n d i c a t e d t h a t a l l 46 men had drunk c o f f e e t h a t had probably

been made from oonteminated shell- hole rater, sinee t h s KP who had baen

s e n t f o r f r e s h rater, almost a kilometer d l s t m t , had r e t u r n e d h a suspi-

o i o u a l y s h o r t time.27

A 1 1 f o u r regheats of t h e 35rd Division - t h e 130th a d 129th Idan-

t r y , in l i n e a t t h e bend of t h e Yeuse, and t h e 131st and 1 3 2 d . betmen

Dannevoux and Forges -- were w i t h i n range of e n m y gun groups in t h e &is


de C h a t l l l o n a s w e l l as t h e Bois d e Coneevoys (Map No. 4).2sRile t h e 65th

Brigade ras being subjeoted t o p w i o d i o b u r s t s of gas s h e l l on t h e 29th t h e

30th. t h e 66th Brigade r e p o r t e d "heavy gas s h e l l i n g E i t h p l l m oross and

-
c h l o r o p i o r i q during t h - d g h t pf 29 - 30 September7 in t h e Bola de Forges
area.' The Divislon Gas Officer wae t o r e p o r t only a s i n g l e episode ln t h e

w'desgread gas s h e l l i n g t h a t night. Approximately f i f t y lOS-rma mustard

gas s h e l l s f e l l in t h e v i o i n i t y of t h e 2nd B a t t a l i o n , 132nd Infantry, a t

1730 on t h e 29tho A s i n g l e gas s h e l l . making a d i r e c t h i t on t h e entrance

33.6; 0.d-33rd iv) .


L t r , D o t % DW t o CQO 111 Corps. 7 Oot, Rpt 8-2 (RD Hist BOX 300,

Notes There is no DGO f i l e and no WO oorresp i n 3Srd Div reoorda.


His r e p o r t s and oorresp h e w been found in OAF, WD H i s t , 111 Corps, and
First Army records.

28
The a r t y o f the 1st A-H Dir. in p o s i t i o n between t h e Bois de l a Orande
Montagne and the Bois de Consenvoye, kept t h e areas around Danaevoux md
opposite Consenvoyu and Erabant under gas and BE fire. See 1st A-FI Div
order 470/8. 28 Sop a d r p t e 29 Sop ( I t a l i a n P i l e s Box 2, fol I, pp. &,
149 -
SO).

- -
18


. 'I...-..,


APPltO,lf"IA"tt D"PO~ITIOM

.,.
CW .,.,... l)N111... foaCII
'!!,o,t"'"*ll
Cu"",.
St.11,- .. 11w-
SOI "' ,:,Oij

.

l)I
t o H Company headquarters dugout in t h e Bois de Forges, r e p o r t e d l y produced

a l l t h e c a s u a l t i e s r e s u l t i n g from t h e a t t a c k -- 2 o f f i c e r s and 25 men.

When t h e s h a l l b u r s t , a l l in t h e dugw: masked a t once, but no effort


was made t o leave t h e area. About hour Later t h e company commander, r l l o

had been t o t h e gas 8ohOOl a t St. Valery and should have known b e t t e r , re-

moved h i s mask wd so d i d t h e rest of t h e men. The oompany gas N W re-

marked on t h e s t r o n g odor of g a s i n t h e dugout and suggeeted evaouation of

t h e area. b u t t h e oompauy a-ander thought it o n l y t h e small of drugs,

since the dugout had r e o e n t l y been a German dressing s t a t i o n .

A t 2000, t h e B n t t a l i o n G a s O f f i c e r and A s s i s t a n t D i v i s i o n Gas Offioer

heard of t h e gas a t t a o k from another c o q a n y t h a t passed near H Company

dugout and at once went over and ordered ilanediate evacuation of the area.

S h o r t l y after, a l l 27 henc+arters men, who had been axposed for o w r an

hour t o t h e mustard gas fumes, developed s e r i o u s eye complications. hro

of :he men, who had apparently inhaled high c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of t h e g a s

when it s t r u c k t h e dugout.dled t w o days l a t e r . 2 9

Both t h e 8 0 t h and 4 t h Divisions had teen subjected t o far more in-

tense gas and HE f i r e than t h e 33rd in t h e f i r s t t h r e e days cf t h e om-

paig,.s and w i t h t h e f a i l u r e of t h e i r repeated a s s a u l t s on t h e l i n e

T9
L t r , Aotg DGO t o COO I11 Corps, 7 Oct. Rpt B-2 (CM-33rd Div). Cf.
n
d CO 132nd Inf t o G - 3 33rd DIv, 1 2 ~ 2 0porn., 30 Sepr Last night my
l e f t b a t t a l i o n was h e a v i l y s h e l l e d w i t h gas. One s h e l l broke i n front of
hq a t Coo H. Company Comdr, Capt Dauberfield, L t Heath, t h e 1st Sgt, and
16 men gassed and evacuated during t h e night (33rd Div Box 6. 32.16).
Notes Despite t h e d a t e on Itr above, t h e 111 CCO received no r p t s of g a s
a t k from h i s DGOs u n t i l after 9 Oct. See memos t o DWa 4 t h , Bath, 35rd
Divs, 5 and 9 Oct, re no g a s a t t a c k r p t s 26 Sop t o d a t e (I11 Corps Box
39, 63.33).

- 20 -
Cierges-Brieulles on 28 end 29 September, t h e a t t a o k i n g p m r of I11 Corps

w a s spent. It was c l e a r t h a t t h e German b a t t e r i e s in t h e &is de C h a t i l l o n

and on t h e h e l g h t s beyond had t o be s i l e n c e d , and t h a t the German defense

a t B r i e u l l e s , forming a t a o t i c a l l y f a v o r a b l e p o i n t d'appui or strongpoint


i -
a t t h e bend of t h e Meuse, must be dislodged. Unless I11 Corps oould g e t

above B r i e u l l e s , an extension of t h e f i g h t i n g f r o n t aoross the Meuae would -


be imperative. and much sooner t h a n planned.

As t h e 65th Brigade took over t h e 80th Division sector. 111 Corps

d i r e c t e d t h e 33rd Division t o organize a s t o u t o u t p o s t l i n e f r o m t h e name-

less h i l l south of Brieulles- Cote 294-the bend of t h e Meuse-Cote de L'Oie;

t o c o n s t r u c t a m a i n l i n e of r e s i s t a n c e along the SeptSarges-DnNIeVOUX

road; and t o begin p a t r o l l i n g t h e Meuse east of t h e Bois d e Forges and

r e c o n n o i t e r for f o r d s along t h e r i v e r flats. 30

The 130th Infantry, on t h e h i l l below B r i e u l l e s , found that "its

houses were f u l l o f maohine guns," w i t h a t least fifteen seen i n action

on one ocoasion. Immobilized by a r t i l l e r y f i r e from t h e Bois de C h a t i l l o n

and t h e r i d g e above Vilosnes, the 130th and 129th I n f a n t r y were also m p t

by frequent b u r s t s of machine gun f i r e Prom t h e edge of t h e rood and from

t h e village o f Vilosnes.J1 E n f i l a d e f i r e from t h e v i o i n l t y of S i v r y began

coming into t h e 65th Brigade s e o t o r on t h e night of 30 Septmmber and

30
Rpt o f Opns, 111 Corps, 28 Sep (111 Corps Box 4, 11.4); 0 3 Memo,
F i r s t Army. 29 Sep (USA i n t h e VW, IX, 149); 33rd M v P l a n of Defense,
-
Vilosnes-Consenvoy b o t o r , 29 8ep (33rd Div Box 8. 32.8); Opus Orders 6,
7, 130th I d e 2 and 5 Oot (33rd Div Box 17, 92.12, 3 3 e l ) e i

31
SOI, 130th I d , 29 Sep - 6 Oot (33rd Div Box 17, 20.1).

- 21 -
continued through the next day, as t h e 68th Brigade t o t h e south r e p o r t e d

gas end shrapnel on Forgb- .wood a t the rate of four rounds p e r minute

through t h e midnight hours of 30 September. 32

Observing a r t i l l e r y moving " p t o support t h e 65th Brigade on 1

October, 7 t h Reserve Division ordered i t s a r t i l l e r y " t o d e s t r o y w i t h a l l

means t h e enemy a r t i l l e r y moving i n t o p o a i t i o n . Whenever p o s s i b l e gas 1s


t o be used," A second order, t o gas the B o i s de B r i e u l l e s and B o i s d e s

Moriaux on t h e n i g h t of 1 - 2 Ootober, was o a r r i e d o u t i n t h e morning


33
hours of t h e 2nd.

Confirming these enemy gas missions, t h e 65th Brigade r e p o r t e d gas

c o n c e n t r a t i o n s on Butel r a v i n e and t h e Danrevoux S e p a r g e s v a l l e y a t 1845

and 0230 on t h e n i g h t of 1 - 2 October. The g a s a t t a o k on t h e 130th In-

f a n t r y s e c t o r a t l845 wan s d c i t o have been i n e f f e o t l v e when t h e w i n d blew

32
33ru Div,
DOR, 66th Brig, 30 Sep
1 - 2 Oat. - 1 Oat (3Srd Div Box 16, 33.1); 801 22,

33
Div Orders, 1 Oct (7th Re8 Div WL&A, 18 Sep
Box 155, Pol 1, pp. 127, 133).
-
19 O c t . Oe- Files

Maas O s t Order 39&4, 1 Oot, o a l l e d for "gas shoot i n t o Bois d e s


Morinux...an& Bois do Porge#...to prevent p r e p a r a t i o n of material for
haa:? bridges," t h e gassing t o be c a r r i e d o u t 'at i r r e g u l a r times b e t m e n
2200 and 0500 (oe- P i l e s BOX 48, aio/sz.i3).
Mnas Ost WD, 2 Oat, s a i d t h a t b l u e oross had been used i n t h e usunl
harassing fire t h a t morning on ravines, roads, v i l l a g e s , and m o d s up t o
t h e llne Nantillois-Yontfaucon-~lenoourt (German Files Box 116, f a 1 18.
p e 19). There was no word of t h e g a s s h o o t s in any of t h e s p e o i f i e d
wood 8 0
Notes Orders and reports on HE and gas missions in t h e Oermnn
records a r e f a i r l y oomplete from 1 Oot on, b u t almost nowhere are t h e
nwnber o f rounds givun for t h e s e mlaslons. Thue it is p o s s i b l e t o oon-
firm most German g a s missions b u t not t h e i r degree.

- 22 -
t h e gas i n t o t h e zone of t h e 4 t h Division." I n t h e 129th I n f a n t r y s e c t o r ,

in t h e B o l s d e s Moriaux, a r e p o r t of "some gas s h e l l s " was made j u s t after


midnight on 2 October. A t 0654, it was reported t h a t t h e "gas a t t a c k

launched a g a i n s t t h e 129th is s t i l l going ono Attack is coming from

Vilosnes-= Our a r t i l l e r y is f i r i n g on t h a t tom." A message a t 0712 s a i d

the a r t i l l e r y had "stopped t h e g a s attack." 35 -


The D l v l s i o n Gas O f f i c e r w a s t o r e p o r t only 60 rounds of 77-mrm yellor

cross s h e l l f i r e d on t h e slope below t h e Bois des Yoriaux a t 0530 t h a t

morning. The 129th Infantry, in t h e w o d , r e p o r t e d no On


t h e evening of 2 October, t h e 65th Brigade reported 150 g a s shells i n a

"rather heavy bombardment of l a r g e c a l i b e r shrapnel and gas on t h e front

of t h e 130th I n f a n t r y , causing 3 k i l l e d and 7 wounded. Our artillery...


s i l e n c e d t h e enemy."37 No WO report h a s been found f o r t h i s s h e l l i n g .

_-
SO1 22. 33rd Div, 1 - 2 Oat; History, I, 90. 111 Corps Opus R p t ,
1 - 2 Oct (USA i n t h e WW, IX, 208) s a i d about 300 sneering and phosgene
g s s s h e l l s were f i r e d Lnto t h e r a v i n e and valley.

35
Msg. 0
Prosser t o G
--
2 65th Brig t o G
3 33rd Dfv. 6854
- 3 33rdYsg,Div.65th5r26Briga.mo,t o 233rdOat;Div.Msg.7812L t
.%em.-;
aomo (33rd Div Box 6, 32.16).

36
Ltr, Actg bco t o CGO I11 Corps. 7 Oot. Rpt B-28 FM Osborne ROO 129th
Inf t o Do0 33rd Div, 9130 aomo, 2 Oot (33rd Div Box 15. 32.16). r p t d "Dlo
or three casualties."

Unreported by t h e DGO N ~ St h e s h e l l i n g of " the approaches and o r c a s i n g


p l a c e s over t h e Meuse w i t h yellow cross" by t h e 1st A-H e r t y on the m o m -
lng of 2 Oot (Daily rpt, 2 Oat, Italian F i l e s Bo-1 I, pe 171)-

37
Msg, G -
2 65th B r i g t o G -
3 S3rd Dlv, 4850 pOme, 2 Oct; Msg, CO
65th Brig t o CG 33rd Dlv, 9800 p a a , 2 Oat (33rd Div Box 6, 32.16).

- 23 -
A s w i l l be shown later, both t h e German o r d e r s and t h e 33rd Divlsion

r e p o r t s in t h e first n e e k of t h e 3iuupaign a p p a r e n t l y exaggerate t h e q u a n t i t y

of gas s h e l l being used. Y e t sOna, proportion of gas s h e l l was f i r e d in t h e


n i g h t l y h a r a s s i n g mission8 and no p a r t of t h e SSrd Diviaion s e a t o r was ex-

empt from t h i s fire. As a result. t h e troops were k e p t a l e r t and i n t h e i r

masks through m o s t of each night. The e f f e c t i v e w s a o f t h e fire, by war-


i n g d o m t h e t r o o p s through keeping them melw and masked. is mly p a r t l y

revealed In t h e number o f gas oasea recorded each day. The gas o a m a l t f e s


reported by t h e DGfJ end t h o s e a o t u a l l y admitted t o t h e gas h o s p i t a l on 1

and 2 Ootober, f o r eumple, t o t a l a d 16 and 33, r e s p e o t i v e l y .

Although t h e 33rd D i v i s i o n a r t i l l e r y had l a r g e s t o c k s of gas manitions

on hand. t h e y -re not used, urd suoh r e t a l i a t i o n as t h e r e was for t h e

n i g h t l y gassing by t h e e n a y w a s in=dequate. A t 2300 on 2 October, after a

days delay owing t o unfavorable rinds, a gas projeotor shoot was c a r r i e d

o u t by Company F, 1st Gas Regiment, t o inflict c a s u a t t i e s on t h e enemy

f o r c e s around Vilosnes. Although 50 phosgeno drum wer- launohed from pro-

j e c t o r s i n s t a l l e d near t h e center of t h e Bois den Moriaux, t h e a t t a c k m s


s a i d t o have r e s u l t e d in o n l y tm c a s u a l t i e s , according t o a l a t e r prlsaner

i n t e r r o g a t i o n r e p o r t , beoauae of t h e h i g h rind a t t h e time and t h e faot

t h a t fsa men wre in the v i o i n i t y of t h e t a r g e t dlea when t h e shoot w-

c u r r e d . 38
,

Ltr. COO 111 Corps t o C CWS, 1 2 BOP, subs Itpt on h a A c t i v i t i e s f o r


o c t (@&?-I11 Corps). A repeat of th%sa t t a o k on t h e morning of 5 Oct wan
not o a r r i e d o u t mLng t o unfavorable winds, nor on 6 O c t , m l n g t o d i f f i -
o u l t i e s making it i n p o s s i b l e t o oomplete o p e r a t i o n s i n one night (Opms 0
2. 1st OR, 4 @at and p e n o i l note, S3rd Div Box 12, 63.3, and Memo. Co F,
1 s t GR t o CO 66th Brig. 6 Oat, sub8 Cancellation of proposed Gas Opn, 33rd
Div Box 13, 1206).

- 24 -
Except for a b r i e f HB bombardment, there was no immediate r e p r l s a l by

the enemy f o r the g a s projeotor attack. The 7th Reserve Division a r t i l l e r y

order f o r the n i g h t of 2 - 3 October was t o be s u b s t a u t i a l l y repeated


through t h e Peek t h a t followed as the enemy sought t o wear d o m t h e AmeriOaI

troops on h i s f r o n t and prevent them from crosslng t h e river#

Harassing f i r e with RE and gas on B o b de Laimont g o t e LanOnq, B O i s de


Dannevcux, Bois des Moriaux; long-range f i r e on Dannevoux and Geroourt, and
-
cn the DaMevcux-Viloanes, Dannevoux-Septsarges, Dannevoux-Geroourt, and
Cercourt-Cuisy-llontfauaon roads &a re11 as other t a r g e t s t o t h e l e f t of
t h e 33rd D i v i s i c q A t 9830 pemo, increase of gas s h e l l s in t h e harassing
f i r e , e s p e c l a l l y o n Bois des Moriaux and Bois de Septsargss. and 160 10-0m
HE and blue cross on Bois de B r l e u l l e ~ . ~ ~
O f t h i s gas shelling, t h e Dlvision Gas Officer reported only 12 p l l m

cross s h e l l s t h a t fell among 90 men o f t h e 129th Infantry in t h e Bois Jure

a t 04300 S i x men who were sprinkled w i t h t h e liquid from the Wrating

s h e l l s were said t o have been Hospital records, hmever, s h m

t h a t 21 gas oases were admitted on 3 October and 22 on 4 Ootober, prinoi-

-
p a l l y from t h e 125th Infantry and t h e 123rd MG Battalion. in t h e 66th Brig-
ade aeotor.

Ark0 95 order f o r 7 pama 2 Oot t o 7 aDmo3 Oot (7th Re8 Div-Sub Unlts-
W A , 23 Sap-11 Oat, Arko 95 annexes, German Files Box 155. fol X I , p. 61).
Fol I in t h i s f i l e conl;ainsdivisional morning and noon reports a d i n n i n g
these f i r e missions.

40

2 - 3LOct
t r , Actg W t o CGO I11 Cor
(USA in t h e W, IX, 210!,
a, 7 O c t , Rpt 8-2. I11 Corps Opns Bpt,
reported 200 gas s h e l l s in Bola Jure
and on H i l l 294.

- 25 -
Renuaption of the Adqnnoe
On t h e evsning of 3 Ootsbor, t h e SSrd Division reoeived t h e F i r & h y
order resuming t h e nttnok, ln m effort t o pieroe t h e Kriemhilde Stellung.

I n t h e assnult. 111 Corps wns t o per&rnte the enemy position between h n e l

and Brieulles, ndvmoing t o t h e heights northenst of Cunel, and then mq

east t o the Meuse, c u t t i n g off Brieullor. The 80th Division. on the l e f i


of the 4th Division, was t o nttnok along t h e Bola den Ogona t o t h e North

edge of t h e Boia den Rnppest t h e 4th Division through t h e Bola du Fays t o

the north edge o f the h i s de Foret and then east t o t h e river. The 39rd

Division was t o hold i t s positions nnd protedt flank of the nttnok. 41


For t h e attnok. three f i e l d batteries and four maohine gun companies

of the 33rd Division were moved into t h e n o r t h w s t edge of t h e Bole de la

Cote Lmont, t o assist t h e 1ZCU.h infantry in b r e a n g up possible en-

counternttaoks between the Bois de B r i e u l l e s , Bois d s Foret, nnd Brieulles.

AS the hour of a t t r o k appronohed, t h e remaining d i v i s i o n a l a r t i l l e r y p r c

p a r e d t o bombard Brieulles nnd i t s defenses t o the a u r t h w e s t , and t o neu-

I t r a l i z e w i t h HE t h e enemy gUM in t h e Bols de Chatillon, Bois de Sartelle,


42
and t h e two revines east of Liny-dwant-Dun.

The enemy a r t i l l e r y order f o r t h e night Of 3 - 4 Ootober indiaated


no p a r t i c u l a r nwnreness of t h e Impending nttaok ns it oalled f o r

n
Fo 33, F i r s t noon, 1 O o t t PY) 22, I11 Corps, 9800 8.m.. 3 Oat;
SU 26, 33rd Div, 10115 P.Q., 3 Oot.

42
aistory, I , 92 - 98.

- -
26
harassing f i r e w i t h surprise b u r s t s of gas and HE a t i r r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s
on... m o d s of Dannevous, Moriaux and Jure, on Dannevoux and Geroourt,
and on roads running from Dannevowr t o Septsarges. Vilosnes and G e r c a ~ r t . ~ ~

The 66th Brigade, along t h e w e s t bank of t h e Meuse, reported heavy s h e l l

f i r e and gas along i t s e n t i r e f r o n t from 0215 t o 0330, t h e 131st Infantry

specifying it as t e a r E h l o r o p i c r i n-l gas.e4 Of t h e gas s h e l l i n g i n t h i s


brigade seotor, Lieutenant V a t e r was t o report only an urtdetenained num-

ber of y e l l o w oross s h e l l s t h a t f e l l in t h e Bois d s Forges some time t h a t


*
night resulting in a highly contaminated area t h a t was discovered by E gES

o f f i c e r the next morning. Guards were a t ome posted. In t h e 65th Wig-


ade s e o t o r , however. Vawter said 300 gas and HE s h e l l s were reported t o

have f a l l e n i n t o t h e southeast corner of t h e Bois de Septsarges betmen

midnight and 0600 on t h e 4th. There were two casualties.46

It is apparent from Lieutenant Vawter's long, belated r e p o r t on gas

attacks up t o 7 October t h a t it was not possible t o r e p o r t the numerous

areas subjeoted t o bursts of gas, and he oould only say t h a t in general

t h e sector of t h e 65th Brigade north end mat of Dannavou had been

heavily shelled w i t h HE, p l l o r cr0.w. and blue oross every night. Be

43
Arko 95 order f o r 7 p a . 3 Oot t o 7 a.ma 4 O O t (7th Res Dive above,
po 6 2 7

-- Msg. CG 66th Brig t o G -


3 33rd Div, 6r10 acme 4 O o t ; Ysg, G 2 -
131st Inf t o CG 33rd Div, n.h., 4 Oct.(33rd D i v Box 6, 32016). See a l s o
SO1 23, 24, 33rd Div, 2
18. 20.1).
-
4 Oot; 801. 131st Inf, 3 -
5 O c t (3Srd Div BOX

45
Ltr. Actg DGO t o CGO I11 C, 7 Oot, Rpt B-2.

- -
27
might have said t h e same f o r t h e seotor of the 66th Brigade. south of
46
Daanevouxs

In t h e a t t a a k launched by F i r s t Army a t 0525 on 4 October, t h e 80th

and 4th Divisions almost reached t h e Cunel-Brieulles road, when savage

a r t i l l e r y and maahine gun f i r e and c o u n t e r a t t w k l a g forces from Brleulles

hurled them back t o t h e i r former posltions. For t h e next two days, as


all a-ailable guns of Army and oorps oonoentrated on t h e enmy b a t t e r i e s

i n t h e Bois d e Chatillon, 3326 Division guns pounded Brleulles, nnd i t s


troops attempted, without guoaess, t o t a k e Teton Trench (Map No. 5 and

sketoh of B r i e u l l s a ) , in an e f f o r t t o p r o t e c t t h e 4th Division forces,

which had got i n t o the Bois du Fays, &om intense flanking maohin8 gun

fire. 47
A t 1800 on the night Of 6 Sotober. 20 A l l i e d planes oamisd out a

bombing r a i d on Brieulles, Setting t i r e t o a part o f t h e tmn. Sewn

hcurs l a t e r t h e 111 Corps Gas Offioer slgnaleds "Hamllton~880thDlvi-

sion
-.l is going t o throw gas inte.Brieulles a t 4 A0M0348 Beglnning a t
01100, 80th Division 75's f i r e d 1,000 phosgene s h e l l s i n t o Brleulles.

f o l 1 M n g up w i t h an equal mixture of EE and y p e r i t e s h e l l s f o r t h i r t y

mlLA-';es, end then y p e r i t e s h e l l s alone u n t i l 1,600 No. 20 s h e l l s had been

46
See &ialysls, p - 92.

47
See 65th Brigade memo orders, 4 - 6 Oct (33rd Div Box 13, 32.13).

4e
gag, COO Emerson t o G - 3 33rd Div, la00 adrio. 7 Oct.

- -28
A-

MAP NO.5

29
,/ I I . I

%
put i n t o t h e tom. A 1 1 divisions in t h e v i c i n i t y were n o t i f i e d " t o take

t h e necessary preoautions when t h e town is taken."4g

Although t h e e n t i r e f r o n t beoslne "very quiet" after the r a i n of de-

s t r u c t l o n on B r i e u l l e ~ ,i t~s~defenses in f r o n t of t h e town and on t h e

ridge t o the northwest were quiokly restored. Teton Trenoh, said t h e

65th Brigade comander, had in t h e past week been n f a i r l y re11 shot t o

pieoes." but on t h e afternoon o f t h e 7th he had t o admit t h a t "a con- .


siderable amount o f maohine gun f i r e was s t i l l coming from t h a t loca-

tion0*51 Meanwhile, determined t o hold t h e Bois du Fays, a s a l i e n t

with enemy troops pressing on both flanks and with strongly entrenohsd

forces above in t h e B o i s de Malaumont, I11 Corps oalled t h e 33rd Divi-

sion for assistance. On t h e morning of 7 October, t h e 3rd Battalion,


13Znd Infantry, and i t s maahine gun o q a n y were sent in t o r e l i e v e the

regiment of the 4 t h Division in t h e Bois du Fays. 62

49
Memo, Robbe COO 111 Corps t o C CIlS A t t Def Dlv, 8 Oot (W-111
Corps); ltr, CCO I11 Corps t o C CWS A t t Def Div, 27 Oot, subs Reoord
of Gas Atks ( F i r s t Army Box 340, I11 COO); Itr, COO I11 Corps t o C m,
12 Nov. s u b t Rpt on Gas A c t i v i t i e s for Oot. This oorresp indicates
t h a t t h e 4 t h and 80th Diva f i r e d considerable pa8 s h e l l s during t h e
period. t h e 33rd D i v none.

50
Ysg, Prosser G s t Lt, I11 Corps I 0 a t 65th Brig-/ t o G 3 SSrd Div,
9s16 aa., 7 Oct (33rd Div Box 6, 32.16). reported o&pletion of t h e gas
-
missiono "Satire front now very quiet."

51
Msg, CG 65th Brig t o G
BOX 6, 32.16,)
-
3 33rd Div, 1 2 ~ 2 5porne. 7 O o t (33rd Div

On 9 Oot, 4 t h Div put 400 ypenite s h e l l s i n t o B r i e u l l e s and t h e next day


captured Teton Trench. Brieulles however was n o t to be taken u n t i l t h e
end of t h e month.

52
Histor& I. 96 - 97. 100.

- 31 -
Gas Attaok on t h e Bois des Moriaux

The only major gas a::aok on t h e 33rd Division during t h e operation


ocourred on 5 Ootober. The i n i t i a l gas bombardment occurred between 0200

and 03% rhen approximately 1,500 green, blue, and yellow oms8 77 aad
105-mm s h e l l s mre f i r e d i n t o the Bois den Moriaux, opposite Vilosnes, an

area of approximately one square kllometer (Map No. 6).


Mothing has been f c u d t o suggest t h a t t h i s attaok was in r e p r i s a l

f o r t h e gas projeotor shoot of 2 October. More l i k e l y it was t h e t h r e a t

of a possible arossing a t t h a t point, indicated by t h e oontinued heavy


f i r e of t h e trench mortars in the mod, t h a t t h e enemy sought t o neutral-

ize. But t h e gas . b o o t got none o f t h e mortarmen, for they regularly

w i t h d r e w t o the Bois Jure when not f i r i n g .

The rood was oocupie8 st zne tlme by t h e l e t Battalion and p a r t of


the 2nd Battallon, 129th Infantry, a t o t a l of approximately 1,100 men.

Evacuetion of the area was Impossible, as t h e enemy held t h e men t h e r e

w i t h intense HE fire and a i r b u r s f shrapnel f o l l o r i n g the gasalng. Dur-


ing the attack, a message from t h e 131st Infantry on t h e right said; %

shells and gas from Us30 t o 2s30


A-'-pi2 two wounded, three gassed.

:-9th very heavily shelled during same period.nM

Between 0815 and a 4 5 , m o t h e r 700 gas s h e l l s yere reportedly put

into the rood nub again evaouation was blocked by fol-low-up HE fire. At

1515 t h a t afternoon, 400 more gas s h e l l s f e l l on t h e slope just south of

the wood, as troops attempted t o move d m t o escape t h e gas- filled mod.

53
Msg, 3rd Bn 131st DIf t o CO 131st hf, 2r65 a.m., 5 O o t ( 3 r d Div
Bsx 18, 32.16, )

- 32 -
.

/
/ Sit11tlo 11 Mat No. 4
l'l, ... \It...,,

~o~i'hOl\s 2,'& Qc.t'

So\lc' !It"' D"' B Ill IL5


......ti ...... ~-...i'
MAP NO. I:,

33
Altogether, it was estimated t h a t between 5,000 and 7,000 s h e l l s hnd been

f i r e d i n t o t h a t square kilometer t h a t day, 2,600 of them gas

As soon as night had fallen, t h e wood lils oompletely evacuated. Can-


u a l t i e s resulting from t h e prolonged gas attaok were reported by L i s u t s n -

ant Vawter as 350, including t w u men k i l l e d by fragments of exploding gas

shells. Forty men -re evaouated with lung oomplloations, the remalader
w i t h sye o r body burnr. The most serious oases, t h o s e w i t h lung ompli-

cations, were said t o have been the r e s u l t o f e i t h e r oloae-turstlng

shells or long exposure. Some of t h e mn had kept t h e i r masks on as long


as sir hours before suooumbing t o the discomfort o f the m a ~ k ~ ~ ~

A brigade report said t h a t the 1st Battalion, 129th Infantry. lost


5 officers and epproximately 375 men in t h e prolonged gas attaok, and t h e

-54--
No a r t y order has been f a d f o r t h i n atk in the rsoorda or t h e 7th
Bee Mv, 5th Bar Div let A 4 Div. M M ~ oet o r Yaas Ueet. Ark0 96 o r d e r
r n 0 m - 7 a a o . 5 Oot 1
-9 for the u s u a ~ s l n n I

f i r e w i t h sudden gas ooncentrations on the &ds of Il;riaux, Septsarges,


and d'en Dela. on Dannevoux, Osroourt, and the roads o u t of Darmcrvoux,
w i t h other t a r g e t s o u t of t h e 33rd Div s s o t o r (Qerman Piles Box 156, f o l
11, pe 65, oonfirmed i h Mornlng Rpt, p. 66).
Dally Rpts, 7th Bes Div? 6, 6 Oot. oonfims the gas attacks "At 2s00

155, t u : I, ppo 160 - -


a.,mo, 8sOO-9sOO adu.. and 3~00-4100p.m.. Bois des Moriaux oontaminated
nl+h-yellow crose" (7th Res Div m A. 13 Sep 19 Oot, German F i l e s Box
161, 166; a h 0 i n Ma88 O S t m, 5. 6 O O t , (ie-
F i l e s Box 115, f o l I, p. 39).
55
Rpt on Gas Atk. 7 Dot (WD Hist Box 300. 93.6; OAF-3Srd Div); &en-
-
Div 0 -
cer, 11. 365 66.

-
2 aeems not t o have been aware Of t h i s gas attaok, but in a r a r e
detailed aooounting it d i d report on 4 5 00%"Heavy intermittent shell-
ing with HE and gas of areas Bois Are, Bola Septsarges, Gercourt*; 169
gas s h e l l s between 1140-1155. 4 Oat, on t h e Forges-Cumieres road; 96 gas
shells on t h e s n m road at 2315; 24 gas s h e l l s on Forges a t 0300, 5 Oot;
and heavy shelling wlth 200 HE and gas rounds on t h e front l i n e area from
Danneooux t o Bois de Forges between midnight and 0230, 5 Oat (SO1 25, 33rd
Div, 4 5 - -
There is no mention of the atk in SO1 26, 5 6 O o t , either.

-34-
next day t h e b a t t a l i o n was

withdrawn...to Regimental Reserve c o u t h o f Hill 2 8 l [ l a account KofJ


long continuous servioe i n t h e l i n e and having suffered heavy casualties
enemy artillery...and t h e enemy gas a t t a c k of Ootober 5th...0
Orders @ra issued t o all u n i t s of t h e Brigade t o insure men proteoting
themselves by proper wearing o f t h e gas mask in oase o f gas attaoks.

As a r e a u l t of t h e gas attack, together with earlier HE and gas casualties,

the e f f e c t i v e strength o f t h e 1st Battalion was now reduoed t o 1 6 o t t i o e r s

and 305 men. Apparently refzlslng t o believe so many c a s u a l t i e s could be

caused by gas, t h e brigade began an investigation a t orno " t o determine


.
the aotual number of serious cases, w i t h a view t o having returned t? duty

those not seriously gassed.n56 No record o f t h e investigation has been


found,but a regimental memo issued on 6 Ootober. containing d e t a i l e d in-

s t r u c t i o n s on protection against gas before, during, and atter an attaok,

indicated t h e line of investigations

It has been reported..ethat Ln t h e recent a t t a a k on our F i r s t Battallw.


t h a t a f t e r t h e main attack in which men wore t h e i r masks from 3 t o 5

only mouth-pieces and noae-clips were used Ehereafte$.. .


hours, men removed masks when they oould s t i l l smell as strongly and-..
.Brigade has
direoted t h a t any man who does t h i s rill be carried on t h e s i c k report an
PGassed, not i n l i n e of duty'. SBRs can be worn a day and night w i t h o u t
injury. and eye c a s u a l t i e s due t o t h i s improper use w i l l be oonsidered
s e l f - i n f l i c t e d wounds 57

I n t h e week t h a t f o l l m e d t h e gassing of t h e Bois des Morlaux. t h e

Divislon Gas Ql'fioer was t o say t h a t no real gas attacks oocurred, although

56
Chron Re0 o f Events of 65th Brig, 5
History, I. 97; 11, 597.
- 7 Oot (3Srd Div Box 13, 11.5)~

57
Memo, PO Pinetree &9th 14,6 Oct (33rd Div Box 15, 32.13).

- 35 -
considerable amounts of gas were used each day in harassing f i r e . % On 6
October, he reported t h a t 75 77- mustard gas s h e l l s oaused 27 eye casual-

t i e s amone 165 men of I Cwpany, Srd Battalion, 129th Infantry, in t h e Bols

Bond. The next day, M estimated 175 rounds of mustard gas, with 6-0

phosgene, landed among 425 men in t h e BOls Jure. Moat of t h e 150 oaaual-

t i e s evacuated were in K Cornpaw. 129th Infantry, and since the m o d s =re


z under d i r e c t observation of t h e 0erme.n lines aoross t h e river, evaouation

was not possible u n t i l n i g h t f a l l . The gassed area wus posted and p u t

under guard. Lut during t h e next three days, "25 men...managed t o pass
t h r o u g h t h e area" and a l l were subsequently evaouated t o t h e gas hospital. 59

The Division Gas Officer did not r e p o r t t h e 2 o f f i c e r s and 176 men


"wounded and gassed" in t h i s same 3rd Battalion on 8 October when it ras

sh-'led near Dannevou* ae it oegan moring down t o the h i s d e Forges, pre-

paratory t o crossing t h e Yeuse a t Consenvoye.t)O In addition t o d i r e o t

-59
Ark0 95 orders f o r nights of 6 6 Oct, 6 - -
7 O h , and 7th Be8 Dlv
order t o a r t y on 7 Oot all oalled for "harassing f i r e and suhden coneantra-
tions of gas" on t h e wood;, ravines, villages. and roads i n t h e 33rd Div
seotor (7th Bes Div-Sub Units-Ark0 95 kmeree, tieman File Box 155, i o l 11,
ppo 67. 69; 7th Re8 Mv llDM, m f o l I, p. 175).
59
Ltr, Do0 t o CQO I11 Corps, 13 Oot. subs Gas
Chron Re0 of Events of 12Sth Id. 7 Oot (S3rd Div
11, 645) says t h a t on the 7th, 3 o f f i c e r s and 106
atchd machine gun cbmpany w r e wounded and gassed
Rpts (GAF-SSrd Div).

men o f t h e 3rd Bn +
B o x 15, 11.5 and Histor

i n the B o i s Ron& (not


B O ~ SJure).

60
Chron Rec of Events of 129th 8 Oct; Histor 11, &95; Porning R g t ,
7 t h Res Div, 9 Octr " A t 10 p.m. Oog 0 h d
n s t a l h n t s o f oontanina-
%ion f i r e on Dannevous" (7th Res 6 v rmkA, German Files Box 155, f o l I, p.
182) 0

- 36 -
s h e l l i n g , t h e 129th I n f a n t r y a l s o s u f f e r e d from i n d i r e o t bassing i n the Bois

d e s Moriaux, as t h e 130th Infantry, t o i t s left, in t h e Bois de Dannevoux,

pointed outr

Gas s h e l l s , f r e q u e n t l y mixed w i t h HE and shrapnel ( a i r b u r s t s ) , are almost


c o n s t a n t l y t h r m in g r e a t numbers i n t h e wooded areas adjacent t o t h e out-
p o s t zone. If a south wind is blowing t h e enemy may s h e l l t h e valley, ex-
tending from Dannevoux e a s t t o t h e Meuae river, a v e r y concentrated mustard
gas being used, t h e wind carr ng it i n t o t h e Bois d e s Moriaux where it
iif
c l i n g s p e r s i s t e n t l y f o r days.

With t h e 129th in t h e Bois des Moriaux was t h e 102nd Trenoh Mortar Battery,

most o f whose mortars were concentrated i n t h a t rood. The h i s t c r y of t h e

b a t t e r y was t o ssy t h a t only i t s weapons lgre maintained i n t h e wood, w i t h

a l l else back i n t h e Bois Jure, lion account of t h e l a r g e amount of gas whioh

t h e enemy continued t o f i r e i n t o t h e v a l l e y of Dannevoux and t h e 60113 d e s

Moriaux. 62

Betwem t h e enemy h a r a s s i n g f i r e w i t h gas n i g h t a f t e r n i g h t and t h e

gas a t t a c k of 5 October, t h e severe d r a i n on t h e s t r e n g t h of t h e 129th In-

f a n t r y r e s u l t e d on t h e 8 t h i n a memo t o all b a t t a l l o n colnmandersr

The r a p i d d e p l e t i o n of t h e f i g h t l n g s t r e n g t h of t h e regiment, due t o t h e


evacuation of l a r g e numbers of 'gassed' cases is a m a t t e r of v i t a l oonaern
t o a l l o f f i c e r s . While undoubtedly t h e g r e a t e r number of c a s e s are bcna
r i d e , it is q u i t e probable t h a t aome men a r e a v a i l i n g themselvm of t h i s
excuse i n order t o leave t h e f i r i n g line....Comp.ny and p l a t o o n commaaders
can assist by seeing all gassed oases (except wounded) b e f o r e t h e y report
t o a i d s t a t i o M ~ ~ . ~ B a t t a l surgeons
im should uae t h e g r e a t e s t care ln evao-
uationo...Only earnest and p a i n s t a k i n g care...wlll enable t h i s regiment....
not t o n e g l e c t i t s a o t u a l gassed c a s e s on t h e ollb h a d , o r d e p l e t e l t s
s t r e n g t h through unnecessary evacuations on t h e ather.

OL
S i t u Rpt, 130th Inf, 9 Oct, subs s/s Dannevoux (33rd Div Box 17,
33.1) 0

62
Brief History, 102nd TM Bty. nod. (33rd Div Box 13, 33.2).

- 37 -
h d t h e next days

The regimental oommander d u e i r e s t o impress on a l l o f f i o e r s and men t h e


seriousness o f t h e a i t u a t l o n , and t o remind a l l u n i t OOmmderE t h a t t h e y
a r e responslble f o r t h e snforosment of gas d i s o i p l i n s .

The aeeond mom0 r e n t on t o say t h a t a l l g a s o a s e ~were t o be Investigated,

and if any o f f i c e r or ICO had f a i l e d in h i s duty, he was t o be d l s o l p l i n e d .


.
Meanwhile, company oommanders were t o see t h a t a l l oonpaniss mre g i v e n
f i r t h e r gas defense in&NOtiOn by t h e gas
.-.

doross t h e Xeuse
With t h e f a i l u r e t o p i e r o e t h e Krlemhilde S t e l l u n g in t h e a t t a o k on

4 October. Claudel's X V I I French Corps, r h i o h had remained i n plaoe since

t h e s t a r t of t h e offensive, was a l e r t e d t o p r e p a r e a f r o n t a l a t t a o k on t h e

Mause heights. On 7 Ootober, t h e 33rd Divlsion m a p u t under XVII Corps f o r

L d - t k a l purposes, w i t h order8 t o hold i t s defensive p o s i t i o n on t h e l e f t

bank of t h e river and a t t h e sBmd t i m e leady a p a r t of i t s foroes t o oroas

2,e river end oooperate in t h e a t t a o k . 4

The mission of X V I I Corps was t o seize and hold t h e h e i g h t s o f t h e

Meuse northwest of Beaumont between t h e Yeuse and Theinte rivers. Its


forces included t h e LBth and 26th Frsnoh Divielana, reenforced by six

Senegalu.a., b a t t a l i o n s . To t h e i r l e f t would b e t h e 68th Brigade of t h e 29th

bmerican Division, and a s t r i d e t h e Meuse, t h e 33rd Divlsion. Opposite was


1

63
Memo, 129th Inf to bn and spec u n i t comdrs, 8 Oot, subs Eva0 of Gas
Cases; memo, E.. 9 Oct, n e e e (33rd Div Box 16, 64.4).

. 4
FO 39, F i r a t hrty. 14 h r s , 5 Oot; SO 546-S/3. X V X X Corps. Srd Rw, 6
O o t ; FO 24, I11 Corps, 17830 o'clock, 7 Oct.

-38-
t h e 1st Austro-Hungarian Division, soon t o be reenforced b y t h e 32nd Divi-

-
s i o n and elements of t h e 228th Division (Maps NO. 7 and 8).

The f i r s t o b j e o t i v e s of t h e 58th Brigade and l 8 t h French Division were

t h e enemy OP's a t Xalbrouck r i d g e and t h e Bois d'Aaumont; t h e second o b j e c t -

i v e s , M o l l e v i l l e Terme and t h e Bois d'0nnont. On t h e r i g h t , t h e 26th R e n o h

Division was t o c a p t u r e t h e Bois d e s Caures m d Flabas. -


Then XVII Corps had advanced t o t h e line Consenvoye-top of Bois d e

Consenvoye-Flabas. elements of the SSrd D i v i s i o n m l d crosti at Cons6llWgs

and Brabant and j o i n t h e f l a n k of t h e 58th Brigade. The whole oorps would

t h e n advance i n an arc t o t h e f i r s t l i n e of e x p l o i t a t i o n , n o r t h edges Of

Bois de Chaume and Plat-Chene-Bois d ' ~ r a r e a - C ~ p i o n - ~ l a b s sand


. then t h e

second line. Sivry- top of Bois de l a Granda Yontagno-Flabas. 111 Corps

was t o assist t h i s o p e r a t i o n by a s l m l t c m e o u s a t t a c k west of the MmSO

(Map No. 9). 65

For its p a r t i n t h e o p e r a t i o n , t h e SSrd D i v i s i o n m s d l r e o t e d t o p u t

two b a t t a l i o n s along t h e southern edge of the Bois d e t o r g e a , r s a d y t o

cross at Brabant. and a b a t t a l i o n on t h e northern edge of t h e m o d , t o

cross a t Gonsearroye. Six b a t t e r i e s of 7 6 ' 0 i n t h o Bois do Forges, three


more near Cote d e l ' O i e , and t h r e e batteries of 156's below Cumieres were

t o p r o t e c t t h e orosslng a t Consenvoye. 66

65
History, I, 100 - 02, and Pos. above. Also, Plan d'Engagement du
i 1 7 t h -0ct (33rd Div Box 5, 32). See Hap 57 i n E i a t o r y , IV, f o r
33rd Div o b j e c t i v e s .

66
FU 27. 33rd Div. 6 ~ 0 0p.m., 7 Oat.

- -39
. I

eL OIV6UYON

40

~ 0"1'/:'A UCO 1'I '


0

:P
-;s:J .
f . .~ . BE t1111l/COIJttT

. 3.
.
rn
,....,
SITUATION des fORCfS fNN MI fS :P
OtVANT LE /RONT OIi /7.eC/l. ~
.
le 8 Octobre /918
SiWrce, 33..i Dw 8011, 14 c>
MA.P No.1

. ,, ,. ..
, ... t ..... .
\. ........... 1". . ...

5. AT ... &&

' .
'Si'"' ...... a. ,o.1a.
\) , ..,_; ...,.
s.........
. aG-A-,
.,..,,. Ge- fl ... a.~ 7'"'
\ D ID)
'o/1. Ir\.~
\YI
rnon 5. Q S r.

L 1/,
)

(,[\
~

/ - ,_,,,
MA.? N0.8

41
1 .~
e.0,11 ....
.s.....n
...
- t '""'"'II, ..~

~
V1th1,111I,

... .. J8:1iwi11a
- '" ...
...

... &rE..ur,1
...
... ... ...
Bou ... &011 d'cur.)' "
'" Har.a1u>\ol\~
'It'"
.., ...

...

..... ,. ...
s.,""rs hit
'-
G""t1"t

-... 1-
Dnl_.,,
...
"" .,
........ ,
...
Bou
.
...
...
.. ...
I I.IS clT&s N MUIJH. j
...
... - "

...
...
MAP N0.9

42
On 7 October, two of t h e machine gun oompanies and t h e t h r e e b a t t e r i e s

of 75Ss i n t h e Bois de l a Cote Lemont moved down t o t h e Forges area, arriv-

ing t h e r e well a f t e r dark. A t t h e same time, t h e 1st md 2nd B a t t a l i o n s

of t h e 1 3 2 d I n f a n t r y , in r e s e r v e a t Malancourt, and t h e 2nd B a t t a l i o n of

t h e 131st I n f a n t r y w i t h i t s machine gun oompany. near DaMevoux. 88 w e l l as

two oompanies of t h e 108th Engineers, oame i n t o t h e Bois de Forges a p p o r l t e

Brabant and Cmsenvoye. Observing t h e movements, enemy a r t i l l e r y s h e l l e d

" the neighborhood of Forges w i t h g a s from 2200 u n t i l s h o r t l y before mid-


67
night."

A t 0500 on 8 October, without a r t i l l e r y p r e p a r a t i o n , t h e b e r i c a n and


French f o r c e s between Samogneux and Beaumont began t h e i r a t t a c k . Before

M O O t h e y had advanced above Brabeat, and t h e 1st and 2nd B a t t a l i o n s of the

132nd Infantry, under a dense barrage, were ordered across t o t h a t town.

Construction o f passages over t h e r i v e r and oanal had begun a t d a m "under

heavy Eneq?] a r t i l l e r y f i r e averaging n i n e t y s h e l l s an hour -- many of


them gas s h e l l s , 80 t h a t masks had t o be worn d u r i n g p a r t of t h e time. I68

With t h e i r machlne gun companies on t h e i r flanks, t h e 1st and 2nd

B a t t a l i o n s of the 132nd I n f a n t r y , under Cole Abel Davis, formed abreast

j u s t n o r t h of Brabant. A t 1100, l e a r n i n g t h a t t h e 58th Brigade had reached

Mbalbrouok and t h e southern edge of t h e Bois de Brabant, t h e y advanced t o -

ward t h e i r objective, t h e road running n o r t h e a s t out of Consenvoye.

_.
67

repor&gas
Histor
e
I, 98 - 99. DOB, 33rd Div. 7 -
8 Oot (33rd Div Box 8. 33.1)
s h e l l s in the Forges a r e a between 2200-2345. w i t h 150 HE
s h e l l s in t h e B o i s d e Forges. Two c a s u a l t i e s were reported.

68
--
Hj.i'%w I, 104 - 05.

- 43 -
Despite flaalcing fire from t h e 301s de Conssnvoye, t h e o b j e o t i v e was

reached s h o r t l y a f t e r noon. A t t h a t time t h e 2nd B a t t a l i o n , 13lst


t r y , was ordered a c r o s s a t COnsenrO;y, t o support t h e 132nd I n f a n t r y i n

i t s next advance t o t h e top of t h e Bois d e Chaume. Under a two-how 8t-d-


ing and r o l l i n g barrage, t h e line advanced towards t h e wood, only t o be

h a l t e d by i n t e n s e enemy s h e l l fire. A t n i g h t f a l l t h e t m o p s dug in along


t h e south edge of t h e Bois de Chaume, overtaken by " darkness and ~ t o r a ~ . ~ ~

The l i n e of P I 1 Corps, advamed t h a t day with t h e f i r e support of 800

guns, extended from t h e southern edge o f Bois de Chnume-through t h e Bois

de Conaenvoye-Ormont Fame-north edge of Bois d'Haum0nt-northwst oomer


70
of Bois des Caures.

Because of t h e danger of c c u n t e r a t t m k a g a i n s t i t s t r o o p s east of

t'. Mmse, as w e l l as t h e t o l l - t a k i n g machine gun and a r t i l l e r y fire from

t h e h e i g h t s n o r t h and e a s t of Sirrp-sur-Meuse, t h e 33rd Division on t h e

s*C.s--naon 3f t h e 8 t h ordered t h e t w o rsmalning b a t t s l i o n s a f t h e 131st


I n f a n t r y t o t h e Bois de Forges as an emergency reserve. 71

69
DOR 33rd Div. 8 - 9 Oot. CP Mag, CO 132nd Inf, 8 r 2 0 p a - , 8 Oot;
" A t 4 ~ 4 0 , l e f t b a t t a l i o n adranoe elsment about 700 yards n o r t h of Consea-
voye....G"rpped by standing b a r r a g e till d a r k and dug in for nlght. Bo
word f r o m r i g h t battalion. Capt Kendall, surgeon, j u s t oeme in, r e p o r t s
abcut 75 c a s u a l t i e s ; some gas, some b u l l e t s , and some artillery, appar-
e n t l y p r e t t y well m i r e d " (3Srd M v Box 20. 32.11).

70
F'O 28, 33rd Div, 11846 p a . , 8 Oot; H i s t o r I, 107 -
08. The 12
Ti?
b a t t e r i e s of t h e 52nd Brlg f i r e d 13,000 rou 8 in support t h a t day and
during t h e next two days were t o fire as many more (Dog 39rd Div, 8
Oct) e
10 -
71
Biatory. I, 109 - 13.

-44-
In stubborn r e t r e a t b e f o r e t h e advance of t h e Franco-American f o r c e s

along i t s f r o n t t h a t day. Maas O s t ordered i t s a r t i l l e r y t o make " t h e w i d e s t

p o s s i b l e uee of gas ammunition . . . p y t h e 77's and field h o w i t z e r-


a. with

s l i g h t use of HE" through t h e n i g h t o f 8 - 9 October. The h a r a s s i n g fire of

t h e 7 t h Reserye Division a r t i l l e r y was t o cover Consenvoye and t h e t e r r a i n

t o i t s north, t h a t of t h e 1st Austro-Hungarian D i v i s i o n from Consanvoye.to

Samogneux. the 32nd Division from Samogneur t o Anglemont Ferme, and t h e

15th Division from Anglemont Ferme t o Beaumont. The let Austro-Hungarian


- 2

artillery WES also t o keep Forges and Brabant under heavy f i r e d u r i n g t h e

night. t o prevent f u r t h e r reenforcements coming wer f r o m t h e west bank,

w h i l e from 0500 on i t s a r t i l l e r y and t h a t of t h e 32nd Diviaion were t o

malntain a n n i h i l a t i o n fire on t h e p o r t i o n of t h e Hagen and Brabant S t e l -

iugen on t h e i r fronts.72 The f o r c e s under Colonel Davis -re later t o re-


p o r t t h a t t h e y were "flooded w i t h gas" on 8 - 9 October.

Resuming t h e a t t a c k a t 0640 on t h e 9 October under a 6.000-round

barrage, t h e two b a t t a l l o n s o f t h e 132nd Infantry, with t h e 2nd B a t t a l i o n ,

131st I n f a n t r y , i n support of t h e r i g h t flank, advanced from below t h e

Hols de Chaume and reached t h e i r objective about noontime, a line above

t h e Tranchee l a Vanne and along t h o n o r t h edges of t h e Bois de Chaume and

Bole Plat-Chene. That same morning, as t h e enemy launched a conoerted

-
c o u n t e r a t t a c k a g a i n s t XVII Corps f o r m s . t h e 177th and 102nd I d a n t r x of

72
Maas O s t Order 4163, 8 Oct (Maas O s t Qns Orders t o Oct 18. German
Files Box 48, f o l 810/32.13). M a a s O s t WD, 9 Oct, said i n confirmetion
t h a t "our a r t y held t h e Yeuse c r o s s i n g s as w e l l as assembly p o i n t s and ap-
proaoh r o a d s under heavy fire mixed w i t h gas" (German F i l e s Box 115, Pol
Ia, po 34).

- 45 -
t h e 32nd Division, nhioh had come f n b e s i d e t h e 1st Austro-Hungarim Divi-

-
sion d u r i n g t h e night, a s s a u l t e d t h e 58th Brigade f o r o e s a t t h e t o p o f t h e

Bois de Coasenvoye, driving them hPak through the woods and exposhg the

f l a n k of t h e 33rd Division troops (Map No. Nevertheless, the t h r e e

b a t t a l i o n s continued t o advanoe above t h e Bole de Chaume and a t 1400 were


i n t h e v i c i n i t y of t h e road Prom Siary t o Villeneuve Perme. 74

A t t h a t point, the wheeled and h i t t h e 131st I n f a n t r y

on the r i g h t Plsak, as the 232nd Reserve Infant- end 105th Storm Battal-

-
ion of t h e 1st Austro-Hungarian D i v i s i o n s t r u c k the b a t t a l i o n s of t h e

132nd I n f a n t r y below Si~ry.'~ A 1 1 t h r e e b a t t a l i o n s were d r i v e n baok ap-

proximately two kilometers as the German f o r c e s r e c a p t u r e d t h e Bois de

Chaume and B o i s Plat-Chene. The t r o T s t h a t had fallen baok t o t h e

t r e n c h e s below t h e Bois de Chwme wre desaribed t h a t n i g h t as "in v e r y

73
Msg, Maj Chipenfield BE, 33rd D i g w i t h 18th Fr D i p , 8r50 a.m.,
9 O c t ; Msg, Huidekoper, 9~15.a.m., 9 Oot; Mag, Adj 58th Brig, 10~10
aom., 9 Oct (33rd Div B OX 6. 32.16).

74
P a r t i c u l a r Order 8@/3, XVII Corps. 1Z50 hrs, 9 a c t , r e p o r t i n g Mag,
Huidekoper a t 2r20 p.m. (with Msgs in Box 6. 32-16).

75
These erroneous i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s mf t h e 1st A-H u n i t s involved ap-
pear in a number of 33rd Div records. The 1st A n l v had a 106th 8t.
-
Bn. but not a 105th. and t h e 232nd Rss Inf was -107th
on t h i s front.-Seeap
Dlv end n o t
No. 10 f o r t h e more probable u n i t s . There a r e

-
Div u n i t involved.
-
a l s o d i s c r e p a n c i e s between t h i s map end the r s o o r d s concerning t h e 32nd

- 46 -
\.. l,

,,,
..

COM1R-A1TAQUE
ALLEMA~DE
9 Oct o b r 19 1 8
Secteu,, de

!l~.tffe)

CoNJIEIIIVOYI!

. " "
poor shape. "76

The three h t t a l i o n s :zder Cole Me1 Davis were in no oondition on-

t i m e t h e attack. I n two days they had advanced f i v e kilometers through t h e

Hagen and Volker Stellungen and were a t t h e Giselher Stellung when they were

stopped, .They...had been heavily pounded with s h e l l s and machine-gun fire,

and flooded with gas," and had l o s t 1 o f f i c e r and 37 men k i l l e d , 11 o f f i c e r s


77
and 315 man wounded.

The Division Gas O f f i c e r was t o say there were no rpeoial gas attrrolur

on 8 and 9 October, but t h a t large numbers of gas s h e l l s mixed with HE f e l l

over t h e e n t i r e d i v i s i o n area, on both sides of the Meuse. "The large

losses reported t h i s date G e e . . 257 gas oases i n t h e 129th Infentry, 181

gas cases among t h e forces east of t h e Usus3 were misleading." The

"
1 3

Mag (Conversation), Capt Endm f&O Fr Ilis#io a t 66th Brig Bq t o


G - 3 33rd Div, n.h., 9 Oct (3Srd Div Box 32.18; DaR, S3rd Div, 9 - 10
6,
Oot; Historys I, 112 - 161 Itr, CO 132nd I d t o CG 33rd Div, 15 BOV, subs
CIuf M ~ 36O (33rd Div Box 20, 33.6).
Maas O s t WD, 9 Oot, implied t h r t t h e prinolpal objeot of the ccunter-
attack t h a t day was gronpriluhohe Gill316 in t h e a018 de C h a m 9 , but
i t s 102nd and 177th Inf rere ordered
V o l k e r SGS'lTung (32nd Div-Sub Units IIDhA.
8 - 20 Oct, f C l XIIS pa 112).
A prisoner t h a t day described t h e f o r t i f i e d mg nests, 10 meter-deep
dugou:a. and trench network in t h e B c l s do Chume rrd Boia de Consenvoys

Dlu. t c G - 2 33rd Div, Us06 p-m., 9 Oot).


-
and s a i d t h e m woods would be held and t h a t 3 t o 4 d i v i s i o n s were i n re-
s e n e back of the mods f o r t h a t purpose (Mag, Capt Lauer A s s t G 2 33rd

77
I, 115. Ltr. CO l32nd Inf, 15 Bov, above, said t h e casual-
e 9th were 2 o f f i c e r s and 34men k i l l e d , ? officers, and 191
m e n wounded.
Notes The Histor (I, 115, 362) reports t h e s l l l ~ bcasualty t o t a l s f o r
the bn o f the d o n t h e rest bank as f o r the two bns on t h e e a s t
bank. See p. 57 below. Ltr, 15 Hop, i s probably oorreot.

- -
48
o p e r a t i o n under Colonel Davis had slowed down, s a i d Lieutenant Vawter, and

on t h e 9th a l l those men who -re thought t o have been gassed were s e n t t o

t h e a i d s t a t i o n for examination. The Medical Department k e p t no reoord of

t h e number o f t h o s e who were Bvacuated but estimated t h a t it was a t least

50 percent of t h o s e examined.78

Reenforoements t o t h e East Bank

B r i g a d i e r General Wolf, commander o f t h e 66th Brigade, was nor

placed i n charge of t r o o p s a c r o s s t h e r i v e r , and on t h e n i g h t of 9 October

reenforcements began pouring over t h e bridges. A11 t h r e e battalions of

t h e much-gassed 129th I n f a n t r y , t h e 3rd B a t t a l i o n o f t h e 130th. and t h e

two remaining b a t t a l i o n s o f t h e 131st, r i t h f o u r maohlne gun oompaniss,

were moved a c r o s s d u r i n g t h e night.? Except for t h e b a t t a l i o n of t h e

i32nd I n f a n t r y w i t h t h e 4 t h D i v i s i o n in t h e Bois du Fays, two b a t t a l i o n s

of t h e 130th I n f a n t r y in fYont of B r i e u l l e s , and a s i n g l e maohine gun

company in t h e B o i s de Forges, a l l combat u n i t s of t h e 33rd Division tbre

now on t h e e a s t bank o f t h e Meuse. 8 0

78
L t r , Dco t o C CWS. 22 Feb, subs Gas Atks (GAF-33rd Div). H o s p i t a l
admission l i s t s show 251 gas c a s u a l t i e s and 115 rounded evaouated on 9
O c t (see h a l y s i s ]

79
S i x gas c a s u a l t i e s were r e p o r t e d in one of t h e MG companies when it
t r a v e r s e d a contaminated a r e a i n t h e Boie J u r e t h a t n i g h t (Ltr, WO t o
COO I11 C. 13 Oot. subs Gas Rpts).

80
H i s t o r 6 I, 116 - 17. Aotually, t h e 3 r d Bn, 129th Inf, orossed on
t h e n i g h t of t h e 9th. t h e o t h e r two t h e next day (Chron Be0 of Events
of 65th Brig, 10 Oot, 33rd Dlv Box 13, 11.5).

- 49 -
The mowpent aoross t h e river had been osrried out under contirmal

harassing fire from the e n ~ y


guns t o t h e north. The War Diary of t h e

7th Reserve Division a r t i l l e r y colPmander reported t h a t H a b u d a n t gasH

was i i r e d on t h e night of 9 - 10 October, both on t h e reenforcements


moving down t h e west bank d t h e f o r c e s clinging t o t h e i r p o s i t i o n s on

t h e e a s t benkr

During t h e night the b a t t e r i e s f i r e d heavy harassing f i r e on troop areas.


woods, roads, approaahes. probable assembly pl.Oe8, and brldgehesds aouth
of Viloanas, rest of Sivry t o south of Belhatne-Muhle on t h e rest bonk of
t h e Meuse, with long range fir9 in *On* of our lines s m t h of 8iva-y-
Kronprina draw-@efor H i l l Sl&Sahaumberg Ravine D o the west of Hills
375 and 38a-south of Pantaleon Rape11 The n i g h t l y harassing shoot was
carried out with abundant gas OontUnt. Qi
The order for a t t a c k issued by IVII Corps on t h e evening of t h e 9 t h
directed t h e Jjrd Division t o retake t h e & i s de C h a w and Bois Plnt-

Chene w i t h t h e tro "fresh. h t t a l i o n a Of t h e 131.t Infantry i n t h e lead,

exploiting t o t h e line south of Sirry-Villeneuve Perme-Orid l i n e 24 (see

Map No. 2)- The 58th Brigade of t h e 29th Divlsion and t h e 18th French

Division would continue t h e i r advanoe t o t h e Bola de la Grnnde Montagne,


82
Bois de la, Reine, and Bois d'0rmont.

When General Wolf arrived on the east bank, he reported t o General

Be;Ls

81
&ko 95 RD, 10 Oct (7th Rae Div-Sub Unita-WDU, 23 Sep 11 Oot, - *
G e r m a m Box 155, f o l 11, p. 52); Morning Rpt, 7th Res Div, 10 O o t
(fol I, p - 188). The Morning R p t for 11 Oct (p. 19'6) said t h a t during
t h e night gas and HE had again been put on troop assembly areas. roads.
draws, and t h e bridgeheads on t h e Ueuse.

82
Mag. C O B XVII Corps. 9145 p-m.. 9 Oot; P a r t i o u l a r Order 864/3, 9
Oct (3Srd Div Box 6, 32.16).

- 50 -
I '
-
Unless r t h e 58th B r i g a d e l h e l p s us on t h e r i g h t , we w i l l be o n l g throwing
away men-to a t t a c k t h e German f o r c e s in t h e woodsx. Bader E a p t 9 u).
French M i s s i o g t h i & u n l e s s t h e y w i l l help us we should withdraw t o t h e
-
normal o b j e c t i v e q O e o nConsenvoye-top o f Bois de Consenvoya.

General B e l l r e p l i e d s

That a t t a c k h a s got t o be made tomorrow morning a t 6 o'clock. Has Ridpay


been r e l i e v e d in accordance w i t h my o r d e r s $ R e l i e w h h a t once....He is
panicky- The regiment a t t h e r i g h t i s golng t o make t h e attack....Nere the
t r o o p s of t h e 131st engaged i n t h i s f i g h t ? What 19 t o prevent t h e f i v e
b a t t a l i o n s t h a t d i d not t a k e p a r t . making t h e a t t a c k tomorroxt...You have
five fresh battalions. I w i l l see t h a t t h e y g e t t h e r e o 83

The a t t a c k was made without t h e h e l p of t h e 58th Brigade on t h e r i g h t .

The b a r r a g e came down a t 0605 on t h e morning of t h e 1 0 t h and t h e t r o o p s

moved out through Colonel Davis' exhausted and disorganized foreas in t h e

Tranchee du Cable. Against heavy a r t i l l e r y and machine gun f i r e , t h e 3rd

Liattalion, 131st Infantry. fought i t s way through t h e Bois de Chaume t o

",LO r m d from S i v r y t o Villeneuve Ferme. A t 1050 i t s oommander reported1

Our t r o o p s gained o b j e c t i v e but could n o t hold it on account of i n t e n s e


s h e l l i n g and machine gun f i r e . S h e l l i n g i s of HE and gasq Am t r y i n g t o
g a t h e r t r o o p s who are i n t h e underbrush and w i l l e s t a b l i s h a new l i n e i n
La Vanne t r e n c h west of B O i S de C h a w . C a n you send re-inforoements t o
join on my r i g h t ?

R3
Msg (Conv). n o h D s 9 Oct (33rd Div Box 6, 32016) r e c o r d s a s e r i e s o f
conversations between Bader, Wolf, and B e l l t h a t night. One conv i n d i -
c a t e s it was 2040 when Gen B e l l ordered t h e two bns of t h e 129th and one
of t h e 130th t o r p t t o Cen Wolf on t h e e a s t bank, and t h a t t h e y were t o
lead t h e a t t a c k a t d a y l i g h t . B u t t h e 131st I n f . u n i t s , preceding them
acrosa t h e river, mnde t h e a t t a c k .
The r e f e r e n c e t o Mag H a m l e t C o Ridgway (2nd Bn, 131st hf) meems explained
i n Rpt, 131st Inf Engagement a t B o i s de Chaume (33rd Div Box 19, 33.6)s
"One r e c e n t l y assigned Major who had never been in a c t i o n before was in-
c l i n e d t o be panicky, and more o r less d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n e x i s t e d i n some of
t h e t h r e e Regimental Detachments and Machine Oun Companies s c a t t e r e d as
t h e y were through t h e woods." Major Ridgway, however, was w i t h t h e d i v i -
sion when it a r r i v e d i n France, The " r e o e n t l y assigned Major" has not
otherwise been i d e n t i f i e d .

- Sl -
& hour l a t e r he signalleds

We are in a hole. S O i b I& Battalion. Collprny A of I& Battalion is wlth-


drawing. In- a r t i l l e r y fire is ruining us.

And ten mlnutes l a t e r r

1 s t Battallon is n m lo00 yards t o my r i g h t with no troops in be-. I


have no f i e l d of firs and in oase Of & t M k rill have t o f a l l baok ln t h e
woods. The woods are baing shelled very heavily end it would be atrod
impossible t o keep troops in there with gas as strong as it i ~ . . ~ . is ftb
possible t o s t a y ln the f r o n t edge of t h e woods without having a g w msk
on all the time. We sure need more men.

A t 1240, t h e 3rd Battalion f e l l baok through tho woods.84

On the r i g h t , t h e 1st Battalion, 131rt Infantry, i n i t l a l l y dlsorgan-


ized by intense machine gun f i r e , had almost oome up t o t h e 3rd Batfalion

when i t s position d o n g t h e north edge of t h e woods was made UntaMble by

h o s t i l e f i r e and "vegetation...reeking with gas.r85 Tenable o r not, t h e

1st Battalion hung on, for ht 1400 t h e oomander of the 131st Infantry re-

ported h i s line spread t h i n l y along t h e north edges of Chaume end P l a t -

Chene woods, w i t h o u t any slgn of the 58th Brigade on h i s flank. Ten min-
u t e s later. t h e 1st Battalion signallads

Enemy is forming f o r oourtsrattaok. Without f u r t h e r strength f o r f r o n t


line w i l l have t o withdraw. Heavy o a s u a l t i e s have been suffered and no
t o u c h on r i g h t . 6 6

84
Msg, CO 3rd En l31st Inf @a3 F r m o i s Y. Allea t o CO l3lst Inf,

Msg. 3rd En, %.,TO (33rd Div Em 18, 32.16.)


-
1050, 10 O o t ; Msg, ibld.. 1206; Mag, Capt Y q M r w i t h 3rd En, i b i d . , 1215;

65
Historx, I. lt8 - 21.
06
Mag, CO 131st I d E o l Jos B. t o CO 115th Inf m t h Bria.
1400, 10 Oat; Mag. CO 1st Bn. 131.t CoadyI t o CO 131st Inf,
1410, (33rd Div Box 6, 32.16. )
Although Ysg. CO 131st Inf t o CO 1st Bn. 1 S l s t Inf, 1356, 10 Oot (33rd Div
Box 18. 32.16) ordered Capt Walter H. Magner of 2nd En, 1313t Id' t o replaoo
Coady as 1st Bn comdr. t h i s does n o t seem t o have taken place until 13 Oot.
See b s l o w , p 610

- 52 -
Advance elements of b o t h t h e 3 r d and l a t B a t t a l i o n s , 131st I n f a n t r y ,

seem t o have got on t h e road west of S i v r y and above t h e Bois Plat-Chene

almost t o Villeneuve Ferme, l o r t h e f i r s t were seen from t h e air and,

though questionable, t h e o t h e r s were so r e p o r t e d at 1600 by t h e 1st B a t - ,

talionr

Have suffered heavy c a s u a l t i e s . Troops dug in on 84 Meridian. 1st Bat-


t a l i o n , 129th I n f a n t r y i n r e a r my r i g h t flank.87

With t r o o p elements dug i n t o t h e e a s t of S i v r y and t h e remainder of

t h e 3rd and 1st B a t t a l i o n s , 131st I n f a n t r y , disorganized and s o a t t e n t d

above and i n t h e Bois de Chaume and Bois Plat-Chene, t h e 3rd B a t t a l l o m

of t h e 130th and 129th I n f a n t r y were s e n t up a s support on t h e afternoon

of t h e 10th. and -re themselves thrown i n t o d i s o r d e r by t h e n t e r r l f i o

a r t i l l e r y f i r e c o n s i s t i n g of high explosive, shrapnel and gas, as well

as f l a n k i n g machine gun fire r e s u l t i n g i n many oasualties. The ter-

r a i n whioh t h e y oooupied was flooded w i t h gas, and enemy p l a n e s sprayed

t h e line w5.th machine gun fire...without opposition. 88

That n i g h t t h e left s i d e of t h e line remalned near Sivry, while t h e

b a t t e r e d r i g h t of t h e line, h e l d only by dlsorganieed detachments, dug in

along Dens l e s Vaux v a l l e y and through t h e woods e a s t t o Meridlna 24. Vn-


der heavy machine gun, s h e l l , and gas f l r e , it was not p o s s i b l e to Connect

87
Ysg and map dropped by L t Borden. 90th A i r Squad, 1520, 10 O c t ; Af,
CO 1st Bn 131st Inf t o CO 131st I n f , 1600 (33rd Div Box 6, 32.16).

88
HiBtory. I, 122 - 240

- 53 -
up t h e l i n e , but i n d i v i d u a l u n i t s dug i n t h e b e s t t h e y could.n89

A t 2015 t h a t n i g h t , t h e ccm..;nder of t h e 1st B a t t n l i o n , 131& Infantry,


s e n t t h e f i r s t of a series of messages d e s c r i b i n g h i s p l i g h t s

Counterattack i m i n e n t as enemy has been massing t r o o p s a l l day. Front


t h i n l y held. Support is a b s o l u t e l y n e c e s s a r y if m hold.

Need support. Valley is s h e l l e d and gassed. C a s u a l t i e s estimated a t so$.


My r i g h t f l a n k e n t i r e l y opene Have l o s t touch w i t h my C and D compmies
and t h e other h o badly s h o t up- Need support.go

A t midnight, t h e regimental surgeon r e p o r t e d r


The extreme p o i n t of endurance has a l m o s t been reaohed and I have gr
f e a r s f o r t h e r e s u l t if t h e regiment is not withdrawn from t h e line. 8Te
I n d i c a t i n g t h e probable d i s p o s i t i o n of 33rd Division t r o o p s on t h e

night of 10 Ootober is a map prepared by t h e 129th Infantry, t r a c i n g t h e

movements of i t s b a t t a l i o n s between 9 - 20 October (Map No. 11). Another

n-7 showing t h e d i s p o s i t i o n of 131st I n f a n t r y troops on t h e 1 0 t h 18 repre-

sented by t h e Overlay t o Map No. 11. Neither map i n d i o a t e s eny advance

for:ea or patrols on a l i n e w i t h Sivry, although messages and reaords of

events p u t them t h a t f a r forward.

S t i l l another map, Zade by an o f f i c e r of t h e H i s t o r i o a l Section, Army


War College. and based on u n i d e n t i f i e d d i v i s i o n r e c o r d s and an a c t u a l survey
of t1,; t e r r a i n east of t h e &use, appears as Map No. 12. It is u n l i k e l y

that any of t h e b a t t a l i o n s represented, except perhaps t h o s e in t h e Tranche0

89
History, I, 124.
90
Msgs, Coady CO 1st B n t o CO 131st Inf. 2016. 2246, 2400, 10 Oat (33rd
D l v Box 6 , 32016).
91
Msg, IdD t o CO 131st Inf, 2400, 10 Oct (33rd Div Box 18, 32.16).

- 5 4 -
S\tiaa.t,- Ma.f Mo.5
l'I., ... , .. , ....... ,.,

-.-'IO Oc~'M9
,...__
3'1. D\ .... ,,. 11,t

..... ' ......<,...........


Sae ..10 .....,,,....
- - ~ 1" ~ ...............,.
6

D.,., \es

-rt.I'''
~ , u(t1

~, o~~

~, Oct .,.1,.

t'\A P N.O. ll

55
MAP TO ACCOMPANY FIELD NOTES
ON 33 D1V1510N E 1tt.ST uF MIUSE
-
I
U

OVEULAY T O
M A P NO. I \
.
.

"
du Cable and above Consenvoye, posses8od anything l i k e t h o coho8ion indi-

oated on t h e s e mapso

On t h e w e s t bark of t h e Meuse on t h e loth, under r e l a t i v o l y l i g h t

enemy f i r e , t h e 1 s t and 2nd B a t t a l i o n s of t h e 130th I n f a n t r y were spread

i n a t h i n l i n e from t h e western edge of t h e B o l s de l a Cote Lemont, through

t h e Bois de Dannevoux, around t h e bend of t h e Yeuse. down t o L a i t e r i e do

Belhaine. w i t h two platoons s e n t t h a t day t o oocupy t h e s e c t o r b t r e o n


92
Damevoux a& Consenvoye.

The only o t h e r element of t h e 3Srd D i v i s i o n on t h a t s i d e of t h e rlvor

was t h e 3rd B a t t a l i o n , 132nd Infantry, and i t s maohine gun company, with

t h e 4 t h Division in t h e Bols du Fays. On t h e 10th it p a r t i o i p a t e d i n t h e

a t t a c k a g a i n s t t h e Bois de Foret, advanoing t o t h e n o r t h e r n edgv of t h e

wood, and holding i t s p o s i t i o n u n t i l r e l i e v e d by t h e 3rd Division on t h e

13th. I n I t s week w i t h t h e 4 t h Division, t h e b a t t a l i o n l o s t 1 o f f l c e r and

37 men k i l l e d , 11 o f f i c e r s and 315 men wounded and gassed. The maohlne

gun company oollrmander was t o say t h a t due t o t h e enemy a l t e r n a t i n g high

v e l o c i t y s h e l l s w i t h gas. 105 of h i s 130 oombat men had become c a s u a l t i e s


93
d u r i n g t h a t week.

92
I i l p t O ~ , I, 1250
93
I, 125, 130, 362. L t r , CO YO Co 132nd Inf t o CO 132nd Inf,
30 J G subs p R p t on Aotion...in Bois du Fays, 6 -
12 Oot (33rd Div
Box 20, 33.6).
Cf Msg, MaJ Bullington CO 3rd Eb 132nd I n f t o 0 -
3 33rd Div. 5110 p a e .
10 O o t (33rd Div Box 6 , 32.161% I have had 9 o f f i c e r s an3 about 163 m e n
o a s u a l t i e s . Located in Bois de Fays. My dootor and first a i d people were
all gassed and have gone t o t h e hospital.

- 57 -
-
"Situation...untenaS~e...c3Jditlon of menqo.desperate"

The order of X V I I French Corps on t h e evening of 10 October announoed

t h a t t h e Line reached t h a t day ran a c r o s s t h e t o p of t h e B o l a de Chaume


and Bois Pl&-Chene-Hill 371 (west of Richene, t.e.. H i l l 382)-the north-

ern edge of t h e Bcis de Molleville-southern edge o f the B o l a d'Onnont.

There wa8 no change in t h e mission of t h e 33rd Division. a s t h e 58th Brig-

ads was d i r e c t e d t o continue i t s advanoe t o t h e Grmde Montagne t h e next

morning, supported b y t h e French d i v l s i o n s on i t s r i g h t . 94

B u t t h e Bois de Chaume wee a s yet tenuously held, and most of t h e

Bois Plat-Chene remained f i r m l y i n t h e enemy's hands. Fearing another

c o u n t e r a t t a c k a g a i n s t i t s t i r e d forces, t h e 33rd DiVl61OII directed t h a t

emergency defense line be prepared along t h e top of t h e B o l s da


L I ~ L ~running
. ~ s o u t h e a s t t o H l l i 371, w i t h a l i a i s o n detachment between

H i l l s 371 ar.d 382 (Richene), oonnectfng w i t h t h e 58th Brigade. "The Line

"f Rosiatanoe will be held t o t h e last....Prompt means w i l l be t a h t o

b r i n g up a l l stragglers, end to complete m y necessary r e o r g a n i r a t l o n of

units. "95

94
H i s h r x , I, 126.

95
FO 29, 3 3 r d Div, 9r00 Fern., 10 O c t , ; PM, CG 66th Rr!g t o Opns 0 131st
Inf. 2025. 10 Oct(33rd Div Box 18, 32.16).
Troops " d r i f t i n g t o t h e rear i n l a r g e nuubers upon small excuse"
lem i n t h e St. M i h i e l o p e r a t i o n --
became a r e a l t h r e a t on t h e whole Army
--
a prob-

f r o n t fn October, Sec 111 Cor28 o r d e r s on s t r a g g l i n g , c i t e d i n Conf Memo


7, 33rd Div, 7 Sap, and C u n f Memo 24, 33rd Div, 2 1 O a t (33rd Div Box 5 ,
32015).
The event$ e a s t of t h e Meuse t h a t week were a n t i c i p a t e d by I11 Corps be-
fore t h e o p e r a t i o n began. Opns I n s t r u c t i o n s , 131st Inf. 25 Sep (33rd Div

- 5 8 -
Throughout t h e n i g h t of 10 - 11 October and t h e following day incea-

s a n t high explosive, machine gun. and gas f i r e hampered t h e d i v i s i o n as it

sought t o round up i t s s t r a g g l e r s , r e o r g a n i z e i t s u n i t s . and s e t up t h e de-

f e n s i v e l i n e on t h e edge of t h e Bois de Chaume. The commander of t h e 1st

B a t t a l i o n , 131st Infantry, i n t h e v a l l e y above Chaume. r e p o r t e d t h a t mom-

ings "Am being flanked on r i g h t by heavy machine gunsa Can't hold 011

much longer. Advise." So f a r as he could t e l l , he had e o f f i c e r s and 243

men left in h i s b a t t a l i o n . including headquarters mene One company had

only 30 men and was without o f f i c e r s . 96

Some idea of t h e oonfusion a t t h e time may ta seen i n Brigadler

General Wolf's o r d e r , and i t s sequelae. t o Colonel Sanborn of t h e 131st

I n f a n t r y on t h e morning of t h e 11th. t o t a k e command of t h e 3rd B a t t a l i o n s

of t h e 1 2 9 t h and 130th I n f a n t r y , w i t h t h e i r machine gun u n i t s . aa well as

h i s own regiment and machine gun companies. When t h e s e s o a t t e r e d a d caa-


ualty- ridden elements had been regrouped, he was t o organize a d e f e n s i v e

l i n e with a b a t t a l i o n each of t h e 131st. 130th. and 129th Infantry a b r e a s t

along Grid 8 2 , a support l i n e in t h e t r e n o h e s below Bois de C h a m and Bois

Plat- Chene v i t h t h e 1st and 2nd B a t t a l i o n s of t h e 131st Infantry. and

95 (oont inued)
Box 18, 32.11) quoted a l t r from Gen Bullarda "In t h e f i g h t expect from
even good c f f i o e r s r e p o r t s of t h e i r losses g r e a t e r t h a n e v e r occurred i n
any battle...oExpeot t h e r e f o r e h y s t e r i c a l o u t c r i e s f o r reenforcements long
b e f o r e t h e y a r e neoessary....Make big p r o v i s i o n s f o r m i l i t a r y p o l i c e t o
push men back i n t o t h e f i r i n g line. Search r e a r echelons and k i t c h e n s

96
Msgs. 1st En 131st Inf t o CO 1 3 1 s t Inf, 1000, 1100, 11 Oct (33rd Dlv
Box 16. 32.16; Box 6, 32.16).

- -59
reserve f o r c e s in t h e t r e n c h e s n o r t h e a s t of Consenvoys comprising t h e 1st

and 3rd B a t t a l i o n s of t h e 129th i d a n t r y and 2nd B a t t a l i o n , 132& lnfan-


97
try.
Almost continuous heavy enemy fire made movement a l l but impossible

and l i t t l e r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of u n i t s or p r e p a r a t i o n of defensive p o s i t i o n s

was achieved over t h e next three days. As Colonel Sanborn s a i d ,

The troops from 6 BOY., OCtOber 10th t o t h e n i g h t of October 14th-lSth


were subjected t o s h e l l fire, maohine gun fire, gas, aeroplane a t t a o k a
and f i r e frw s n i p e r s i n c e s s a n t l y i n some p a r t s of t h e l i n e . Very fw
were a b l e t o o b t a i n any needed rest or Sleep. To add t o t h e i r discom-

t o p a r t s of t h e l i n e , sometimes it wan s p o i l e d by mustard gas,


areas In t h e woods oompelled men t o wear gas masks n e a r l y all tFe time....
rand
f o r t it r a i n e d n e a r l y every day, f r e q u e n t l y food oould n o t be trans o r t e d
lor

And he added8

commencing t h e n i g h t of t h e 10th u n t i l t h e r e l i e f , b a t t a l i o n and oompmy


oommanders Eenc messages E o n s t a n t l a p o r t r a y i n g t h e s i t u a t i o n an un-
t e n a b l e and t h e c o n d i t i o n o f r t h a men as desperate. 98

Of t h e messages e x t a n t in t h e records of t h e d i v i s i o n , t h o s e of t h e
1st Battalion, 131st Infantry, a r e most complete. In a f l n a l exchange
with Colonel Sanborn on t h e 12th. Major Coady reported6

The o o n d i t i o n of t h e B a t t a l i o n i e S W f i l l y bad. The men are oompletely ex-


hausted. They are c o n s t a n t l y exposed t o a r t i l l e r y and machine gun fire....

51
I, 128
13mhii;zy -
33; YSg, co 131st Inf t o UaJ B i t t l e
1100, 11 Oct (33rd Div Box 18. 32.16).
E
O 3rd En,

The remains of t h e 1st and 3rd Ens, 129th Inf were ordered oonsolldated
in t h e e a r l y morning of t h e 12th (Ysg, PC 130th Inf t o 3rd En 131st Inf
C--
s i c l . 2 ~ 2 0aomo. 12 Oot. 33rd Div Box 18. 32.16).

98
131st Inf Engagement a t B o i s d e Chaume, 10
1 9 ~33.6); Histor& I, 359.
- 14 Oct (33rd Div Box

-.60 -
They c a n ' t p o s s i b l y stand it any longer. [Only 2 o a p t a i m and 3 l i e u t e n a n t s
a r e len.3 t h e o t h e r o f f i o o r a being k i l l e d or rounded. I have approximately
250 men leftt. Moat of them when t h e y g e t out of hero rill be p h y s i c a l
wrecks. Can't something be done t o relimo t h i s s i t u a t i o n t
Colonel danborn r e p l i e d $

S t a y where you a r e and hold the line u n t i l you h e a r f u r t h e r from m0. You
are no worse off t h a n t h e r e s t of t h e troops r h o are holding on and making
no oomplaints.99
The nest day, Major Coady of t h e 1st B a t t a l i o n r a m replaoed by Captain

Xagner, Major Ridgray o f t h e 2nd Battalion who had f a l l e n back on t h e morn-

ing of t h e Bth, w a s replaoed by C a p t r l n Yarr, m d t h e u s s a g o s hol t h o 1st


B a t t a l i o n ceased. 100

Neither Amy, oorps, nor diTiOiOna1 artillery, aodinod since 2

October t o t h e f i r i n g o f HE alone. appears t o have been o f f e a t i v e against

t h e heavy enmy fire. Although t h e 52nd FA Brigade, on t h o west tank ad-

vanoed its 75's from t h e Bois do Forges t o t h o Bola Jure, with 8eWral

b a t t e r i e s p u t aaross t h e river below Consomop, and from t h e Cote d*Oie

t o t h e v i c i n i t y of heroourt, t o give o l o a e r support t o t h e operations on

t h e east bank, it oould g e t no d i r e o t i o n a f o r i t s f l r e and t h e enmy w p s

poured l n s h e l l urnoleatad. lo1

The b a t t e r i e s of t h e 1st Austro-Hungarian D i r i a i o n joined in t h a t

Maas Oat fire, b u t b y 10 October t h e t r o o p s of t h e *man d i v i s i o n were

99
Mas, 1st Bn 131st Inf t o CO 131.t Id, 1215, 12 Oot; Mag t o co 1st
Bn. 131at Inf. 1220 (33rd Div Box 18, 32-16),
100
Mag, CO 131st I d , 1500, 13 Oot (33rd D ~ vBOX l8, 32.16).
101
Hiatory, I, 128, 132, 136.

- 61 -
reduced t o defensive c l u s t e r s of exhausted mena A ten-page o p e r a t i o n s re-

p o r t of t h e d i v i s i o n d e s c r i b e s in some d e t a i l t h e a c t i o n of t h e 1st Austro-

H u n g a r i q and 32nd Division on 0 - 10 October. It a a s e r t a that eaoh Ger-


man regiment in t h e l i n e ras opposed by an e n t i r e Amerioan or h e n o h d i v i -

sion, and t h a t regrcuplng of t h e a v a i l a b l e a r t i l l e r y , t o g e t h e r w i t h d e t e r -

mined oounterattaoks by t h e l a s t reserve f o r c e s on t h a t f r o n t , were t h e

d e c i s i v e f a c t o r s in t h e aucoeasful hcldlng operatlon. 102

On t h e afternoon o f 1 2 October, t h e remnants of t h e 1st &stro-

Hungarlen Division wvre r e l i w e d by t h e 228th Division and marched t o

Jamet; (Map No. 13), t o reorganice new combat units from it and be ready

f o r re-employment a s soon as p o s s i b l e . w 103

Overwhelming as t h e enemy fire seemed t o t h e 33rd Division, General

TYI Soden of h a s Ost wss t o e x p r e s s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n on 1 2 October w i t h

t h e fire performanoe of t h e d i v i s i o n a l a r t i l l e r y under h i s conmandb An

orf:ar t h a t day said$

I n s p i t e of mmy d i r e c t i o n s in c o r p s o r d e r s on 2, 5, 6, 8, 9.
Octobea t h a t gas -nition l a r g e amounts be fired...
t h e ammunition consvmDtim survey of 10-11 October showed t h a t nothing ap-
proaching t h i s o r d e r wn8 achieved. According to t h i s survey o n l y 2.262
rounds of gas a g a i n s t 29,843 rounds of HE were fired i n t h e e n t i r e group
areao I ask a l l headquarters w i t h all t h e i r means t o o a r r y out t h e glven

Opns Rpt 2966, Combat A c t i v i t i e s E a s t o f t h e ldeuse, 1st A-H Dlv, 14


Oct ( I t a l i a n F i l e s Box 2, A-H Army Hq).
103
. opns Rpt 2966, p- 10. On 18 Oct, t h e worn-out 1st A-H Div was
back in t h e l i n e , i n t h e Vilosnes- Sivry s e c t o r , replac-th Div,
and adjacent t o t h e 6 t h Bav Res Div of Maas West.

- 62 -
~ . ,...... ..,
L'\" ....... t . . ...
s. "~ ...... .
'9+.... ..,_ \\. '0 ,I.I
" '"'" .,,.,..,;tt.,,
Sew ~"'6o..- ,._,,
,.,...,.':~.... ...... ~. Gt"' .......
fOu 'f'ilA

Sltu.atio ,,Oct

Motl!. is., ......., ......::.


..........,,..........
........ .fll ...............

63
o r d e r s regarding the expenditure of g a s emuunition. lCM

There i s evidence t h a t MaLBBS O s t a r t i l l e r y sought t o comply w i t h t h i s

d i r e c t i v e , f o r 7 t h Reserve Division o r d e r s t o i t s a r t i l l e r y for t h e n i g h t s

o f 12 - 13 October and 13 - 14 October c a l l e d f o r "heavy gas content" and

"abundant use of gas" i n t h e h a r a s s i n g fire missions in t h e D e e v o w area,

in t h e roods of Cote Lemont. Moriaux, Dannevoux, and Jure, t h e l e n g t h of

t h e Vilowes-Drillancourt road. t h e e a s t edge of t h e Bols de Forges aoross

t o Consenvoye. t h e Sivry-Consenvoyu road, and each of t h e p r l n c i p a l v i l -

&ages on t h e west beak of t h e Meuse. lo5 The 33rd D i v i s i o n is said t o

have reported a t o t a l O f 2,000 g a s ShSlls. p r i n c i p a l l y yellow c r o s s and

green c r o s s (phosgene), in i t s s e c t o r through t h e r e e k of 14 - 2 1 October,


and gas cases increased p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y .
106

TAM-
Opns 0 4268. Maas O s t . 12 Oct (German Files Box 48, f o l 810-32.13).
Of t h e s e five orders, only t h a t of 8 Oat h a s beea found i n t h e German
files. Maas West Order 759. 12 Oct, s i m i l a r l y ordered more "generous
use of gas" and "more gas t h a n shrapnel," but p v e no anuo sumnary.
-
West lPneAI 24 Sep -
11 Nov, German F i l e s Box 50, f o l 11, p. 61).
(Maas -
Notes T h i s is t h e only German document giving p r e c l s e f i g u r e s on g a s
ammo emended. Presumably t h e period of time over which t h e 2.262 zas
shells ;ere f i r e d by t h e a r t y o'f t h e 7 t h Res Div 1st A-I Div,-32nd-Div,
and 228th.Div
to. 2 -
12 Oct.
--all of Maas Ost -- -8
w a a t of t h e o o r p e orders r e f e r r e d

If t h i s was t h e weight of gas s h e l l Pired by Maaa O s t arty on both banks


o f t h e Meuse, t h e amount f a l l i n g i n t h e 33rd Div sect'ors on e i t h e r side
of t h e river cannot have been g r e a t , tut p u t on t i r e d t r o o p s it prbduoed
r e s u l t s out of a l l proportion t o i t s w i g h t .

105
Div Orders 127/10 and 135/10
German F i l e s Box 155, Pol I, pp.
WDU, 1 3 Sep - 19 Oat,
106
L t r , COO I11 Corps t o COO F i r s t Amy. 27 Oct, sub6 Weekly Rpt, 2 1
Oct (1st Amy Box 340. 111 CW).

-64-
I t w a s t h e n i g h t of 13 - 15 October before p a r t i a l l y regrouped u n i t s
on t h e e a s t bank moved i n t o t h e defense, support, and r e s e r v e p o s i t i o n s

t h a t had been prepared during i n t e r v a l s in t h e enemy s h e l l i n g . Only two,

i n s t e a d o f t h e planned t h r e e , b a t t a l i o n s #re put into the front l i n e

p o s i t i o n s , w i t h one in support and four i n resome. The o t h e r two b a t t a l -

ions on t h a t s i d e of t h e river, t h e 1st and 2nd of t h e 132nd I n f a n t r y ,

h a r d e s t h i t in t h e c o u n t e r a t t a c k on t h e 9th, remained i n t h e t r e n c h e s
107
near t h e r e s e r v e s a t Consanvop.

The 2nd B a t t a l i o n , 129th Infantry, was one of t h e two u n i t e t h a t

moved f o r w a r d t o Grid 82 i n t h e Bois do Chaume t h a t n i g h t (see M a p No.

11) D

They were engaged i n improving t h e i r p o s i t i o n s u n t i l t h e 1 5 t h of October.


In t h i s wood t h e m a t h e r continued damp and oold, a c o n t i n u a l f o g hanging
in t h e woods, and r a i n f a l l i n g often. The enemy used all c a l i b e r s i n
s t r a f i n g t h e woods, nnd swept from one end t o t h e o t h e r with h i s b a t t e r -
i e s night and day. Gas w a s used e x t e n s i v in h i a bombardments and t h e
t r o o p s had t o be c o n s t a n t l y on t h e a l e r t .!&
The two remaining b a t t a l i o n s of t h e 129th, i n reserve above t h e Consen-

voye road, reported six "heavy gas and HE bombardments" between 13 - 15


109
October

The occupation o f t h e h a s t y defense lines on t h e nlght of 13 - 14


October terminated t h e a o t i v e o p e r a t i o n s of t h e 3Srd Division east of t h e

Meuse.

Ti)7

Box :m 2).
I, 136 - 37. Sea Opns 0 10, 130th Inf, 1 9 Oot (33rd Div
for t h e f i n a l defensive organization.
108
Opns o f 2nd En, 129th Inf. History, 11, 657.
109
801. 129th Inf, 13 - 15 Oct (33rd Div Box 16, 32.16).

- -66
Yodest Gains

Marshal Foch i n h i s Memoirs s a i d t h a t between 8 - 10 October t h e

XVII French Corps g o t pOssOS6iOn of t h e l i n e Sivry-Beaumont, b u t after


10 October it

m e t w i t h c o n s t a n t l y i n c r e a s i n g r e s i s t a n c e f r o m t h e enemy and t h e means


a t i t s d i s p o s a l were i n s u f f i c i e n t t o overcome t h e o b s t a c l e s whioh i t s
advance encountered. Its g a i n s became more and more modest. The enemy
seemed firmly resolved t o hold t h e r l g h t bank of t h e Meuse a t all c o s t s
-- an assumptionwhich w a s a11 t h e more p l a u s i b l e s i n c e t h i s w a s h i s
s o l e chance o f covering and a f f 8 r i n g t h e r e t r e a t o f h i s beaten armies
on h i s r i g h t wing and oentre.

In e x t e n u a t i o n of t h e Pailure o f t h e 33rd D i v i s i o n t o p u t i t s

forces on Haraumont r i d g e , COlCnel Sanborn, connnanding t h e a t t a o k i n g

troops, s a i d t h a t t h r e e times h i s m e n had been on t h s f i n a l o b j e o t i v e

-
thefiivry-Villeneuve -
Ferme roadlover-looking t h e r i d g e and eaoh t h e had

nad t o f a l l back when t h e troops on t h e r i g h t had been unable t o advance

t h e i r lines. Each time t h a t t h e 33rd had moved o u t i n f r o n t , enemy

machine guns had worked t h e i r way back through t h e r o o d s GO t h e open

f l a n k and t h e l i n e had t o be withdrawn t o keep from being c u t t o pieces.

" I t was not deemed advisable," he said, " t o s h e l l and g a s t h e woods on

the right c.eo, -


l a Grande Montagnelexcept as a l a s t r e s o r t for fear of

110
ppo 413, 442 - 43. N o t q u i t e a t a l l c o s t s . When, about 20 O c t .
t h e 1st A-H Div learned t h a t Maas West had o r d e r s t o withdraw t o t h e
Senta S t e l l u n g (below Aincrev'i1le-DOu~COn) if' a f u l l s c a l e a t t a c k was
made on t h e h i l l s n o r t h of B r i e u l l e s , the d i v i s i o n u r g e n t l y requested
d i r e c t i o n s f o r i t s own withdrawal i n t h a t event (Opns Sec Heekly F@t
3043, P r e p a r a t i o n s f o r Withdrawal and Morale of Troops, 21 Oot, I t a l i a n
F i l e s Box 2, A-H Army Hq).

- 66 -
i n t e r f e r i n g with troops...attempting t o come forward. ... This report

is t h e only evidence t h a t Haraumont r i d g e was t h e 33rd Dlvision o b j e c t i v e ,

or t n a t t h e r e was ever any thought of g a s s i n g t h e B o i s de l a Grande


112
Montagne

More t r u l y , t h e t i r e d and often- gassed t r o o p s t h a t crossed t h e Meuse

on t h e n i g h t of 9 October was so c u t up and disorganized from t h e 1 0 t h on

t h a t t h e y were in no c o n d i t i o n t o make t h a t advanoe a g a i n s t w i t h e r i n g

f i r e a c r o s s open country t o t h e r i d g e . Losses i n t h e seven days between

8 - 14 October were r e p o r t e d a s 2 o f f i o e r s and 53 men k i l l e d . 7 Officers

and 597 men wounded, and 643 o f f i c e r s and men evaouated a8 gas and ex-
113
h a u s t i c n cases, a t o t a l of 1,302 b a t t l e c a s u a l t i e s .

ALL
131st Inf Engagement at Bcis de Chaume. 10
19, 33.6).
-
14 Oat (3Srd Dlv BOX
Word t h a t t h e 1 3 1 s t I n f had reached t h e o b j e c t i v e three times
VBB r e p o r t e d Ln a s i n g l e Msg, Opns Off 1 3 1 s t Inf t o Opns O f f 66th Brig.
1550. 10 Oct (33rd Div Box 18, 32.16).

112
In 33rd Div Box 5, 32.12 Opns 0 , is an o v e r l a y w i t h o v t d a t e , i d e n t l -
f i c a t i o n , or explanation, showing s i x c i r c l e d t a r g e t s i n l a Grande Montagne,
including H i l l s 377 and 375, and a seventh c i r c l e around a l l Sivry-Sur-
Meuse. Gas or smoke on t h e s e areas might w e l l have a i d e d t h e advance on
t h e 33rd Div.

113
I. 145. Brig Gen Wolf, Opns on E a s t Bank of t h e Yeuse. 20
F%F
Nov ( r d v Box 15, 33.6). t h e souroe of theme f i g u r e s , aaid of t h e
643 gassed and exhaustion cases t h a t 152 were evacuated on 1 6 Oct. 4 2 9 on
1 7 Oct, and 62 on 16 Oot.
Rpt, 131st Inf Engagement a t Bois de Chaume. 10 -
14 Oot (33rd Div Box
19, 33,6), claimed t h a t 131st Inf o a s u a l t i e s alone were 14 k i l l e d and an
incomplete t o t a l of 141 wounded. It a l s o claimed = t h e 43 gas and ex-
h a u s t i o n c a s e s , Else-&ere in t h e same r e p o r t , i n a o o n t r a d i o t o r y set of
f i g u r e s , t h e 131st Inf claimed i t s s t r e n g t h on 8 Oct w a s 57 o f f i c e r s and
2,164 men, and t h a t it l o s t 1 9 o f f i c e r s and 406 men in t h e B o i s de Chaume
operation.

- 67 -
Apparantly it was solely in an e f f o r t t o s t r a i g h t e n out t h e tangle

in which t h e tn0 brigades :we now involved, p r i o r t o t h e antioipnted


r e l i e f o f t h e division, t h a t an order was issued on t h e evening of 13

October f o r "mutual t r a n s f e r of t h e 65th and 66th Brigadea...to the east

and v e s t b d . s of the Yeuse respectively. That night, t h e 1st and


2nd Battalions of t h e 132nd Infantry began crossing t o the west bank,

t o replaee t h e 1st and 2nd Battalions, 130Ch Infantry, i n t h e line be-

low Brieulles. And beginning t h a t same night, t h e machine gun aom-

panies were sorted o u t t o t h e i r b a t t a l i o n s and t h e alignment began of

t h e remaining i n f a n t r y b a t t a l i o n s on t h e i r proper side of t h e Meuse. 116

The End o f t h e Campnign

On t h e evening of 14 Ootober. t h e operations order of t h e XVfI


.:nrps announced t h a t t h e r e had been a s l l g h t ndvnnce i n t h e Bola d'

Ormont, and t h a t t h e next morning t h e 58th Brigade, supported by t h e

13i3 end B t h Frenoh Divisions would take by surprise t h e f o r t i f i e d

clearing before Molleville Ferme, a8 p a r t of t h e continuing operation

n4
Add 1 t o FO 29, 3Srd Div, 6900 P?d, 1S Oats Histor
-+I. 139.
reqson whatever is o f f e r e d i n t h e Xistory for t h e ransfer.
No

115
Under d a i l y s h e l l f i r e and b u r s t s of gas f r o m t h e north, northeast,
and e a s t bank of t h e Yeuse, t h e 130th Inf reported t o t e l c a s u a l t i e s a t
t h e time of i t s r e l i e f as 27 men k i l l e d , 9 o f f i c e r s end 135 men wounded
( L t r . CO 130th Inf t o CG 33rd Div, 15 Nov, subs Rpt of Opns, 33rd D l r
BOX 17, 11.4).

116
Historxl. I, 158 - 42.

-68-
117
a g a i n s t t h e Grande Idontagnee

With corps and d i v i s i o n a l f i r e , and supported by a b a t t a l i o n Of t h e

129th I n f a n t r y , t h e 53th Brigade resumed t h e a t t a c k a t 0800, 15 October.

Though it reached t h e southern edge of t h e Bois de la Grande Yontagne,

lt could n o t advance t o i t s f i r s t o b j e c t i v e . The supporting 129th In-

f a n t r y element, w i t h 39 men k i l l e d and wounded, f e l l back t o i t a Orlgi-

n a l p o s i t i o n on t h e s o u t h e r n edge of t h e Bois Plat-Chene.lw A11 t h a t

afternoon and n i g h t t h e enemy p u t heavy f i r e on t h e v i o i n i t y of Consen-

voye, the B o i s de Chaume, end t h e Consenvoye-Etraye road, and p t 1930


119
p u t a heavy gas c o n c e n t r a t i o n j u s t east of t h e Bois de Chaume.

The a t t a c k was renewed on t h e 16th, when t h e 58th Brigade c a r r i e d

t h e enemy p o s i t i o n s a t M o l l e v i l l e Ferme, and t h e next day r e p o r t e d l y

reached t h e summit (Cote 3757) i n la Grande Yontagne. Except f o r t h e

necessary adjustment of i t s l i n e s on t h e r i g h t flank. t h e 33rd Divlsion


held f a s t along Grid 82. 120

I."
LII
History, I, 145 - 46.
118
History, I, 145 - 49; S O 1 35, 33rd Div, 14 - 15 Oot.

119
History, I. 149. DOR, 15 -
16 Oot r p t d 50 g a s & HE r d s a t t h a t
hour on t h e road east of Consenvoye, w i t h " shelling. in t h e Bols d e
Chaume.

120
History, I. 152 -
55. See G -
2 Plan of Defense. S e c t o r E a s t of
Mause t o Grid Line 24, 17 Oct (33rd Div Box 8, 32.8), which r p t d t h a t
t h e ensmy s t i l l held a l l t e r r a i n above Grid 83 e a s t o f t h e Meuse. Be-
tween Vilosnes and Sivry, s a i d G -
2, were elements of t h e 106th Land-
s t u r m Div and 1st A-I, and from Sivry e a s t . elements o f t h e 1 5 t h Div,
7 t h Res Div. and 228th Div.

- 69 -
With American t r o o p s comprising almost two-thlrds of h i s corps forces,

General Claudel had for some time been conoerPed w i t h t h e serious losses

t h e y were s u s t a i n i n g fYom gas s h e l l bombardzhents. The enemy, he s a i d in

--
a Note do S e r v i c e on 11 October. "has made, d u r i n g sewral c o u n t e r a t t a c k s ,

intensive use of Yperlte" and it w a s neoessary t o c a u t i o n t h e Americans t o

avoid d e l a y in masking during any bombardment. t o prepare Changes of sta-

t i o n I n case of y p e r i t e s h e l l i n g , t o d l e l n f e o t yperlte areas quiokly, a&

t o i n s t r u c t t r o o p s in gas defense.

Less than a week l a t e r , on t h e 17th, epeaking of t h e 42 gas o a m a l -

t i e s reported t h a t day In t h e 33rd Division had the 97 in t h e 29th Dlvi-

sion, Claudel s a i d r "These high f i y r e s o m only i n d l c a t e e i t h e r ln-

experienoe or oarelessness on t h e p a r t of t h e men." Intensive lnstruc-

t i o n s were t o be given a t c)noe by t h e two d l v i a i o n a i n proper masking and

proper r e s p e c t for yperlte. lZ1 No r e p l l e s o r comments on these n o t e s

have been found. Of i n t e r e s t , as t h e y support General Claude118 oonoern,


are comparatlve gas c a s u a l t y f i g u r e s f o r h i s PWnoh d l v i s l o n s , in t h e

Analysis. below.

12' Notes do S e r v i c e 9361/H, 11 Oct; 946 C/3, 17 Oct (33rd Dlv Box 7,
32.7)
The 33rd Dlv o a s u a l t l e s on t h e 17th may have r e s u l t e d f r o m t h e 45 gas
and HE rounds on t h e 129th Inf i n t h e Bois de C h a w a t 1525 on t h e 16th.
f u r t h e r gas and HE on t h e road above t h e Bois de Cons~nvoyea t 1615, and
three "heavy gas" fires a t 2150, 2400, and 0130, 17 Oat, on t h e road west
of Consenvoye rood.
The 129th I d ' reported nheavy gas" t h l r t e e n times in t h e five- day period,
13 - 18 Oot. See SOIS. 129th Inf (33rd Dlv Box 16, 32.16). Chron R w of
Events of 129th Inf, 19 O O t (33rd Dlv Box 15. 1L05) says t o t a l o a s u a l t i e s
of t h e r e g t , 29 Sep -
19 O O t , were 37 k i l l e d , 1041 wounded or gassed.

- 70 -
Through each of t h e s e days of waiting, from 14 t o 19 October, t h e

apparently u n a s s a i l a b l e enemy a r t i l l e r y continued t o pound t h e 33rd Divi-

sion a s t r i d e the Meuse w i t h gas and HE, h i t t i n g i t s a r t i l l e r y p o s i t i o n s

i n t h e Bois Sachet. Bois Jure, and i n t h e v i c i n i t y o f D r i l l a n c o u r t end

Gercourt, i t s t r o o p s in t r a n s i t over t h e Mouse, and t h e t r o o p areas e a s t

of t h e river f r o m Consenvoye to t h e B o l a do Chaume. 122

The increased use o f gas a f t e r 1 2 Ootober, as demanded by Yaas O s t ,

is seen i n t h e ammunition consumption r e p o r t s t h a t are a v a l l a b l e for t h e

32nd Division, whioh came in between t h e 1st Austro-Hungarian and 15i;h


Divisions on 8 October. (Its subsequent p o s i t i o n is represented in Map

No. 14.) Though sketchy between 8 - 11 Ootober, thereafter the artillery

records of t h e 32nd Division are f a i r l y complete. While i t s p r l n c i p a l

t a r g e t s were in t h e s e c t o r of t h e 29th Division pnd 1 8 t h French Division,

some p r o p o r t i o n of its f i r e each day f e l l on the worn-out 33rd Division

beside them. The d a t e s below are t h o s e of t h e r e p o r t s and r e p r e s e n t t h e

previous day's f i r e s

13 October 13,099 HE 1.117 gas, (green aross and b l u e cross)


14 October 3,989 HE 3.981 gas, i n c l u d i n g 1,084 y l l o w c r o s s
15 October 5,216 shrapnel 6,690 gas. i n o l u d b g 1,022 yellow c r o s s
1 6 October 3,626 shrapnel 1,957 gas, inoluding 30 p l l m c r o s s
17 October 1,707 shrapnel 2.573 gas, including 780 p l l m c r o s s
18 October 1,448 shrapnel 990 gas. including 150 yellow oross
1 9 October 308 shrapnel 1,451 gas, including 557 yellow oross
29,393 18.759 3,623
The t a r g e t s o f t h e 32nd Division a r t i l l e r y were 'ravines and draws

and enemy assembly p o s i t i o n s , approaches. and i n f a n t r y s t r o n g p o i n t s o "

122
SO1 35 - 40, 33rd Div, 14 - 20 O o t .

- 71 -
ell lONCUYOtl

~
:, .


f
J
I 6'~
L
~

SITUATION des FORGES ENNE Ml[S


OEvANTLE MONT /)ti ,,~cA.
\4.es LE JS Ocrot1fiE /9/8

"

72
On 16 October, Xliener S t e r n s e l o n M o l l e v i l l e FermeI and Schaumbergmulde

f-
i h e r a v i n e between t h e B o i s de Chaume and B o i s de ConsenvoyeZ]were re-

ported t o have been contaminated w i t h yellow c r o s s , w i t h o t h e r yellow c r o s s

f i r e on t a r g e t s t o t h e r i g h t of t h e 33rd D i v i s i o n s e c t o r . That e(1106 day.

t h e X t h , t h e a r t i l l e r y order s a i d t h a t " t h e supply of ammunition makes

g r e a t e r economy necessary....In a n n i h i l a t i o n fire b l u e c r o s s rill be used

only i n s l i g h t amounts."

The fire order f o r t h e n i g h t of 18 - 19 October c a l l e d for 200 1O-cm

y e l l o w cro$8 rounds on t h e Consemoye crossroad betmen 2300-0400. ard t o


t h e east, 150 rounds of b l u e and green crose on Kleiner S t e r n end 300

rounds of y e l l o w c r o s s on t h e Ormont Perme area. The fire order for t h e

night of 19 - 2 0 October c a l l e d for 200 rounds of y e l l o w c r o s s along t h e

Consenvoye-Kleiner S t e r n road, 100 10-cm yellow c r o s s rounds i n t h e ravine

south of Consenvoye, 150 10-om yellaw c r o s s rounds n o r t h e a s t of COnSe5VOp.

a s w e l l as similar q u a n t i t i e s of yellow, blue, and green c r o s s s h e l l i n t h e

s e c t o r s of t h e 29th Division and 18th French Divisions.

The a r t i l l e r y nmmunition report of 20 October confirmed t h e c a r r y i n g

o u t of these missions but f a i l e d t o d i s t l n g u l s h between gas and i n its

t o t a l of 5,991 rounds consumed t h e previous day. 123

The D i v i s i o n Gas Offioer m s t o r e p o r t a t o t a l of 1,885 yellorr, blue,

and green c r o s s s h e l l s i n e i g h t s e p a r a t e a t t a c k s on t r o o p s in t h e Bols de

Chaume. Bois Plat-Chene, and i n end around Consenvoye between 17 - 19


October. He r e p o r t e d few or no o a s u a l t i e s r e s u l t i n g from seven of t h e

123
32nd Div-Sub Units-WDkA, 8 - 20 O c t (German P i l e s Box 184, f o l 111,
ppo iTT=TTj=e

- 73 -
a t t a o k s , b u t t h e eighth, against t h e 1st Battalion, 129th I n f a n t r y , on t h e

afternoon o f t h e 18th. he said, oaused "few c a s u a l t i e s then, b u t many

later. *"* These may be t h e 8 6 men of t h e 129th I n f a n t r y r e p o r t e d b y

G - 3 a s having been "rounded' in t h e t r e n c h e s south of Consenvoye t h a t


125
. day.
They are better i d e n t i f i e d i n t h e WO monthly gas r e p o r t for Ootober,

which shma 97 gas c a s u a l t i e s l n t h e 129th I n f a n t r y on 18 Ootober and 83

OII 19 October. A s p e c i a l r e p o r t on the gas abtaok of 18 Ootober, horever,

s a i d only 4 9 men, inoluding t h e gas 8COs, were waouated. There had been

no c a s u a l t i e s up t o t h e time t h e b a t t a l i o n was moved out of t h e area where

approximately 300 g r e e n 1, green 2, blue, and y e l l a dross s h e l l s had fal-

len over a p e r i o d of s e v e r a l hours. But a f t e r t h e i r a r r i v a l in t h e sup-

p c - t t r e n c h e s , t h e y s a t around a f i r e t o d r y o u t and keep -, and t h e

c a s u a l t i e s r e s u l t e d when t h e i r Wt, contaminated c l o t h f n g r e l e a s e d mustard

filF9S. 126 In t h e same monthly gas r e p o r t for Ootober, Lieutenant Vawter

was t o show a t o t a l of 807 gas c a s u a l t i e s w a o u a t e d d u r i n g t h e period 17 -


21 October.

124
L t r , 3W t o CGO I11 Corps. 20 Oot, subs
H i s t Box 300, 3306).
Weekly Rpt, 13 - 2 0 O o t (WD
125
DOR, 33rd D i v , 18 - 19 Oat.

. 126
L t r , D W 33rd Div t o C (35, 20 Oot, sub& S p e c i a l apt, g r i d l i n e s 7
24-80 Bois de Consenvoye (WD H i s t Box 300, 33.6, Rpts on Gasqtlcs).

- -
74
Beginning t h e n i g h t of 19 - 2 0 October, as t h e two b r i g a d e s completed

t h e i r l a s t exchanges of units, t h e 33rd Division was r e l i e v e d by t h e 1 5 t h

Colonial Division. Three days of rest, t o be followed by a s h o r t t r a i n i n g

period, were p r e s c r i b e d as t h e l a s t o f t h e t r o o p s came i n t o t h e Dieue area,


127
t e n kilometers south of Verdun, on t h e 21st.

Less t h a n a week l a t e r , on 26 Ootober. the d i v i s i o n was t r a n s f e r r e d

t o t h e I1 ColonialCorps, Second dmerican Army, and p u t l n t c t h e line near

Troyon-sur-Meuse, southeast of Verdun, i n relief of t h e 79th Division. 1 2 8

Although o p e r a t i o n a l l y i n a c t i v e u n t i l t h e eve of t h e Armistioe, and

oooupied p r i n c i p a l l y w i t h s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e d e f e n s e system in i t s sector.

t h e 33rd Division was under g a s a t t a o k every one of the remaining days O f

t h e war, including a major a t t a c k over a f a i r l y wide area w i t h approxl-

mately 2,400 yellow and b l u e c r o s s s h e l l s on t h e n i g h t of 29 - 30 October


t h a t c o s t a reported 142 g a s c a s u a l t i e s . lZ9 In a l l , b e h e n 2 6 Ootcber

127
FC 30, 33rd Div, 6r15 pame. 19 Oct (33rd Div Box 5, 32.1); H i s t o r
I, 157, 151. Fo 76. F i r s t Army, 18 hr, 19 Oct (USA Fn t h e W, d
s a i d t h e 33rd Div was r e l i e v e d "for t h e purpose of r e l i e v i n g t h e 7 9 t h Dlvv."

128
FO 31, 33rd Div, 8rOO perno, 2 3 Oct.
129
Rpt on Gas Atk (33rd Div B o x 12, 63.33); ltr, DQO 33rd Div t o C CRS.
3 Nov. subs Weekly Rpt (GAF-33rd Div); Note de Servioe. 31 Oct ( S r d Div
Box 7, 32.7); Opns Rgt. 130th Inf,
Spencer's account (History of Gas
quoted i n History, I. 390
Attaoks upon t h e A.E.F..
91. -
11, 367) covers
only p a r t o f t h e a t t a c k .
Following t h i s a t k t h e d i v i s i o n issued Tng Clro l88, nod., on "New Gas
Discipline," Tng Circ 189, 4 Nov. on t h e handling of n u s t a r d g a s oasual-
t i e s , and d i r e c t e d a t t e n t i o n again t o Tng Circ 177, 19 Sep, on m s t a r d
gas defense. C f . Hlstorx, I, l84, 188.

- 75 -
and 11 November, t h e 33rd Division s u s t a i n e d 329 gas c a s u a l t i e s . 130

The 3Srd was one of tne few d i v i s i o n s s t i l l counting delayed g a s

o a a u a l t i e s when t h e Armistioe ended t h e war. Havlng advanoed and 00-

aupied a p a r t of t h e Bois d ' H a r v i l l e , e a s t of F'resnes-en-Woevre, m t h e

morning of 10 Elovember. t h e enemy in a f i n a l gesture t h a t evening f i l l e d


t h e wood w i t h gas " s o dense t h a t f'urther oooupanoy e i t h e r by our om or
enemy t r o o p s beoame impossible. 11131

ANALYSIS '

The B a t t l e C a s u a l t i e s o f t h e S3rd D i v i s i o n

The H i s t o r y of t h e 33rd Division was t o s a y t h a t " O r d i n a r i l y speak-

ing, 'butoher b i l l s ' are a criterion of t h e G k i l l 04 laok of s k i l l In

t h e handling of t r o o p s i n action,' and pointed proudly t o t h e faot t h a t


i n t r o o p s k i l l e d t h e d i v i s i o n rauked 20th in t h e a,and in rounded it
ranked 12th. The Bi8tOry might have added t h a t w i t h only 27 day8 In

a a t i v e s e c t o r s , t h e 33rd D i v i s i o n ranked 13th among t h e 29 d i v i s i o n s in

the AEF. 132


T o t a l battle o a a u a l t i e s between 7 September and 11 November, ao-

cording t o Ayres, were 1,002 k i l l e d and 8.261 wounded. These figures

130
33rd Div WO Monthly Rpt of Gas Casualtien, N o r e m b e r 1918 (Om-
33rd Div). T h i s r p t inoluded 166 gas oases for t h e l a t t e r p a r t of Oot,
not r p t d on t h e Oct summary. and 174 betreen 1 13 Nov. -
131
Hiator& I, 216 - 17; 111, 127.

132
I. 296, 460- Cf. Ayres. The W a r w i t h Oermanyr A S t a t i s -
114, 117.

- 76 -
seem excessive (though unchallengeable a t t h e moment) in t h o l i g h t of d i v i -

s i o n a l data. For t h e 44 days (10 September - 23 October) in the sector


north of Verdun, t h e d i v i s i o n a l H i s t o r x r e p o r t e d t o t a l b a t t l e o a s u a l t i e s of
5.213. including 352 o f f i c e r s and men k i l l e d and 4,718 wounded. 133 In h i s

f i n a l report. General Bell showed a t o t a l o f 5,187 b a t t l e o a s u a l t i e s between

18 September - 25 October, including 344 k i l l e d and 4,700 rounded. 134 The -


b e r i a a n Battle Monuments Carmission's study, 33rd Division Suzuary of Op-

erations (1944). pp. 43 - 44, reveals still fewer t o t a l o a a u a l t l r s r

7-25 Sap 27 S.p-7 00% 8-23 Oot .-


Total

Killed 2 64 80 242 378


Died o f wounds 11 11 57 82 161
Wounded
- 52
65
-
244
309
- 961
1,098
-
2,292
2,616
-
3,549
4,088

What none o f t h e s e 8ouroes r e v e a l s i s that t h e 33rd Division had oon-

s i d e r a b l y more gas c a s u a l t i e s t h a n rounded during t h e period 26 Soptembor -


20 October. What is more, no o t h e r d i v i s i o n in t h o U P ahffered g r e a t e r
numbers of g a s c a s u a l t i e s t h a n d i d t h e 33rd, e i t h e r during t h a t perlod or

a t any t i m e in t h e e n t i r e Yeuse-Argonne campaign. 135

133
H i s t o r & I, 166 - 67; III> 368.
134
Rgt, B e l l t o G
(33rd Div Box 45, 314.7).
- 3 F i r s t Army, 28 Deo, subs Rpt of Opus of 33rd Div

Notes No o o r r o b o r a t l o n i s p o s s i b l e through t h e DORs of t h e d i v i s i o n ,


which for t h e p e r i o d 26 Sep -20 Oat i n d i o a t o t o t a l o a s u a l t i e s o f only
389, i n c l u d i n g j u s t 6 g a s c a s u a l t i e s in t h o s e 25 days.

135
Chart i n F i r s t Army Box 342-COO Misc Corresp, r h a s 1,807 gaa oasual-
ties in t h e 33rd Div for 27 Ssp
See also p. 90 , b e l a .
-
10 Oot and 2.016 for 27 Sop 17 tkm. -

- 77 -
The Qas Casualties

A comparison of Diviaion Oas Offioer and Corps Qas Offioer daily gas

f i g u r e s f o r t h e 33rd Division with those found in t h e f i e l d h o s p i t a l ad-

mission l i s t s is as fo110rsr1R6

-
DOO
26 Sop 14
27 Sep 1
28 Sep 3
29 Sop 4 19
30 Sep 20
1 Oot 4 25 29 34
2 Oot 12 6 4 13
3 oot 18 17 21 15
4 Oot 29 6 22 37
5 Oct 377 12 161 17
6 Oot 48 $22 381 12
7 Oot 10 179 2 2
8 Oot 3 40 5 11
9 Oat 4 65 74 261 115
10 Oot 134 294 106 97
11 Oot 183 59 91 292
12 Oot 33 162 85 85
13 Oot 14 76 18 24
14 Oot 37 21 37 21
15 Oot 63 53 65 19
16 Oot 120 63 169 5
17 Oot 325 174 306 13
18 Oot 387 58 142 4
1 9 Oot 84 62 14
20 Oot 9 12 5
21 Oot
- - -
2,357
2
1,641f3 1,978
5
-
892

136
DGO d a t a from FQt of Gas C a s u a l t i e s . 33rd Div. Oot 1918 (QAF-JJrd
Div).
CGO dnta from Rpt of @as C a s u a l t i e s , I11 Corps. O o t 1918, ( F i r s t A m y Box
340-111 C). The r p t a l s o shows t h a t the Corps' 4 t h Div ha8 897 gas oasual-
t i e s Ln O o t , t h e 8 0 t h had 1,328, t h e 90th 395, t h e 3rd Div 602, and t h e 5th
Div 507. f o r a oorpa t o t a l of 5,323 in Oot, e x o l u s i v e o f 3 gas d e a t h s i n
t h e 331.6 Div (in f i g u r e s above) and 9 in t h e 90th Div.
Both gas and BE c a s u a l t y data in t h e l a s t tm oolumns are from t h e admis-
slun l i s t s of FHs 129 and 132 (33rd Div, M e d Dept Boxes 5711, 3714), FB 318
(80th Dive Med Dept Box 3883). and FA 114 (29th Div. &d Dept Box 3650).

- 78 -
k breakdown by units of tbe daily gas casualties recorded by the m and LLLI found i n the f i e l d hospital lints n r s a l s :

l29th 130th U2nd 131lst 19800 u3rd Wth 5Pnd

26 Sop
27 Sop
28 SOP
29 Ssp 2 2 4
30 sep
1 oct 2 2 29 4 29
2 oct 4 4 3 1 1 2 1 1 2 4
3 OCt 1 2 17 18 1 la 21
4 OCt 8 8 1 2 1 2 1 19 7 1 29 22
s oct 555 w8 9 1 6 e 1 3 1 311 161
6 Oot 36 502 1 2 1 8 5 2 4 1 4s 581
?act la
~~ e 10 2
8 oct 1 1 1 1 2 3 5
9 oct 251 116 1 3 39 142 51 I2 1 2 465 251
10 O C t 2.9 31 1 8 Lo 85 51 6 3 2 l34 106
11 O C t 26 26 15 3l lza 19 4 6 la 91
l2 O C t 3 85 2 9 22 l8 25 33 85
13 Oct v 5 S 1 5 14 la
u OCt ; 3 1 9 6 20 21 1 1 3
11
31
63
31
65
w OCt 10 23 1 2 13 14 31 10 1
1 E UO
16 Oct 44 E6 14 29 133 2.5 e I 4 l69
11 O C t 42 51 2 2% 240 26 7 16 6 17 325 ?a6
l8 O C t 97 65 27 11 182 5s s1 1 6 16 24 1 387 1u
19 Oct 83 52 6 2 1 2 84 62
20 oct 1 5 8 5. 1 1 9 u
-_ 1 2 2 5
- - -- - - - - ---
21 oct 2 1 1
_ c - - - T
- -
1,014 996 83 51 10 7 549 540 540 240 90 66 23 0 8 I 40 $4 2,351 1.978

-79-

I.
The f i g u r e of 1,978 gas C a s u a l t i e s compiled from h o s p i t a l admission

l i s t s is based on incomplete reoords. Between 2 6 - 30 September, pH 131

operated a gas and HE triage a t Oloriaux, northwest of Verdun, u n t i l re-

l i e v e d on t h e 30th b y t h e r e g u l a r g a s h o s p i t a l of t h e 33rd Division, FA

132. There are no reoords a v n i l n b l e for ?Ti 151, although it is s a i d t o


have cared for several thousand p a t i e n t s between 26 - 30 September. 137

Many cf t h e s e p a t i e n t s d o u b t l e s s owe from o t h e r d l v i s i o n s as w e l l as

t h e 33rd, sinoe t h 9 narrative i n d l o a t e 6 less t h a n 350 c a s u a l t i e s in t h e

3Jrd D i v i s i o n d u r i n g t h a t period, which presumably i n c l u d e s t h e 65 gas

c a s e s r e p o r t e d by t h e DGO for 26 - 30 September.138


H o s p i t a l f i g u r e s for t h e p e r i o d 26 September - 4 Ootober are based

on t h e admission l i s t s Of FA 132 a t O l O r i e u x and FEi 318 (80th Division)


a t Fromerville. H o s p i t a l i z e d gas c a s e s for the p e r i o d 5 - 15 October

are based on t h e l i s t s of FI Sl8 pnd F'H 129, l o c a t e d a t Bethincourt,

which took o a r e of 33rd D i v i s i o n g a s c a s u a l t i e s on t h e west bank, and

FII 132, t o which t h o s e on t h e east bank mere sent. F i n a l l y , gas oasual-

ties f o r 15 - 20 October a r e found i n t h e admission l i s t s of Ki 129 and


114 (29th Division), which r e l i w e d FI! 132 a t G l o r i e w .

The h o s p i t a l p i c t u r e is f u r t h e r complioatsd by t h e h o t t h a t t h e

33rd D i v i s i o n ' s FB 130, whose r e o o r d s show no gas c a s u a l t i e s , wms

'137
Medical Dept of t h e U S Army i n t h e World War (Washingtonr
1925), VIII. 625 27. - GPO,

138
apt of Gas C a s u a l t i e s . 33rd Div, Sep 1918 (OAF 3Srd Div), DOR,
- -
33rd Div. 28
-
29 Sep (33rd Div Box 8 . 33.1) r e p o r t s t o t a l c a s u a l t i e s
of 4 o f f i c e r s end 329 men between 26 29 Sep.

- 80 -
n e v e r t h e l e s s a p p a r e n t l y operated as a gas h o a p i t a l f o r a s h o r t t i m e ,

s i n c e an order ended i t s f u n c t i o n as such on 4 October. That same date,

FH 132 was d i r e c t e d t o r e s t r i c t i t s e l f t o emergenoy gas case8 Only.

s i n c e I11 Corps planned t o s e t u p an 8 0 t h Division f i e l d h o s p i t a l a t

Bethinoourt as t h e C o r p s Gas Hospital.139 Fiut gas o a s u a l t i e s in t h e

carps beoame so numerous -- t h e m .ere more t h a n 5,000 in Ootober -


t h a t a c o n s o l i d a t e d gas h o s p i t a l was n o t p r a c t i o a b l e , and PB 132 con-
140
t l n u e d as t h e p r i n c i p a l 33rd D i v i s i o n gae h o a p i t a l .

The 1,641 gas o a s u a l t i e s in t h e 33rd Division r e p o r t e d by corps

i n i t s October eumnmy m s increased t o 1,719 in a postwar corps r e p o r t


t h a t covered t h e e n t i r e p e r i o d t h a t t h e 33rd D i v i s i o n waa under 111

Corps. i.e., 15 September - 26 Ootober (see belor. p. 90 ). kr Amy

summary of d i v i s i o n a l gas o a s u a l t i e s over t h e p e r i o d 27 September - 17


November shomd 2.016 gas o a s u a l t i e s in the 33rd Division. 14' The Div-

ision Gas O f f i c e r ' s r e p o r t of 2,357 gas o a s u a l t i e s in Ootober was. UII-


d e r t h e ciroumstancas, perhaps exoeasire.

Gas Mask Exhaustion

The Chemical Warfare Servioe appears t o have been greatly oon-

oerned over t h e l a r g e number o f gas o a s u a l t i e a r e p o r t e d b y t h e d i v i s i o n

139
M s 11, 1 2 , 108th S e n T r , 33rd D l v , 3, 6 Oot (MS. Msdioal H l s t o r y
of t h e 33rd Dfv, Ued Dept Box 3704. f o l I).

140
Memo for Dllv Surgeons fr OCS XI1 Corps, 7 Oot (Medloal History,
above) a

141
F i r s t Army Box 342, CGO Miso Corresp.

- 81 -
for October, Lieutwozit Vawter ex2iaclLeat h a t t h e f i g u r e s had been

t a i n a d t'roar thd d i v i s l o n . 1. S C S L i s S i c u l oifiaer, bui; d i d riot represent

the ; ~ G J c i c t p r s cf g::> .:.;:.:cl-;i'::a. i'$r i-..-


.--*eL?Ce, he seid,

-
on Dowb.;-A* "7th one rsginent evacuetsd over 600 men as gassed. T h i s
regimeat hsd i m n out .3i'ttie a c t i v e area 48 hours. P r a c t i c a l l y every
man who was exaninec was found C3t t o be gassed b u t s u f f e r i n g from m-
hwustioa end cord. The r e c o r d s of c a s u a l t i e s are based on hon a is
P
tagged BI; tu goes back s a d not PS tire ccse is a c t u a l l y foullii. A 1 1 of
t h e o e meti wm-3 oack ?or duty in a few days. '

the 18Ck r u ZSth t h e 131st Irfeniry h%i some 400 men evacirated as
gassed, w:d L C \as found laeer t h a t tha men were suffering frm Golds
E 3 - d exhrrusxion~ Tho Division Medical Gcs Officer s t a t e d t h a t
p o s s i b l y 303 t o 400 cf t h e o t h e r s mre evacuated t h e same wayo If gas
was n o t used t h e s s would not ba bvacuatsd but due t o t h e b e u e f l t of t
doubt tha-c the men must h w e , it l a n e o e s s a r y t o c a l l them gas case*. Pa2

mils t h e s e stntementa of t h e DGO do n o t agree a t a l l with the

b r e a k d m or his f i g u r e s o r t h 0 w Of' t h e g a s h o s p i t a l s (Analysla, p.78 ),

t h e r e i u some c o r r o b o r a t i o n f: his remarks in t h e final r e p o r t of t h e

1 3 1 ~ tI n f a n t r y medic61 o f f i c e r who s a i d that "a g r e a t peroentnge of

t h o s e tagged as gassed were more p r o p e r l y due t o exhaustion and gas."

~e added, - responsible for b u t few oases."


"Gas s o l e l y and d i r a o t l y bZJ

and t h e " majority Eft r u e gas c a s e s in t h e regiment w r g due t o Y e l l o r


Crass shells." 143 Elsewhere. t h e m e d i a e l officer o f t h e 130th Infantry,

-+ich had t h e fewest gas c a s u a l t i e s of t h e f w r regiments, s a i d of h i s

b a t t l e c a s u a l t i e s t h a t "In general t h e most s e r i o u s c a s e s were t h o s e t h a t

142
Ltr, DijO TO C C W , 2 Nov, s u b r Casualty Rp%; ltr, DGO t o C CWS, 22
F& 13. subs Gas A t k s (OAF-33rd Div). NO correipondenoe Of t h e WGO has
been found.

7
Rpt. Surg. 1 Y 1 ? r %led H i s t or l 3 r d Div, p o 23.
had'been gassed," and t h a t t h e r e were "more v e s i c a t i n g than asphyxiating

gas c a s e s *II 144

No comments have been found by t h e medical o f f i o e r s of t h e 129th

Infantry. t h e worst gassed i n t h e division, or of t h e 132nd I n f a n t r y .

There was some agreement of experience between t h e oommanding OffiOerS

of FH 129 and PR 131, the first a s s e r t i n g t h a t 'Sixty p e r o e n t of men


.
tagged #Gassed' t u r n e d out t o b e s u f f e r l n g from oausas o t h e r t h a n gas, n

and t h e l a t t e r t h a t "Nearly a l l gas c a s e s were v e s i c a n t (mustard) gas, I

implying t h a t t h e abundant use of non-vesicant agents by t h e rn6u.y d i d

not produce t r u e gas cases. 145

These r e p o r t s of t h e Divlaion Gas O f f i o e t and d l v i s i o n medioal Of-

ficers raise t h e q u e s t i o n about t h e kinds of gas f i r e d by t h e a S m y o

With l i m i t e d enemy d a t a t h l s oannot be e n t i r e l y rerolwd. The Oenaan


a r t i l l e r y o r d e r s seem t o i n d i c a t e t h a t blue o r o s s (diphenylchlorarsine)

r a t h e r t h a n mustard gas was p r i n c i p a l l y used i n h a r a s a i n g fire, w i t h

c n l y o c o a s i o n a ~mention of contamination or y e l l o r oross fire. The

Division Gas O f f i c e r i n h i s gas a t t n o k r e p o r t s seems t o agree t h a t d i -

phenylchlorarsine was t h e p r i n c i p a l agent used, w i t h mustard gas t h e

next l a r g e s t q u a n t l t y used, and phosgene only I n m a l l amOuntS*

A survey of t h e 1,978 gas c a s u a l t i e s in t h e h o s p i t a l admission

l i s t s i n d i c a t e s t h a t 344 were admitted as mustard gas cases, 21 phos-

gens. 119 diphenylchlorarsine, 809 simply a s "gassed," 457 n o t pt

7
Rpt. mBD,
130th Inf. Med H i s t of t h e 39rd Div. ppe 21 - 220

145
Med H i s t o f t h e 33rd Div, pp. 15. 16.

- 83 -
determined," and 28 "mixed gas." T h i s d i s t r i b u t i o n appears t o agree with

t h e f i n d i n g s of t h e DGO and m m i i o a l o f f i o e r s , and w i t h what we know of

t h e p r o p o r t i o n o f gases used by t h e 32nd Diviqion ( n a r r a t i v e , p. 71).

Of t h e 1,978 t o t a l gas c a s u a l t i e s , t h e 1,294 admitted as a r e s u l t of

u n i d e n t i f i e d gas, "mixed gas," or "gas not yet determined" support t h e

f i e l d h o s p i t a l s t a t e m e n t t h a t 60 p e r o e n t of t h e men tagged "(tassed" were

suffering from oauses o t h e r t h a n gas0 The p r i n o i p a l " other cause" ~ B B


i
unquestionably gas mask exhaustion.

Although " b a t t l e exhaustion'' was well known and recognized as suoh

in World War I, t h e phenomenon o f "gas mask exhaustion" has n o t been en-

countered in any record. Yet i n any o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t encountered pro-

longed gassing, e s p e c i a l l y i n repeated small q u a n t i t i e s , and where good

gas d i s c i p l i n e was maintaine?. 8 s It appears t o have been l n t h e 33rd

Division. gas mask exhaustion c e r t a i n l y t o o k as g r e a t a t o l l a s oon-

v e n t i o n a l b a t t l e exhaustono The s u f f o o a t i n g effect of t h e nose-ollp

and mouthpiece of t h e s m a l l box r e s p i r a t o r beoame i v t o l e r a b l e i n a s h o r t

t i m e , and t h e n e o e s s i t y of wearing t h e r e s p i r a t o r n i g h t a f t e r night. re-

s u l t i n g i n both loss of sleep and p r o g r e s s i v e f a t i g u e , guaranteed even-

t u a l exhaustion-

I n t h e growing s t a t e of exhaustion in whioh t h e 33rd Division found

i t s e l f on t h e east bank of t h e Meuse, it w o u l d have bsen remarkable if

t h e i n c e s s a n t enemy HE and gas fire, unhampered by d i v i s i o n a l e f f o r t s

t o s t i l l it, had not produosd evidence of gas panic among t h e troops.

That p e r i o d i o waves of g a s panic, among both o f f i o e r s and men. m p t t h e

d i v i s i o n f r o m 9 October u n t i l t h e d i v i s i o n was r e l i e v e d on t h e Bth, seams

- 84 -
c l e a r from t h e n a r r a t i v e (pp. 50 - 54, - 61).
60 Furthermore, t h e Division

Gas Officer's postwar explanation for t h e large numbers of gas c s a u d t i e s

evacuated on 17, 18, and 19 October may be viewed i n another l i g h t when ~9

read h i s w y report on t h e gas o a s u a l t i e s evacuated in t h e period 9 -


13 October.

. He v88 t o report t h a t on t h e night of t h e 9th. and again 011 the 10th


.
and 11th. t h e enemy repeatedly Pired wall q u a n t i t i e s of blue cross s h e l l ~

(dlphenylohlcrarsine) i n t o t h e v a l l e y from t h e B o i s de Consenvoya t o t h e

Meuse. between Consenvoye and Brsbant. oocupied during t h i s period by

elements of t h e 129th. 131st. and 132nd Infantry. Almost sll of t h e

troops wre exposed t o t h e gas, said Lieutenant Varter, end apparently

reported themselves gaased, but only 75 were waouated aa h o s p i t a l cases

by t h e reglmental medical officers.

Such small concentrations o f diphenylchlorarsine, said Llmtenmt

Vawter, oaused only temporary inconvenience t o men In good oondition,

but these men had been i n t h e line f o r almost five reeks, without rest

and under constant harassing fire, and were " dirty, t i r e d . and with a

weakened w i l l p o w e r o " The enemy, he asserted, d e l i b e r a t e l y used b l u e

cross on t i r e d troops, since even small conoentrations were sufficient


146
t o put them o u t of action.
a
Another element i n the large number of gas casualtles suffered while

-
e a s t o f t h e Meuse should be mentioned, even though it has proved negative.

It was antlcipated, in t h e course of t h i s study, t h a t sme expression o f

L t r . Do0 t c CGO 111 Corpa, 13 Oct, sub, @as Ftpts (OAF-3Srd Div).

- 05 -
concern would be found i n t h e reoords when 33rd and 29th D i v i s i o n t r o o p s

advanced east Of t h e Meubo over t h e t e r r a i n t h a t had been y p e r i t e d by

Army and XVII Corps a r t i l l e r y between 26 September - 2 October, in t h e

n e u t r a l i l c a t l o n of t h e C o t e s de Meuse. Since less t h a n a w o k elapsed

between t h e l a s t y p e r i t i n g and t h e advance over t h a t ground on 8 October, 0

many of t h e t a r g e t a r e a s must s t i l l have r e t a i n e d sme degree of contami-


'
nation. It i s not l i k e l y t h a t t h e warning t o t a k e p r e o a u t i o n s in t h o s e
gassed areas was scrupulously heeded, and yet t h e r e 1s no record t h a t any
mustard gas c a s u a l t i e s were incurred i n t h i s fashion. 147

Gas and HE S h e l l

33rd Division Summaries d f I n t e l l i g e n o e and Daily Operations Reports

have proved u s e l e s s a s sources of s t a t i s t i c s f o r t h i s study. mile the

SOis betanen 26 September - 20 Ootober r e g u l a r l y r e p o r t "heavy gas s h e l l -

i n g during t h e night,' "gas o o n c e n t r a t i o n s throughouf t h e n i g h t , " etc.,

t h e enemy gas s h e l l count for t h a t period t o t a l s only 710, e x c l u s i v e of

600 mixed gas and HFia The a o t u a l count of OMmy HE s h e l l comes t o 5.481,

w i t h m o s t days marked only by "heavy i n t e r m i t t e n t s h e l l i n g , " "deadly

f l a n k i n g fire," e t c .

f i g u r e s , compiled f o r t h e same period, r s v e a l t h a t t h e 33rd

Division a r t i l l e r y f i r e d a t o t a l of 90,OC-i HE rounds i n t o t h e enemy l i n e a ,

147
Ltr, COO F i r s t Army t o CG 111 C o r p s , 5 Oct. aubr Mustard gassed s
areas n o r t h of Verdun (GAF-1st A). See Cole J. !?W. . Schulm, 1st Army GO,
6 -
lecture Execution of Gas P l h n s for the.+.A-M Opn, 17 Jan 1919. p a 19 (GHQ
3 R p t s Box 3153, f o l 1090-4)s "Our 33rd and 29th Divisions, with-
o u t any r e s u l t i n g ill e f f e c t s , b e r a t e d a c r o s s t h e Meuse3 over ground
t h a t had been mustard gassed up t o six days beforehand."

- 86 -
h i l e a mere 4.201 rounds were f i r e d i n t o t h e s e c t o r i n t h a t period by

enemy a r t i l l e r y , all of it apparently HB. Such e n m y gas s h e l l d a t a as

appear i n t h i s study are from o t h e r sources t h a n d i v i s i o n a l 0 - 2 end


G - 3s

The a v a i l a b l e Garman records a r e l i t t l e more s a t i s f a c t o r y . Wile

t h e GWUM a r t i l l e r y o r d e r s f o r t h e n i g h t l y h a r a s s i n g misslona w l t h .
gas and HE are fairly complete, none of them, w i t h t h e exoeptlOXl Of t h e
5
32nd Division orders ln t h e l a t t e r p a r t of October, l n d l o a t e s t h e n u -

ber of gas or RE s h e l l s a l l o t t e d for or f i r e d in these EtlSsiOneo b-


o s p t i o n a l t o o i s t h e r e p o r t of Maas Oat on 12 October t h a t f o r t h e

period 2 - 1 2 October, t h e d l v i 8 i O M l a r t i l l e r y In t h a t corps f i r e d a

t o t a l o f 29,849. HE s h e l l s nad 2,262 gas s h e l l s ( n u r a t i v e , p p ~61 - 62).

I t is n e c e s s a r y t o acoept t h e f i g u r e of 2.600 gas s h e l l s reported

by t h e Division Gas Officer as f a l l i n g in t h e Bois d s s Yorlaux on t h e

morning o f 5 October (narrative,pp. 32 - 34) The 7 t h Resera Division

merely oonfirmed t h e contamination f i r e , althougn n u ardor o r s h e l l

count has been found in I t s records. I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e 2.600 gas

s h e l l s , t h e DGO estimated between 2,400 and 4,000 FIE s h e l l s in t h e tar-

g e t area i n t h e course o f t h e gas attaok. He r e p o r t e d t o t a l g a s oasu-


a l t i e s of 350; t h e brigade r e p o r t e d S80 c a s u a l t l e s In t h e 1st B a t t a l i o n

alone. Neither reported any HE c a s u a l t i e s . The h o s p i t a l lists, how-

ever, show 158 gas o a s u a l t i e s in t h e 129th I n f a n t r y admitted on 5

October and 362 on 6 October, a t o t a l of 520. (The Do0 t o t a l f o r t h o s e I

two days is 391,) The wounded, f o r a l l regiments in t h e d i v i s i o n on 6


*
Octobor, were 17, ancording t o h o s p i t a l records. Only two men we

- 87 -
known t o have been k i l l e d t h a t day, by exploding gas s h e l l fragments dur-

ing t h e g a s attack-

Accepting t h e s e c o c f l i o c i n g figures, between 5 and 7 g a s s h e l l s were

required f o r each gas c a s u a l t y in t h e a t t a c k . The r e s u l t s of t h e

s h e l l i n g , even assuming t h a t all 17 o a s u a l t i e s t h a t day occurred in t h e


#
129th Infantry. would i n d i c a t e t h a t b e t m a n 140 and 235 s h e l l s were re-

quired f o r each round oasualty.


5
For f u r t h e r comparative s t a t i s t i c s , it is necessary t o rely on t h e
unique anrmurition expenditure r e p o r t of Mras O s t ( n a r r a t l v e . ppo 62 -
63). While a p r i n c i p a l t a r g e t of MMS Ost d l v i s i o n a l a r z i l l e r y was un-
d o u b t e d l y t h e 33rd D i v i s i o n seotor, t h e t a r t i l l e r y a l s o f i r e d lnto t h e

s e c t o r o f t h e 4 t h Division, t o t h e l e f t of t h e 33rd. and i n t o t h e seo-

t o r s of t h e 2 9 t h Division and l C t h French Division, t o t h e r l g h t of t h e

33rd. --
Maas West a r t i l l e r y . for which m have no d a t a , also f i r e d on t h e

33rd D i v i s i o n s e o t o r w e s t of t h e r i v e r . Under t h e ciroumatances, t h e

f i g u r e s of 29,843 HE and 2,262 g a s rounds have been a r o i t r a r i l y accepted

t o r e p r e s e n t t h e agproximate weight of s h e l l f i r e d i n t o t h e 53rd Division

-
s e c t o r alone during t h e t e n days between 2 - 11 Ootober.
Betw-een 2 - 12 October. t h e D i v i s i o n Gas Offioer r e p o r t e d a t o t a l

of 935 gas o a s u a l t i e s (not counting t h e 377 r e s u l t i n g from t h e gas at-

t a c k of 5 October). F i e l d h o s p i t a l l i s t s show 748 gas c a s u a l t i e s (ex-

clusive of 381 f o r t h e 5th) aab 696 HE c a s u a l t i e s f o r t h e same period,

8 of which 538 g a s and 600 HE c a s u a l t i e s w c u r r e d between 8 - 1 2 October,

during t h e advance on t h e east bank and t h e d i s a s t r o u s c o u n t e r a t t a c k s


*
there.

- 88 -
On t h e b a s i s o f 935 gas c a s u a l t i e s , t h e 2,262 gas rounds produced a

c a s u a l t y f o r each 2.4 shells. On t h e b a s i s o f 748 ges c a s u a l t i e s . t h e

p r o p o r t i o n was 3 s h e l l s for each c a s u a l t y . Even assuming every one Of

. t h e 696 HE c a s u a l t i e s was caused b y high e x p l o s i v e s h e l l end n o t machine

gun and r i f l e f i r e ( a s most of them were), t h e p r o p o r t i o n is 44 s h e l l s

f o r each round c a s u a l t y .
.
The D i v i s i o n Gas Officer's e s t i m a t e of 1,885 gas s h e l l s f a l l i n g in
:

t h e troop areas e a s t of t h e Meuse between 17 - 19 Ootober ( n a r r a t i v e ,

pp. 73 - 74) r e s u l t e d i n between 610 and 796 g a s c a s u a l t i e s , accrrding

t o h o s p i t a l and DGO d a t a , o r no more t h a n 2 t o 3 s h e l l s f o r each Gas-

ualty.

The u n u s u a l l y low r a t l o between gas s h e l l s and g a s a a s u a l t i e s may

be explained i n the statements o f t h e Do0 snd medical officers that the

combination of gas and exhaustion produced c a s u a l t i e s o u t o f a l l pro-

p o r t i o n t o t h e amount of gas s h e l l f i r e d b y t h e enemy.

It was t h i s combination of c o n t i n u a l g a s s i n g and p r o g r e s s i v e ex-


haustion, and t h e absence of l a r g e - s c a l e gas a t t a c k s , t h a t made r e p o r t -

ing t h e gas experience o f t h e 33rd and t h e o t h e r d i v i s i o n s i n 111 Corps

so d i f f i c u l t f o r t h e g a s o f f i c e r s . The line officers were i n c l l n e d t o

suspect malingering. d i l e t h e medical o f f i c e r s were confused b y t h e

numbers of men r e p o r t i n g themselves gassed, whose symptoms were not

s u f f i c i e n t l y pronounced f o r o e r t a i n diagnosis.

As t h e Corps Gas O f f i c e r s a i d r "On a c t i v e f r o n t s it is found t h a t *


where t h e r e i s d a i l y s h e l l i n g , c e r t a i n areas are kept satilrated w i t h

gas E i t h o u t any
3 s p e c i f i c gas a t t a c k made, although d a l l y c a a u a l t i e s

- 89 -
from gas occuro" Gas c a s u a l t i e s could n o t t h e r e f o r e be a s c r i b e d t o spe-
c i f i c gas a t t a c k s , and h ~ 8 v e rl a r g e t h e i r numbers, could o n l y be summed
up ekch week and so r e p o r t e d . 148

A eummary of t h e s e weekly f i p r e s r e c e i v e d from I11 Corps d i v i s i o n s

during t h e p e r i o d 9 September 11 November nppears In a postwar r e p o r t of

I11 Corpsr

-
Gassed Other
I_ -
TOTAL
3rd Division 602 1,106 1,708
4th Divislon 9lFl 1.909 2.827
5th Division 565 3,510 4,075
32nd Division 16 116 131
33rd Division 1,716 + 3 deaths 8 96 2,612
80th Division 1,462 2,750 4,212
90th Dlvision 449f 9 deaths
5,727 +12 doathe
-1.650
11,937
2,099
G 149
The figures c o r r o b o r a t e t h e Cistinction achieved by t h e 33rd Division in

r e p o r t i n g almost twice as many gas M6Ualties as o t h e r c a s u a l t l e s . Of

:28
L t r , CGO I11 Corps t o C clls A t t Def Div, 27 Oct, subr Reaord cf Gas
Atks ( F i r s t A W BOX 340, XI1 CO).

149
Ltr, CGO I11 C t o COO F i r s t Amy. 19 NOV, subs Rpt on Gas A o t i v i t i e s
from Sep 9 t h t o Nov 1 1 t h ( F i r s t Army Box 340). The estimate of 111 Corps
+ h a t 35,000 gas s h e l l s were f i r e d i n t o i t s area during t h i s p e r i o d would
i n d l z z t e a gas o a s u a l t y f o r e w r y six s h e l l s .
A similar c h a r t i n Itr. CGO 1 x 1 Corps t o C CWS, 12 Nov, subr Rpt on Gas
A c t i v i t i e s for October (Box 340 and OAF-I11 Corps) shows t o t a l s o f 5,323
gas o a s u a l t i e s ( i n c l u d i n g 12 deaths) and 9,214 o t h e r c a s u a l t i e s e
S t i l l a t h i r d c h a r t . in I11 Corps Rpt on Prisoners, Caeualties...from 26
Sep t o 11 Nov. 18 Nov ( 5 t h Div B O X 4, 16,l) shows t o t a l s of 6,041 gas
c a s u a l t i e s and 15,167 warnded. In t h i s c h a r t , 38 o f f i c e r s and 1,963 men
in t h e 33rd Div were gassed and 8 o f f i c e r s and 1,169 men were wounded.

- 90 -
s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t is t h e c l o s e agreement between oorps' " o t h e r " f i g u r e of
896 and t h e h o s p i t a l wounded t o t a l of 892 through 21 October. (No expla-

n a t i o n can be given for t h e wide disorepanoy between t h e o a a u a l t y t o t a l


in t h i s oorps ohart, of 2,612 and t h e o a s u a l t y t o t a l s of 5,213, 5,187 a
n
':

4.088, on pp. 67 - 68 aboye.)


The c o r p s ' f i g u r e s a l s o tend t o explain why t h e 33rd Divislon .ran .
p u t back in t h e line less t h a n a week a f t e r being r e l i e v e d along t h e

Meuse. without a p p a r e n t l y r e o e i v i q any replacements. With lese t h a n


-
L

900 wound o a s u a l t i e s , t h e d i v i s i o n may have seemed t o hlgher heaEAuUaTters

t o have r e q u i r e d n e i t h e r replaaements nor en extended rest.


Unfair. perhaps. t o t h e 33rd Division, i n vim8 of t h e i r d a t e s , a r e

four Compte-Rendus ( 0 - 1 reports) of t h e XVII Frenoh Corps r h l o h haw


been found, o f f e r i n g comparative d a t a on t h e gas end wound a a s u a 1 t t e s in

t h a t Corps. As was shown i n Study No. 4, 'Vhe 26th Divislm in the Aisne-
Marne Campaign" (pp. 63 - M), t h e French, under e i m i l a r or even h e a v l e r

gas f i r e t h a n t h a t experienoed b y American t r o o p s a t t h e i r side, took far

fewer c a s u a l t i e s , After f o u r y e a r s of war, t h e French had learned t o

conserve t h e l r f o r c e s and t h e French s o l d i e r had l e a r n e d t o r e s p e c t g a s a

Thus General Claude1 was r i g h t t o suggest t b a t t h e high gas c a s u a l t i e s

in h i s Amerioan d i v i s i o n s i n d i c a t e d " e i t h e r i n e x p e r i e n c e or oarelessnesa"


( n a r r a t i v e . pp. 69 - 70).
150
No mention of replacements has been found in t h e H i s t o r y or t h e
records of t h e d i v i s i o n , although Spencer (11, 363a) q u o t s s t h e u n l i k e l y
f i g u r e of 20,140 replacements, found i n S h i p l e y Thomas. The H i s t o r y of
The A.E.F., p o 465.
.
- 91 -
There is no reason t o t h i n k t h a t t h e weight of HE or g a s shell f i r e d

by t h e enemy v a r i e d much betwoen t h e d i v i s i o n s . Even considgring the f a c t


t h a t a French d i v i s i o n had approximately h a l f t h e rifle s t r e n g t h of an

American d i v i s i o n , t h e d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e c a s u a l t y f i g u r e s below i n d i c a t e
t h a t ,herloan d i v i s i o n s were lndeed e i t h e r inexperienced or carelesst 151

I 12-13 Oct 15-16 Oct 19-20 Oct 21-22 O c t


wound @as Wound 0as Round Gas found Da s

i 1 5 t h Col. 1 0
33rd Div 186 49 17 20 5 37 3 11
29th. Div 2 12 93 193 264 41 35 10 46
26th Dfv 13 11 24 11
18th Fremh 50 15 13 57
26th Frenoh 89 21 12 3 3 4 2 a
1 0 t h Col. 9 12 0 6

A f i n a l word remains t o be s a i d conoerning t h e I n v i s i o n Gas Officer,

1st L t Vawter, No r e p o r t s or correspondenoe o f h i s has been feud ln t h e

r e c o r d s of t h e d i v i s i o n , he i s not mentioned in t h e o f f i c i a l H i s t o r y o and,

curiously, i n almost every r e p o r t of h i s found in oorps, Army, or W re-

corc's, t h e manner of t h e r e p o r t s i n d i c a t e s t h a t he obtnined h i s informa-

t i o n a t second hand, presumably from t h e r e g h e n t a l and b a t t a l i o n medical

o f f i c e r s and gas o f f i o e r s .

Yet few o r g a n i z a t i o n s appear t o have issued more t r a i n i n g oiroulars

on g a s defense or been more d i l l g e n t in t h e i r efforts t o e s t a b l i s h good

gas d i s c i p l i n e t h a n t h e 33rd Division, prgsutnably -- although no evidence


has b e e n found -- through t h e e f f o r t s of t h e Division Gas Officer. More-

over, an i n s p e c t i o n tour made by t h e office of t h e Chief G a s Officer,

F i r s t Army, l a t e in October r e s u l t e d in high marks f o r both him and h i a

151
33rd Div Box 2, 20023.

- 92 -
o r g a n l e a t i o n , d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t t h e d i v i s i o n w a s t o prove unique i n

r e p o r t i n g more gas c a s u a l t i e s than wound c a s u a l t i e s i n t h e Meuse-Argonne

campaign. The i n s p e c t o r r e p o r t e d t h a t 33rd D i v i s i o n g a s d e f e n s e equip-

ment was found ample in e v e r y p a r t i c u l a r , and t h a t Colonel Vandervater

of t h e o f f i c e of t h e Chief o f S t a f f " t a l k e d of It. Varter in t h e most

complimentary terms, and seemed t o be S a t i s f l e d i n every ray with t h e

g a s d e f e n s e of t h e Division.n152

Use of Gas b y t h e 52nd F i e l d Artillery

The 52nd FA Brigade a p p ~ e n t l yhad (111 abundanoe Of gas nIUmunltiOn

throughout t h e campaign b u t would not u s e it. A V a l h b b .smUnitiOn re-

p o r t s f o r t h e p e r i o d 11 - 14 October reveal a l m o s t 10,OM) 75-mm s p e c i a l

s h e l l s and 300 155-mm s p e c i a l s h e l l s on hand. The divielon was f q p a r e n t l y

w i t h o u t smoke s h e l l s . f o r none ere l i s t e d .

The o n l y a r t i l l e r y o r d e r s s h o r i n g use of gas indioate t h a t t h e 106th FA


fired 20 phosgene rounds on t h e n i g h t of 30 September a t t a r g e t s across

t h e r i v e r . above C o n s e n v o p and i n t h e Boia d e Chaume. aad 15 phosgene


rounds on t h e morning of 1 October, " e a s t of t h e Yeuse." The a r t i l l e r y

r e g i m e n t a l h i s t o r i e s r e p o r t f i r i n g l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s of E
3 b u t no amoke
or g a s s h e l l s . 153

LJL
Ltr, Capt T. II. Balfe, OCGO F i r s t Army t o CCO F i r s t Army, 27 Oat,
sub8 T r i p t o 33rd Div f o r ACofS G -
4 ( F i r s t Army Box 339, 470). N e i t h e r
Col Vandervater nor h i s h e a d q u a r t e r s h a s been i d e n t i f i e d .

153
R e p o r t s and h i e t o r i e s in 33rd Div Box 11, 44.6; Box lS, 44.6; Bas
12, 32.12,

- 93 -
The Division Gas Officer explained t h i s reoord o f t h e 52nd FA Crigade

in a l e t t e r t o the I11 Corps Gas O f f i c e r on 15 Oatobers


Our A r t l l l e r y Brigade hba n o t put over any gas....Concernlng t h o u s e of
Gas by our A r t i l l e r y , t h e y do not soem t o be keen on t h e use of it. You
are probably f a m i l i a r with t h e d i f f i o u l t i e a i n oonvinoing people t h a t mod-
ern warfare does n o t r e q u i r e noise and d e s t r u c t i o n t o g e t t h e beat re-
s u l t s i n t h e way of p u t t i n g men o u t of action. There l a q u i t e e b i t of

f.as a m u n i t i o n laying about t h e area, some of whioh has no marklngs on


I t 1 a t all, but during t h e p r e s e n t olean up arrangsmenta hare been made
t o assemble it a l l in t h e v i c i n i t y of Geroourt. It i s hoped t h a t when a l l
t h e s h e l l s are assembled In one p l 0 0 more i n t e r e a t w i l l be worked up and
a show of our om w i l l be s t a r t e d . ll54

But t h e time had passed when it might have been e f f e c t i v e l y used, and pre-

sumably t h e gas emmunition was l e f t a t Oeraourt when the d i v i s i o n p u l l e d

out.

-
The Yellw Cross Division

The advice of IIt C o v e t3 i t s d i v i s i o n s on 24 Ootober, t h a t they

must learn t o avoid seriouo l o s m s , and o a r r y on a f i g h t for three o r


155
four weeks before relief. came t o o l a t e t o help t h e 33rd Division.

I t was a tired and casualty- ridden d i v i s i o n vhea I t oroaaed t h e Yeuae

on t h e night of 9 - Lo Ootober. ( m y t h e 129th Infantry, after its BUO-

oeaaive gaaaingr, was s e n t aorosa is a mystery.) On t h e e a s t bank t h e

troops r a p i d l y passed fromweariness t o exhaustion, as t h e d i v i s i o n met

enemy foroes in a s t a t e of readiness P e r g r e a t e r than t h a t found on 2 6


September. and wns exposed t o d a i l y gas f i r e more pervasive, beoause

154
Memo, 15 Oot, n e e e (WD H i s t Box 300, 35.6, Use of Gaa by Arty),

165
Memo, 111 Corps t o a l l d i v i s i o n s , sub) T a o t i o a l Defects (90th Div
Box 6. 32.15).

-94-
c

a m c e n t r a t e d in a smaller area. t h a n had been met w i t h on t h e w e s t bank.

There i s no reason t o doubt t h a t e v e r y combat o f f i c e r and man i n t h e

d i v i s i o n w a s gassed t o some degree i n t h e operation.

On t h e w e s t bank, without p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t t h e German a r t i l l e r y


on t h e Cotesde Meuse, t h e 3 J r d Division could do nothing about i t s
. p l i g h t but hold on- On t h e east b m k it advanced u n t i l it was overtaken

by gas and gas mask exhaustlon. The ocuparative o a s u a l t y fiwres, as

well as t h e d i s t a n o e s covered by the b e r i c a n and French f o r c e s eaot of


t h e Meuse. might be o o n s t m e d t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e b e r i c a n s were w r t t f e n

off as expendable even as t h e y c r o s s e d t h e Mouse.

.*
.

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- 95 -

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