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5T3-45

U. S. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS HISTORICAL STUDIES GAS WARFARE I N WORLD WAR I

THE 26th

940.435

C663ta

c

1

DIVISION IN THE AISNE-MARNE CAMPAIGN July 1918

ourescnes

BO\S

oe LA,

IAAR6TT6

U. S. Army Chemical Corps Historical Office

Office

of the Chief ton,

Chemical

D.C.

Officer

September 1957

The 26th Division in the Aisne-Marne Campaign July 1918

by

Rexmond Co Cochrane

GAS WARFARE IN WORLD WAR I

Study Number 4

UoSo ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS HISTORICAL STUDIES

o Army Chemical Corps Historical Office Office of the Chief Chemical Officer Army Chemical Center,, Maryland

1957

The 26th

Division

in th e Aisne-Marne Campaign

July

1918

Prepared by

Rexmond Co Cochrane, PhoDo

Under contract DA-18-108-CML-6214

with

UoSo Army Chemical Corps

This is an accepted draft study on gas warfare in World War I

Wo RoNCURRIE Brigadier General,* USA Asst OCmlO for Planning <fc Doctrine

This i s

Foreword

a tentativ e

study of the

gas experience of

th e

26th Division

in th e Aisne-Marne Campaign during World

War Io

This

study i s

not presente d

as a definitiv e

and

officia l

history ,

but

is reproduced

for

current

reference

use within the Military Establishment pending the

tio n

of

an approved historyo

publica­

The author was assiste d

in hi s research by Mr« Walter

Moeller and Mrso Charlotte Bolirio

t o

accuracy and adequacy of treatmen t are invited , and may be

Note t o Readers

Comments and suggestions relativ e

transmitte d t o th e Chief, UoS* Amy Chemical Corps Historica l

Office,

Army Chemical Center, Maryland»

THE 26TH DIVISION IN THE AISNE-MARNE CAMPAIGN

Narrative

At the Ti*rn of the

«

In the Fas Fini Sector o . c

.

Gas for "Strassenbau" c <>

The Second Battle of the Marne

In the Narrowing Corridor

The German Retreat . •

In the Bois de Trugny

Corps Orders

a

Analysis

"The Wonderful Inefficiency of Shell Fire"

The Casualty Records

The 26th Division in the Attack. • •

French and American Casualties »

The Reputation of the 26th Division

•••••

•• •

«

• •••o.o«o«. o

*

«,„

«P

C

»

0

o

«

o

Map No. 1 & Overlay

Map No, 2

Map Noo

3

Map No, 4

Map

No.

5 & Overla y

Maps and Field Sketch

Plan of the Second Battle of the Marne. • » 0

Disposition of VIII (Schoeler) Corps, *

Enemy 1st

7 July 1918

a

* o

o

.

.

o e

Line Positio n between Vaux and

Bellea u Wood.

<•

1st

and 2nd Position s

Gas Attacks ,

Areas

of

i n Pas Fin i Sector.,

e

.

.

14-16 July o

0

.

,

0

.

o

e

o

1

3

XI

19

28

35

39

43

50

53

58

63

65

la

4a

4b

6a

12a

Maps and Field Sketoh (oonfd)

Page

Map

Noo

6

Dispositio n

fo r

th e

Attack ,

Nigh t

17-18

 
 

July .

.

o

.

.

.

.

20a

Fiel d

Sketch

View

of

Hil l

193.

.,.,.

,

21a

Map

No .

7

Corp s

Objectives ,

20

Jul y

•••

<.••

 

23 a

Map

No.

8

Attac k

o n

22

Jul y

•••••

 

••

.

29 a

Map

fto.

9

Gas

Attack ,

22

Jul y

<>•«• .

 

•.••••

o

 

31a

Map

No*

10

Dispositio n

of

Corps

Schooler

,

20

.

<>

38a

Map

No*

11

German

Defensiv e

Position s

i n

Corp s

 
 

Schoole r

Secto r

o

.

«••

«

 

38b

Map

No*

12

& Overla y

Situatio n

Maps ,

7t h

Army,

19

&

25

July *

 

0

o

39a

Map

No*

13

Attac k

o f

101s t

Infantr y

on

2 3

 

Jul y

o

o

»

o

o

40 a

Map

No .

14

Situatio n

o f

26t h

Division ,

Evenin g

o f

 

24 July • - . o

.

­

47a

Map Noo 15

Plan for Gas Projector Attack, 6 July » . o o

Sla

THE

26TH

DIVISION

IN

THE AISNE-MARNE

JULY

1918

OFFENSIVE

At the Turn of the Tide

By 31 May 1918, after advancing for five days, the German Seventh Army

had lost its forward drive<, In a surprise breakthrough, it had reached the

liarnec

That day the Germans turned their efforts to a westward expansion

of the bulge, down the valley between the Ourcq and the Marne towards Paris*

Petain's reserves, including the 2nd American Division, checked the spent

and overextended German forces, and through the month of June the enemy

sought to consolidate the terrain he had won*

This breakthrough, whioh Ludendorff had planned as a diversion for his

principal effort against the British in Flanders, was to be followed in mid-

July by another diversionary assault on either side of Reims 9 preparatory to

a final assault on the British center at Hazebroucko On 15 July, the German

First and Third Armies to the east of Reims were to drive towards Chalons

(see Map No«. 1 and Overlay), while the Seventh Army crossed the Marne near

Dormans and converged with the main advance towards Epernayo Paris was to

be taken from the east, rather than through the valley of the Marne» Luden­

dorff 1 s main attack in Flanders was to follow on 20 July, when the artillery

and aircraft used to launch the Reims attack had been transported north*

The attack on the 15th on either side of Reims was the last German of­

fensive on the western front. The great French and American artillery

counter-preparation just before the German advance, followed by the Allied

counterattack on July 18 against the flank of the German Seventh Army 0 so

jeopardized the German situation that Ludendorff was compelled to postpone

-

1 ­

7. Arm*a

atn

18.

i

/

!

/

l a

/

/

6°

/

FOR. n

A p

M O. 1

SECOND

BATTUE

OF TY*e

1 0

l b

MARNE

13

JO

WA P

NO. 1

t.•• «

7.

1 !',!/ i

l a

J

FOR.

MO. 1

SECOND BATTL E OF THE MARME

- AUGUST 19»»

10

tj

l b

is

>o

MAP

N 0. 1

and then abandon his whole plan for final victoryo The ebb had begun.

Degoutte's "Study for a Renewal of the Offensive by the Vlth Army," in

which the 26th Division was to have a part, foresaw that an Allied attack

on the 12-kilometer front between the Ourcq and Clignon rivers was possible

with his present limited means if the

enemy were to

weaken or to tt distend"

himself elsewhere© There were three divisions with part of a fourth in the

line on 8 July, the date of his study, but he would soon have seven divis­

ions at his disposal, four in the line and three in reserve, with possibly

one or two American divisions available later.

Applying the lesson taught by the German artillery in the breakthrough

between the Oise and the Somme in March, the French artillery, said Degoutte,

would open the attack with an intense but brief preparation, with intensive

use of gas shells on enemy battery positions.* With his Army artillery, he

would have thirteen battalions of 155s on his front, M to more completely

neutralize enemy artillery* This neutralization will be made as much as

possible with gas shellso H

Yet, when the time for the attack came, the

French ordered no artillery preparation whatever, in order to achieve maxi­

mum surpriseo

Later, with the recovery of the enemy from the surprise

Actually, he was to have seven divisions, including the American 4th and 26th, in the first line for the attack and one in reserve, with the American 28th, 32nd, and 42nd made available later*

2

G-3, Hq Vlth Army, Study for Renewal of Offensive by the Vlth Army, 8 Jul (26th Div Box 12, 3l«2)o See also G-3 study, Armies of the North and Northeast,.Tactical Lessons Drawn from Operations between the Oise and the

Somme, 6 Jun (tr at

3

GEHQ AEF, 14 Jun) (ibido, 31o7).

Order 81, French 167th Division, 17 Jul (26th Div Box 19, 32«11, 167th

Div)«.

-

2 ­

counterattack,, the French found it necessary to use considerable gas on their

front in order to advance e

In the great Allied counterattack, Degoutte's French Sixth Army played

a subsidiary role to Mangin's Tenths and in Degoutte's Army the role of the

26th Division, in

a pivotal position, was relatively inconspicuouso Never- 7

theless,, in its week of fighting, the 26th Division advanced seventeen kilo­

meters, the first real advance made by an American division as a unit in

World War L

Unlike the French divisions on its flanks, the 26th Division

made that advance without the advantage of gas* Its gas casualties, on the

other hand 5 were all out of proportion to those suffered by the French divi­

sionso

The emphasis in this report is almost equally divided between the gas

experience of the division in the two weeks prior to its advance andj partly

as a result of that experience, its reaction to gas during the advance o

In the Pas Fini Sector

On 4 July, six days after being relieved in the Boucq sector, in the

Woevre, the 26th Division arrived in the Pas Fini ("Unfinished") sector,

near Chateau Thierryo It had been ordered to relieve the exhausted 2nd

Division, whioh for thirty-five days had fought across a kilometer of ground

against the German forces on the Paris-Metz roado Coming up to the left of

the sector were the 103rd and 104th Regiments g 52nd Brigade, under Brigo Gen.

Charles Ho Coles to the right were the 102nd and 101st Regiments, 51st Brig­

ade (in that order from left to right) p under Brigo Geno George Ho Shelton»

The 51st FA Brigade was under Brig. Geno Dwight Eo Aultman, and Majo Geno

Clarence Ro Edwards commanded the division

-

3

The relief began that day with elements of the 52nd Brigade replacing

the 4th Brigade (Marine) in the left sector« The next day further relief

was postponed when information was received that a large-scale German attack

was about to be made somewhere between Reims and Chateau Thierryo

Until the

attack actually

began fl on either side of Reims

ten days later 0 it was believed

the enemy advance would be made down the Marne valleyo The relief was not t o

5

be resumed until 7 July s and was completed on the nignt o f 8-9 Julyo

On 5 July 5 as the 52nd Brigade took over the left side of the line 0

the German units opposite were two regiments of the 4th Ersatz Division,

between Bussiares and Belleau fl completing the relief of the 5th Guard Division

that day and taking over a sector of the 87th Divisions the 87th Division,,

between Belleau and Bouraschess elements of the 28th Division, between

Bouresches and Vaux 9 soon to withdraws and a regiment of the 2Qlst Division,

encircling Vaux (Maps No c 2 and 3)-. The 5th Guard Division was completely

used up o It was to be reported on 12 July as no longer capable of battleo

The 4th Ersatz and 87th Divisions were still fully capable of fighting in

positional warfare but badly in need of rest and retraining.* A H but one

Jnl Op 2nd Div c 4 Jul? War Diary* 2nd Div,, 5 Julo

5

SO 3391 9

Vlth

Army,

2 Jul. o

and

GO 545 S

3rd Fr

C,

2

Ju l

(26th

Div Box 22,

32o7,, F r orders ) ordere d th e piecemea l relie f of th e Marine brigad e and it s

art y

support

between

4=7 Jul^,

tha t

of

th e

3rd Brig

and

it s

art y between 7-=9

Jul o

GO 3403,,

Vlt h

A,,

3 Jul, ,

ordere d

immediate

aler t

disposition s

and

aler t

exercise s

i n preparatio n

fo r

th e

attack o

Cfo

FO 48 ,

26th

Div fl

1600,

5 Jul

(26th

Div Box

13,

32ol)o

 

6

SOI 86 ,

2nd Div ,

4- 5

Jul .

CD

c

(D

CJ

o

<

\

oo

S} 1

o E

£

a;
CD

Bo*

H

LOCATION

OF

EHCMY

I* T

LINE POSIT«ONS

 

VAU *

AMD BoiS

OE UA E>R*fi*DE OC

 

of

JuLy

V

Scale -. l/xo.ooo

lib

KA P

NO. 3

7

regiment of the 201st Division was battle-worthyo

To the left of the 26th Division was the French 167th Division, which,

with the 26th, made up the American 1st Corps. To the right was the French

39th Division, XXKVIIIth French Corps*

A captain of engineers, going up to Belleau Wood with infantry officers

to make a reoonnai ssanc© for the 26th Division, was left in no doubt that

an awful fight had gone on in those woodsg trees all shot to pieces, foliage destroyed, clothing, rifles, mess kits, ammunition,, even machine guns, both American and German^ strewn everywhere© And then the dead of

both sides

There were two G-ermans in a little firing~pit<>«oboth in the same posture and both sighting their rifles held at the same position In a little clear­ ing was a group of eight of our boys, apparently a squad who had charged a boohe machine gun when it got them all»*»»

Sometimes two opponents were almost in a death grapple ao .o

We made a thorough reconnaissance of the woods and studied the hasty intrenchments, machine-gun positions, and advanced posts o On the left we saw a shallow trench extending through a wheat-field» In that trench were men lying down in the hot sun© They could hardly move without exposure to hostile fire<> No one could get to them except at night e Every morning at three o'clock a detail crawled out with a cold meal of 'Willy* and hardtack and one •

canteen of water for the day 0

/""in a clearing on the other side of the woods, in front of Bouresches,^ we weFe startled to find ourselves surrounded by hunsS There must have been twenty there, all dead, some sprawling on the ground, others hanging in trees or on the wires, where our shells had probably blown themo 8

7

 

VIII

Corps

(Schoeler)

Strength

Report,

12

Ju l

(7th

Army

WPS:A, 29

Jun-8

Aug,

pp o

6-7 /

German File s

Box 8OJ7) o

For

inte l

of

87th

and

301st

Divs,

see

26th

Div Box Tl ,

22*2o

 

On 21

Jul ,

the

26th

Div

crossed

the

87th

Div

sector

into

that

of

the

201s t

Div

(se e Map No 0

2) ,

and

on

22 Ju l

was

astrid e

th e

secto r

lin e

at

Epieds

between th e

201st

Div and

10th

Landwehr

Divo

That

day,

th e

22nd,

th e

23rd

Div

a t

Sergy

(lik e

th e

10th Ldw,

i t

was

i n Corps

Kathen)

was brought

down t o

sup­

por t

th e

10th

Ldw,

it s

108th

Saxon

23rd

Regt moving t o

th e

vicinit y

of

La

Logette

Maison

(23rd

Div WD, 22

Ju l

/

Div "YTD&A, fo l

I ,

German File s

Box

174_7i

Corps Kathen

Opns 0 3208,

3215,

20 Ju l ^/J~Box 161J 7 ) 0

 

8

Carroll J o Swan (Co D, 101st Eng), M y Company (Bostons Houghton Mifflin 1918 5 263 pp)» pp« 165-168­

5 ­

For five days after the arrival of the 26th Division, its headquarters

and 51st Brigade remained in the second or Army defense position, with its

52nd Brigade in the front line and first position under the command of the

2nd Division

(Map No* 4) . Detailed Corps

orders and instructions were issued

daily on the maintenance of the alert and counter-offensive preparations.

One order made the 26th Division responsible for blowing the Marne bridges

Q

in the event of a breakthrough.

On 7 July and again on 13 July higher head­

quarters issued special warnings that the expected attack was imminent, but

on the front the enemy appeared only to be organizing defensive positions in

depth, stringing accordian wire and double barbed wire, and constructing new

machine gun and rifle positions.

On the American side, all troops were

similarly engaged in constructing or strengthening machine gun emplacements,

wire entanglements, and firing trenches, particularly around the recently 7/on

Bois de Belleau and village of Vaux. And daily the artillery on both sides

put down fire on targets of opportunity.,

9

FO 4, 1st C, 7 Jul (1st C Box 15) ; ltr CofS 26th Div to CO 102nd Inf,

2230, 7 Jul, sub? Employment of troops on Position 2 (26th Div Box 19, 32.14), The detailed plans for defense of the 1st and 2nd positions, as part of Vlth Army* s mission to resist a crossing of the Marne, are in FO 6, 1st C* 8 Julo See Corps instructions in 26th Div Box 16 and Box 19., 324>15.

On 8

Jul, Opns 0 4, 1st C Arty, said* "Certain batteries, whose zone of

action is beyond 1000 meters from our line of outposts, will be required to fire 70# gas shell,, 1 '

On 16 Jul, Opns

0 6, 1st C Arty, said* M It is recommended that a large

proportion of gas be employed in the neutralisation of the enemy batteries* Division and Artillery Commanders will submit to these headquarters as soon

"

estimates have been found* (Opns 0 in 1st C Box 36, 60.11, Rpt in 1st C Box 38, 60.32).

as possible an estimate of the number of gas shells needed

No such of Opns, and

10

SOIs fo r

Opposit e

1s t

th e

period ,

C from

June

and G-2

1st

1st

t o

Jul y

C Rpt,

15th

Resume of

Study of Enemy's

31«5)«

(26th

Div Box 32,

Sector

6

­

Amid the daily hostile HE f^re, 350 mustard shells were fired into the

Bo is de la Marette and 200 mixed gas and HE shells just east of Tullerie de

Triangle on the night of 4-5 July, resulting in more than 1E0 gas casualties

in the 2nd Division

There was further gas shelling on the 5th, and during

the night of the 6th almost 500 gas shells fell on the 2nd Division front,

principally around Monneaux and Bourbelin, with 50 or more gas casualties.

On the night of the 7th, approximately 650 gas shells were fired into

Bois de la Marette and Bois de Belieau, with 8 casualties reported by the

2nd Division.

There is no reoord of 26th Division HE or gas casualties

before 9 July when, taking over command of the sector, the division began

to issue its own Summaries of Intelligence and Daily Operations Reports*

In the five-day period between the evening of 9 July and the evening

of 14 July, when the German offensive opened with a demonstration on the

26th Division front, the records indicate that approximately 10,350 rounds

of HE fell in the 52nd Brigade sector, resulting in 14 killed and 84 woundedo

In the same period, a total of 11,350 HE shells fell in the 51st Brigade

sector, resulting in 11 killed and 48 wounded in that brigade, and 2 killed

11

SOI 86 ,

88 ,

89 ,

2nd Div,

4-8

Jul ;

Jn l

0 ,

2nd Div,

5-8

Jul .

These

atk s

have been previousl y

reporte d

i n

th e

2nd Div study©

 

12

"Records previous to July 10, 1918 are so incomplete that a daily classi­ fication can not be given 1 * (Ltr DGO to C CWS, 20 Jan 19, Rpt on Gas Activities /^26th Div Box 248_7). As the 26th Div assumed command, hq of the 103rd Inf was set up at La Vole du Chatel, the 104th at Maison Blanche, and the 52nd Brig at La Loge Ferme; the 102nd Inf was at Coupru, the 101 Inf and all three reg^l hqs of the FA at Les Alnois Bontemps. The 51st Brig was at Domptin and the 51st FA Brig and Div Hq , at Marigny, moved up that day to Genevrois Fermeo The 101st Eng were in the Bois de La Croisetteo (DOR, 8-9 Jul) .

n

and 13 wounded in the 101st Engineers.

13

Although the enemy fired some gas on eaoh of those five days, it

reportedly produced little effect• On the 10th p w La Voie du Chatel received

an intense burst of shells*.,at I63OO o'olock, ^50 ^ blue cross gas shells

being used in the bombardment,* with 25 gas rounds on an unidentified target

and 20 on the Bois de la Marette that evening, all without causing any casual-

tie so

Approximately 50 rounds of gas were put on Vaux and the Bois de la

Roche on the night of 11-12 July, and again on Vaux and the ravine between

Vaux and Monneaux on the evening of the 12th. On the night of 13-14 July,

50 gas shells fell on Triangle Ferme and Bois de Triangle and 25 more in the

Bois de Belleau« * That same night between 7*20 p.nu and 5$45 a.m., the

102nd FA of the 26th Division fired 130 No. 5 (phosgene) shells into the

Bois des Rochets.

lfl

Only 3 gas casualties resulting from about 270 gas shells, were reported

by the division for the five-day period. Division Surgeon records, however,

show 46 gas casualties during that period, while an actual count of the hospi­

tal admission lists reveals 57 gas casualties between 10-14 July.

13

SOI 87-91, 26th Div, 9-14 Jul (26th Div Box 8, 20.1); 9-14 Jul (Box 24, 33.1)o

DOR, 26th Div,

14

 

SOI 87, 88, 9-11 Jul,- DOR, 9-10 Jul*

15

 

SOI 89, 90, 11-13 Jul*

16

Opns Rpt 101, 51st FA Brig, 14 Jul (26th Div Box 59). This is the only record of this gas mission. 26th Div arty fired 7703 rounds of HE that same day.

17

DOR, 9-14 Jul; chart, Med Dept (26th Div) Box 3593, 704 Casualties; admis­ sion lists, Med Dept (26th Div) Box 3616o

-

8 ­

It appears just as well that there were no serious gas attacks during

the period, for some of the troops in the 26th Division arrived in the sec­

tor without gas masks* having lost them enrouteo As the gas officer of the

102nd Infantry reported on the 7ths M Am badly off fpr SoB«Ro J s ^"small box

respiratorsJT*. Men have losted /"sic /them in large numberso So far I've

had 48 cases reported but understand that there were moreo»ooNo reserve

stocks leftoo.«I'll try and get them from Division that we relieve but they

may not want to do soo

A supply of 100 would just

the

> fools move againo"

After investigating

about fix me up until

this report,, the Division

Gas Officer notified General Edwardsg M The same fault that has been noticed

on previous moves was noticed during this last moveo That is the fact that

respirators were loste For example s the 3rd Battalion of the 102nd Infantry

called for 25 respirators after they had used up their 5% reserve when they

reached the front line«oo©Each of the Battalions requested Respirators after

the move 0

H 19

Almost a week later, when the relief of the 2nd Division had been com­

pleted and the troops were in the front line positions^, the Assistant Division

Gas Officer and Division Gas Officer,, after inspection tours of the infantry

and artillery regiments, reported a number of flagrant violations of gas alert

discipline involving the gas mask,, the most serious ocourring in the 101st

18

 

FM Washburn RGO

102nd Inf to DGO, 7 Jul (26th Div Box 249, fol 1) o

19

Ltr DGO to CG 26th Div, 9 Jul c subs

Insp of Gas Diso

(ibido, fol 6)«

In Fv Po Sibley's With the Yankee Division in France (Boston* Little, Brown, 1919), faoing p o 84, is a picture taken in April of "General Cole /"52nd Brig t" lecturing /~three_y soldiers caught without gas masks,, Xivray- Marvoisino"

Infantry* On 11 July and again on 13 July, it was found that "orders regard­

ing the wearing of respirators in the 'alert' position in the 'alert' zone

not being obeyed by a large number of men and officers*" Fifteen

men were carrying their respirators in the slung position, twenty-four were

wearing their masks at the carry, one had an unauthorized ARS French mask,,

and thirty-one had none at all<»

20

Concerning gas discipline in the division at large, it would be interes­

ting to know how generally it was understood before the advance that "ex=

cusable gas casualties are ones in which (a) a man was knocked down by the

gas shell, (b) runners who had to go through infected areas or (c) instances

where men took off respirators in battle to be able to fight better© The

inexcusable ones are those in which respirators were adjusted tardily s (d)

taken off too soon or (e) inexcusably remained in infected areas when not

n

necessary*"

21

While the survey and replacement of gas masks was being carried out, it

was reported daily that *'we are improving our positions/ 1 with the infantry

in the front lines digging shelters and repairing their rifle pits 5 and the

engineers, with infantry help, putting in from three to six thousand man-

hours each day on construction work in the zone of resistance,, digging

trenches, putting up camouflage, constructing dugouts and command posts.

20

Memo Asst DGO to ACofS G-l, 12 Jul and memo DGO to ACofS G-l (ibid«, fol 5) .

15 Jul

21

 

Ltr DGO to C CWS, 20 Aug, subt

Examples of Good and Bad Gas Disc (26th

Div

Box 249, fol 3) .

- 10 ­

cuttin g

lots ,

and preparin g wire

entanglements.

Nightly,

patrol s went out

in

aggressiv e

foray s

t o

scout

enemy

position s

and secure

identificatio n

of th e

forces

opposite.

 
 

Gas

fo r

"Strassenbau "

 

During th e

earl y

evening

of

14 July ,

as th e

ligh t

rai n gave way t o

heavy ground

fog,

th e

enemy fired

hi s

normal

harassing missionso

Then

startin g

about midnight,

our

fron t

line s

and intermediate

area s were

heavil y shelle d with High Explosive and gas . The Marne bridge s and back areas were shelled intermittentl y during the night. As time went on the

Infantry

firin g became more intens e and i t became

evident

tha t

th e

101st

severe

punishment but, as a whole, th e fir e was concentrating towards Vauxo This concentratio n continued unti l about 3«45 o'clock when i t reached the in­

was receivin g specia l attention .

The Bois de

l a Brigade Marine got

tensity

of

a barrage

in front

of

Vaux."

Reporting th e

gas attack thu s minimized by divisio n

headquarters,

Capte Thomas H» Cutler ,

th e

Divisio n Gas Officer ,

saids

"In

conjunction

with th e

star t

of hi s

fifth

grand

offensive

the

enemy protected

his

righ t

flank

by means of

a heavy gas attac k

on position s

of

our troopso"

He

estimate d

tha t

durin g th e ten-minute preparatio n with

diphosgene

and

chlor­

picrin ,

followed

by a four-hour

mustard

gas bombardment,

almost

1500 gas

shell s

had been fire d

on the

101st

Infantry,

101st Engineers,

anc* 102nd MG

r i0R

14-1 5 Jul ,

Opns Rpt

101 ,

1G Jul ,

51s t

PA,

said ?

"I n

respons e

t o

th

a

e

un^ny's

bombardment

the

our batterie s

tha t

the

f'irocl

C.I'.O.'s

and at

Is26 o'cloc k

on

Light

rv.-ort

from

Infantry

action wtis localized

at Vaux, the

Artiller y

Grouping

fire d

575 Gas shell

s

/

Mo. 5 /opposit e

th e

101st

Infan ­

try * «».At

ZiOO

o'cloc k

/""our /

barrag e was finishe d

and a C*PoCo was

starte d

on th e

woods nort h

of Vaux wit h

gas "

(26t h

Div Box 59 ;

als o

Inte l Rpt ,

102nd

FA,

14-15 Ju l </f"Box 61 ,

20.7_/) .

NOTE;

C«>P»O. stands

for

counter-preparation

offensive

fire 0

Cfo CoOoP-.

(counter

offensive

preparation}"!

"The CoP.O. on the

lin e

of main

resistanc e

a more J meters "

on

i s

fir e

zone

extended

169,

(Opns 0

from

th e

barrag e

lin e

fo r

101st

FA,

13 Ju l ^~26th

-

11

­

a depth

of

Div Box 60 ,

500 £"*or

32«,12j7).

Battalion in the Boia d© la Croisette and at Vaux and Monneaux; 6200 rounds

had fallen o n the 102nd Infantry at Hill 201 and in the woods around Couprui

1500 rounds on the 103rd Infantry in the woods near La Voie du Chatelj and

200 rounds on the 101st FA northeast of Maison Blanche (Map No* 5 and

i

lay).

\

2 3

Over-

The 101st

to the hospita l

Infantr y

reporte d

22 inhalatio n

on the morning of the

15th,

the

and

130 burn casualtie s

sent

101st Engineers

reportin g

10

inhalatio n

and 52 burn cases .

A fiel d

message

from th e

102nd

Infantr y

at

Coupru readi

"Have had

about

6,000 to

6,500

gas

shells

in our

sector

las t

nighto

Most

of

i t

Mustard with

some Phosgene

and Diphosgene*

Woods

stil l

full

of

ito

About 30 t o hospita l

up to

now.

Will

be

a

lo t

more be­

fore

th e

next two days are

over £"iM RGO 102nd Inf

t o

DGO, n.ho ,

15 Ju l

(26th Div Box 248) J7\ "

The 1s t Battalio n

Gas Officer ,

to

say tha t

the

gas attack tha t

night

began with

a high

phosgene and diphosgene

fo r

fiftee n

or twenty minutes,

area

in th e woods was drenched

regiment

late r

reported:

"with

full y

6000 mustard

102nd

Infantry ,

concentration

was

of

the n th e

battalio n

gas

shells»" " The

Between midnight

and four

o'clock ,

15th

July ,

th e

enemy threw

approxi­

mately five

thousand mustard-gas

shells

into

the woods on Hil l

201., Bois des

Clerembauts,

and th e

woods south

of th e Paris-Metz Roado««cThe two

companies

on Hil l

201 and th e

two i n th e woods south

of the^ road ,

comprising th e Firs t

23

Ltr DGO to CG 26th Div, 20 Jul, Rpt of Gas Atk Evening of July 14-15 . (26th Div Box 25, 33«6).

24

RGO and BGO Rpts on Gas Attack (26th Div Box 248)*

25

Ltr BGO 102nd to DGO, 16 Jul (ibid)„

- 12 ­

A .

B.

.

0.

E.

C

F.

KEY

101 <* l*

f

IQi** In f

\Vk** tn f

t

t*x &«*{

d* Vx C

aft H«tt 401

 

Ml Coopru,

iliU-4-l o AW, »*

Inf,

*•«*• d«V

at

C

, tlifo-4too

*sf*, »»JU^Y

Inf . *«•» VaMovt duCKo.t«t, UM

Seuv««. 1

12a

5col

12b

paux

MO. 5

Battalion in support, suffered heavily, the casualties being chiefly body burns developing during the ensuing days, the gas hanging in the woods, alternately held down by rain and again volatilized by the warm sun. 26

The 103rd Infantry, south of Torcy, reported the bombardment of mustard gas

and HE as in the "Proportion

of gas to high explosive shell 2 for U

1500

gas shells fell, 500 in woods occupied by 2nd Battalion and 1000 in adjacent

areao" At

6i30 a.m. on the 16th, only two men in the 103rd had been re­

ported evacuated as a result of the gassing.

The particular target of the gas attack on the morning of the 15th,

the divisional artillery, reported 1 officer and 2 men gassed on the 15th,

and 39 men of the 101st FA and 1 officer and 19 men of the 103rd FA gassed

on the 16th. 28

Corps Sohoeler, whose units had fired gas missions all along its front

that morning, did not appear to agree with Captain Cutler that the gas was

for flank protection, but saids "On the 15th the offensive "Strassenbau"

^P'Road Construction," code name for the Marne-Reims offensive

7* was begun

by the troops in the left sector. In order to divert the attention of the

enemy, bursts of annihilation fire were delivered and raids executed on the

entire corps fronto" Schooler's 4th Ersatz Division, however, was more ex­

plicit concerning the general strategyi

26

 

His t

of

th e

102nd

In f

(26t h

Div Box 41 ,

11*4) <>

Rpt

of Opns & Intel ,

102nd

Inf,

14-15 Ju l

(ibid. ,

20.7) ,

reported

only 2500-3000 HE and gas

shell s

over

those

four

hours,

coming from

German guns at Monthiers

and

Etrepilly o

27

FiA Rpt of Gas Shell Atks on 103rd; Rpt on Gas Atk, RGO, 103rd Inf (26th

Div Box 248)•

28

Opns Rpt s

101-103 ,

15-17 Jul ,

51s t

-

Bri g

13

­

(26t h

Div Box 59) •

Of paramount importance for th e success o f the attack ^~of the German

Armies_y is complete assurance of the protection of the right repulsing enemy attacks against the Ninth Army and west front

Army without requiring more to withdraw any troops from

delivered daily between 4e30 and 5*30 aomo on the enemy assembly areaso Abun­

forces than are in line at present^ i n order not

fire will b e

flanks b y fully- o f the Seventh

the attacks, 0 «> oWaves o f annihilation

dant use will b e made of

^9

The raid on the 26th Division,, simultaneous with raids on the French

forces on either side, materialized as the gas and H E bombardment

ceasedo A t

4glF aoio, approximately a hundred 201st Division troops advanced and occu­

pied the railroad cut north of VauXo Boxing the German force in with a bar­

rage, the 101st Infantry attacked and dispersed the raiders i n a short fight o

The division estimated that approximately 15 5 000 shells were fired into

its sector on the

night o f 14=15 July^, with the chief

concentrations on the

forward positions of the 101st in the Bois

d e Belleau

and on the battery

positions near the Paris-Metz roado There

was "much gas," the number o f

rounds presumably included in the above totalo

30

In his original report^ the Division Gas Officer said that approximately

9,320 gas shells were fired on the morning o f the 15th, and implied the same

number

the next night,, the 16th fl speaking o f it as "practically a duplication

of the first attacko"

31 Hanslian says that the German 87th Division fired

29

Rpt

on Action,

15 Jul fl

VIII

C (Schoeler) g

11 Jul-3 1 Aug s

t r

from

fo l

I

(German File s

Box 119) 2 4t h

Ers

Div Opns 0

534 5 Preparation s

to

Resist

Counter­

atk,

15 Ju l

(4th

Ers WD, fol

II

,

pp o

16-17 ^"German File s

Box 146J7) 0

30

 

SOI 92 ,

14=15 Ju l

31

t o

his

diphenylchlorarsine^ ,

Ltr "on th e

CG 26th

of

basis

Div 8

20 Jul s

above o

i s

A postwar

contradictory

report

in

on th e

on these

attacks^

of

of

records' 1 then p

phosgene^

it s

estimate

2,850

14­

and mustard

shell s

14th /"nigh t

15? /an d 9 fl 700 phosgene, diphosgene^ and mustard shell s on the"~15th. o resulting

in T59

gas

casualtie s

and

2 gas deaths o

(lt r

DGO to

C CWS fc 20 Jan

19 5

subs Rpt

on Gas

Activitie s

£~26th Div Box 248_/) „

 

14

approximately 8000 yellow cross shells on the morning of the 15th and 750

yellow cross shells between 2*00 and 3*00 a.m. on the 16th, all against the

battery positions of the 26th Division*, He further observes? "This gas

bombardment took place in conjunction with the German offensive across the

Marno and was designed to hold the enemy batteries and prevent their enfil­

ading the German troops participating in this attack, and at the same time

to pave the way for local patrol raidso" 32

The casualties reported by the division as a result of the shelling

(15,000 rounds) and the fight at Vaux on the 15th were 1 officer and 4 men

killed, 54 men wounded, and 1 officer and 175 men gassed, with almost all

the killed and wounded and 63 of the gas cases in the 101st Infantry, and

99 gas casualties in the 102nd Infantry

3*5

On 16 July, however, the 102nd Field Hospital reported that over the

previous 24 hours, a total of 560 cases had passed through the hospital at

32

Gasangriffe an der American!senen Front, pp« 115<-118<, Hansliari remarks

on the very incomplete German data for these two bombardments, but believes Spencer's data equally incomplete regarding casualties among the division batteries©

Note may be made here

concerning the records of the 4th Ersatz, 87th,,

and 201st Divisions in the German Files of the National Archiveso The records of the 4th Ersatz fndicate it was engaged principally with the French 167th p as the 201st was engaged with the French 39tho Gas data in those German re­ cords reveal that the French kept Monthiers, to the left of the 26th Div, and Hill 204,, to the right, covered with gaso By comparison, gas data in 87th Div records are meagero The only figures that have been found for the gas atks of 15-16 July relate to ammo replacement for the heavy arty of the 87th; 350 yel­

low cross on 11 July, 1100 yellow cross on 13 July p and 100 yellow cross on 14

July<- On 15 July consumption of 903 yellow cross is reported and on 16 July,,

5 blue cross and 348 yellow cross, with 395 yellow cross received as replace­ ment (34th Foot Arty WD /~87th Div (Sub Units) WD&A, 14 Jun-30 Jul, pp<> 251­ 256 J, German Files Box 204"7I No comparable data for the light arty has been found -.

33

DOR 14-15 Julo

- 15­

Bezu le Query,, of which 4L8 were gas casualties^ with mustard gas prevail­

ingo

The Division Gas Officer on the 20th reported 518 gas casualties, of

which 26 were lung cases*, the rest "eye and body burns p mostly lights" Many

more cases were expected,, he said^, because "evacuated areas were not properly

guarded and men were permitted to go back into these areas in a few hours,, no

guards being posted to prevent themo There will undoubtedly be more oases

develop from this omission o

n

The enemy artillery continued its bombardment of the divisional sector

all day on the

I5thu "There has been 3 " the division said,,

an enormous amount of firing over our whole sector all the time p but

especially in the first part of the night £"bf the 15th

drenched with gaso Between 18s30 o*clock and midnight the front lines received intense bombardmentso o., oThe gas we have been receiving is mustardo The fire was general and widespread^ even over the back areas., but Vaux,, Eois de la Brigade Marine,, Lucy le Bocage fl the Paris-Metz road, and the entire front lines of the 5lst Brigade have received special attentioKu.

To

We have been

As a result of

an estimated 1600 rounds of HE on the front lines through the

night of 15-=16 July,, infantry casualties were 3 killed and El woundedo Two

hundred rounds of HE on battery position? apparently caused no casualties

No estimate of the number of gas shells wao made n but the- m.^tard gas put

34

 

Memo for CO 101st San Train,, 16 Jul

(Msd Dept Box 5b89, fol 63).,

35

 

Ltr to CG 26th Div 5

20 Jul, aboveo

36

DOR 15-16 Julo

The

gas shelling is

confirmed in the 8 7th Div WD , 16

Julj "Our arty delivered several annihilation fire waves and gassed the brook bottom MW of Maison Blanche with yellow cross,, as also the depression south of Hill 201 on the Paris road and the depression near Ru Gobert" (87th Div WD&A 0 11 Jul-29 Aug., fol I, German Files Box 204) 0 See also VIII

Corps noon rpt £ 16 Juls "gTth^ IoDo gassed patches of woods; and draws o ~-,he­

sides annihilation barrages on the whole group front" (7th Army WD&A Jul°6 Aug 5 pp 8-9 ^"German Files. Box 8OJ7) »

, 15

16

down on the batteries near Maison Blanche and Paris Farm resulted in 1 officer

and 58 artillerymen being gassed, while 4 officers and 193 men, principally in

the 102nd Infantry and 101st Engineers, were reported gassed in the shelling

of the front lines and back areas. 37

Through the night and day of 16-17 July, an estimated 7,000 rounds of HE

fell in the divisional sector* Yet the Daily Operations Report, estimating 3

killed and 24 wounded by this shell fire, reported enemy artillery activity

38

below normal.

In addition, between 3s30 and 4*15 on the morning of the

17th there was another "heavy bombardment of the entire left half of the right

brigade with gas, H.E. and shrapnel,

with

especially heavy concentrations

39

around Bouresches*"

The HE casualties following this bombardment appear to

37

 

DOR 15-16

Jul s

SOI 93 ,

15-16 Jul ,

 

The 102nd

Inf

reporte d

successive

bombardments of

563 gas rounds p

60 HE

& (

Sj

78 HE & gas ,

and 40 HE & gas ,

al

l

from batterie s

a t Monthiers,

causing

107 "slightl y burnt " casualtie s i n th e regiment (Rpt of Opns & Intel 9 15-16

Ju l £"26t h

for

vicinit y

Div Box 41 ,

20.7_J) O

The 103rd Inf

reporte d

300 mustard mixed with HE i n th e proportion of 2

15 Ju l

and 1*15-4*00 a.m.,

16 Jul ,

al l

No casualties were reported up to

in th e 9s30 a>iao,

1 between 9-10$30 p.m. ,

of the regimental PC.

16

Ju l

(Rpt

of

Gas Shel l Atk s on 103rd £~26th

The 103rd FA reporte d

100 mustard

shells *

Div Box 248J7)« larg e caliber ,

on

it s

position s

in the valley NE of Domptin on the morning of the 16th, causing 25 casualties (Rpt on Gas Atk, GAF-26A).

Cfo Hanslian' s repor t

of 750

yello w cros s round s above<>

38

 

SOI 94 ,

16-17 Jul j

DOR 16-17

Jul .

39

Approx 125 88s

,

105s,

50 HE & gas

105s and ga s shell s

and gas shell s rounds in it s

fel l

i n th e Bois des Clerembauto, and

The 102nd

9 casualties

1200"-'500 77s,

Inf

(Rpt

rptd

of O&I,

in the

sector

Bois de

in those

Marine

hours a

(SOI 94) o causing

16-17 Jul) .

Arty Comdr WD, 17 Jul ,

14" Jun-3 0 Jul ,

p .

Battle Activity*

with 10 ° yellow

"The enemy batteries

0 oowere gassed

by X/34 /""*34th Foot Arty /

Units. ,

cross shells "

(87th Div WD&A-Sub

216 , German File s Box 204) .

87t h Div WD 1? Jui s

said?

"Our artiller y

gassed

a hostil e

batter y and also

fire d

on other hostil e

batter ­

-

17

­

be included in the figures above; gas casualties reported at the time were 4

officers and 50 meno But the 101st Field Hospital saids "The 17th day

light on wounded, most of the 220 admitted being gas caseso"^ 0

Division headquarters reported 486 gas casualties as a result of the

series of gas attacks on 14-17 Julyo The Division Surgeon was to show 728 gas

casualties for that period, not including 4 deaths due to gaso It is also

probable that the additional 19 gas deaths reported on 19 July were the result

of these same bombardments*

The 26th Division had arrived in the Pas Fini sector after less than a

week"s relief from front line duty and without receiving replacements*) As a

fighting unit, it was approximately at three-quarters strength and could ill

afford the gas casualties it had taken* A staff officer was to says "A

large number of casualties resulted from gas* The woods in which the forward

companies were collected against observation were frequently dosed heavily

with mustard, as also such traps as the villages along the forward areao The

numerical strength of both infantry and machine-gun units was impaired to a

degree which aroused not a little concerno" *

40

 

His t

of FH

Co

101 ,

Par t

5

(Med Dep Box

3589 ,

fo l

77) *

41

 

Chart ,

Med

Dept Box 3593 ,

704-Casualties o

 

42

Eo Go Taylor (Actg ACofS, 26th Div), New England in France, 1917-1919 (Boston* Houghton Mifflin, 1920), ppo 163-164*

~~

18 ­

The Seoond Battl e

of th e Marne Begins

Two weeks after

arriving

in th e sector, th e 26th Division reoeived it s

orders t o attacko

I t had si x hours

i n which t o get out it s orders

and t o

move up from thei r

the

attacko

support positions

th e units that had

been selected t o make

Sixth Aray p

"with th e object

in conjunction with Tenth Army on the left,

of taking th e enemy i n reverse between Chateau Thierry and

was attacking

Rheimso 11

th e 26th Division was t o pivot firs t on Vaux and thereafte r upon th e Marne

near

tv, advance towards th e

on th e 18th,

maneuver,

As it s part

in th e great

flank

assault

on the German Seventh Army,

i t was

firs t

Chateau Thierry,

and with th e French 167th Division on it s left ,

road /"Map Noc 2 7"°

I n

'

t n e

Fere en Tardenois

th e 51st Brigade was t o remain in place, while the

o2nd Brigade, reinforced , attacked between Givry and Bourescheso

H Hour was

4s3 5

aoirio

But "a t 3s55oooa C«P»Oo with ga s starte d on th e firs t and second lines

of th e lef t

brigade

and lasted unti l

about

5s00 o«clock,"

The reported gas

casualtie s

of 1 officer

and 48 men, al l bu t 11 in th e 52nd Brigade, di d no t

fully

43

measure th e oonfusion

that

followedo

44

FO 9, 1st C, 1730, 17 Jul; FO 51, 26th Div, 0030, 18 Julo

The French

39th Div, on the right of the 26th, remained in place as the anchor of the pivoto

44

 

SOI 95 , 17-18 Jul ; DOR 17-1 9 Jul o

"Shell s

o f larg e

and small

calibr e

were

used,

as well a s shrapnel

and some gas" (Rpt 1s t L t Jo Ao Evarts, CO

Co D 103rd MG Bn /~26t h

i t s

Div Box 25 , 33»61

7)»

This

ga s was fire d

b y th e 402nd FA, a t Bezu St . Germain, according t o

WD, 18 Jul s

"An attac k was made agains t th e 87th Div,

and fo r it s support

we gassed th e Belleau woods"

The German record s

ga s a s well

also

Ers WD and rpts , Box 146)o

(201st

Div-Sub Units ,

tha t

German File s

Box 218) o

indicat e

th e French

167th Div (despite it s

(4th

order)

used

a s smoke on it s front

a t 5*30 a«m« on th e 18th

in 4th Ers WD&A, 29 Jun~13 Aug, ppo 4 9 21 , German File s

- 19 ­

Supported

by an artiller y

barrage

by th e

5ls t

FA and 3rd Battalio n

of

the French

181st

FA (220mm mortar),

but without

previous

artiller y

prepara­

tion ,

th e

attack

battalio n

of the

103rd

Infantry

jumped

off

at

H

hour

in

a

heavy mist

and entere d

Torcy a t

5*40 a«nw

(Map No, 6) .

"We too k

our

objec ­

tiv e

before

the

enemy woke up«. 00< /~The main enemy^y 7 * positions

are

along

Hill

193ooooHill

193

i s

bristlin g

with

guns and th e

excellen t

observatio n

makes

our movements impossible*

Must give thi s

hil l

a thumping to-nighto "

5

The

3rd Battalion ,

104th

Infantry ,

however,

got

los t

in Belleau Wood and became

thoroughly disorganized

as a resul t

of th e

enemy gas and HE fire *

It s

com­

mander, McDade, was relieve d

on th e

spo t a

At 8$20 , wit h

a new leader ^

i t

came

up

Bellea u

t o

th e

jump-off

lin e

and an hour

late r

had take n th e

village s

of

and Givry .

The 2nd Battalion ,

103rd Infantry ,

was als o

delayed

by

th e

enemy fire ,

and became mixed up i n Bellea u

ravin e with

th e

battalio n

of

the

104th whose path

i t

ha4 to

crosso

As a result

,

i t

did

not

attac k

unti l

afte r

7g30 aom«

By 8$00

o'cloc k

i t

had crossed

th e Ru Gobert

and had take n

Bouresches

station

But

intens e

fir e

from Hil l

193 and from

Bouresches

Wood

forced

th e

battalio n

at

nightfal l

t o

fal l

back to

Belleau Wood, where

i t

was relieve d

by th e

1st

Battalio n

of the

regiment.

 

At th e request

of

the

French division

on the

left ,

the

battalio n

at

Givry reportedly

advanced

and occupied Hil l

193 in

th e

French

secto r

tha t

45

 

SOI, Bliss 3rd Bn BIO, 0435-1200, 18 Jul (26th Div Box 20, 32*16)o

46

 

Opns

& Inte

l Rpt,

104th Inf ,

17-18 Ju l

20«7) % Rpt

Capt

Hosford

Q0 2nd Bn 103rd ,

6 Aug (Box 47 ,

(26th Div Box 49 , 33o6) ,

"Owing t o the

effect

of

our annihilatin g

fire ,

the Americans

streamed

back

int o Beileau woods and

suffered

grea t

losses"(Rp t

on Action,,

18 Jul p

VIII

Corps /"ISohoeler7.

18

Jul ,

11 Jul-3 1 Aug,

t r

from

fol

I ,

German File s

"Box 119) o

-

20

 

Sourc«i

 

Disposmo N

FOR

THE

ATTAC K

 

of

Scale

I

: 50 (

 

NO.

20a

nightj

attack

but withdrew when the

an

47

Field

operation s

Sketch)*

tha t

undetermined

French

signalled

tha t

they could

not

support

the

(see

In th e

morning,

254 men of

48

at

th e

52nd Brigad e were

reporte d

re ­

wounded,

mained in place ,

number killedo

were

liste d

In the

51st

Brigade,

which had

2 dead

and

16 woundedo

No gas

casualtie s

casualties were reported by it s

101st

Infantry

despite

a later

report

that

saidg

"Tlilhile ^~in Vaux

on the

ISth^JT we were

shelled

quit e

heavily

with

high explosive , gas and

als o trenc h

mortarso

Remained

i n

thi s

positio n

un~

49 The

include d

ti l about 8 o'clock ,

139 gas casualtie s

.

,

n

Jul y

21st ,

1918o"

tha t

day may have

50

tack s

as wel l

a s new cases o

Surgeon General*s

delaye d

repor t

of

case s

from earlie r

at ­

lion,

"During the

to the west

night

18th-19th £~a platoon

of Torcy^J 6 was gassed with mustard

of

July

of the

gas

103rd MG Batta­

entir e

and th e

platoo n evacuatedo"

47

The are a

south

of Belleau was als o

gassed,

for

"th e

A postwar

study of

the

opn was t o

says

"As t o

statement s

i n

report s

^~and histories^ * ©©that they did or

occupied Hil l

193

on th e

night

of Jul y 18th, they are

believed

t o

could have be totall y

groundless

and

extravagant"

(Lt

Col John Magruder, FA,

Fiel d

Notes ,

Apr 1919 /26t h

Div Box

7 ,

18o8

/).

m Gr-3 167th Div t o

Bois de Petret continued

G-3 26th Div,

1515,

to

hold the

French

18 Jul , on the

said machine

guns

Licy-Torcy

line 0

i n

th e

See also Rpt

of

Opns,

CG 26th Div,

7 Aug,

reprinte d

in Harry

A Benwell,

Histor y of Yankee

Division

 

(Boston?

Cornhill ,

1919),

pp«

116-136

(especiall y

p<> 118; o Hereafter

cited

as

Benwello

48

 

DOR 17-18

Julo

49

Rpt

<53©6) o

50

1s t

Lt $o Ro Densmore,

CO Co G 101st

Inf ,

Chart, Mad Div Box 3593, 704 o

21

4 Aug

(26t h Div Box 39 ,

^

•y

rations delivered to Belleau wood that morning were all covered with mustard

gas" and two of the train handling them, as well as the 104th Infantryman

reporting the

incident 9 were "gassed considerably

" 5 ^

Despite Corps orders to resume the attack on the 19th and again on the

morning of the 20th, the inability of the French forces on the left to take

Hill 193 kept the 26th Division in place above Toroy and Givry, since it had

orders to regulate its movements with its neighbor«^ While the troops con­

solidated their new positions on the l&th 9 father back work was commenced

on a new defensive position, along Brussiares-southwest of Torcy-north and

£-•7

northwest of Lucy le Bocage, to provide against the expected counterattack 0

"During the day the battalions holding Torcy, Belleau, and Belleau Woods were

again subjected to artillery fire with shells of gas and machine gun fire,"

with other "concentrations of gas on Bouresches s south of Bouresches a south

 

54

of Belleauo "

 

The

51s t

Brigade' s

repor t

tha t

"we firedoooga s

on Boi s

 

51

 

Rpt

1s t

Lt

Jo

A° Evarts ,

CO Co D 103rd MG Bn (2 6t h

Div Box 25 ,

3 3o61) o

Jnl

of

Opns,

104th

Inf,

entry

for

3s58

a o mo s

19

Ju l

(26th

Div Box 52,

33o3,

Jnl

0)o

52

F0 11, 1st C, 2240, 18 Julj F0 13, 1st C s 2200, 19th Juls IM (Tel) 0-2 to G-3 26th Div & 5lst, 52nd Brigs 9 2310, 19 Jul, said 167th Div would not attack Monthiers that nighto

53

 

FO 54 fl

26th

Div,

0030,

20 Jul s

FM CofS t o

CG

51st,

52nd,

Eng,

1100,

20

Ju l

(26th

Div Box 20 s

32.16)•

 

54

 

Rpt

CG 52nd Bri g

t o

CG 26th

Div,

3 Aug

(26t h

Div Box 37 ,

33 O 6) |

SOI 96,

18-19

Julo

 
 

Confirmed

i n WD 402nd

FA 3

19

Ju l

(2Qls t

Div-Sub Units ,

German File s

Bex

204)i

"For

support

of

the

87th

Div we are

again

gassing

th e

Belleau

woods

and deliverin g

annihilatin g

fir e

on

Vaux 0 "

 

22

Etrepilly, Bois Agron" on the night of the 19th may have been in retaliation 55

Sinoe the number of shell fired by the enemy on the 19th was said to be

below normal, the 652 •wounded and gassed" that day in the 52nd Brigade must

have included many unaccounted for on previous dayso The Surgeon General

reported but 32 gas casualties up to 6*00 p<,mo on the I9tho 56

With the French Ninth Army on the right driving the