Hi from Baghdad June 2003

Journal Entry 10 June

Got ride to airport from daughters. On flight to Atlanta, then Madrid, London, Kuwait and finally Baghdad.

Journal Entry 11 June

Arrived in Madrid with Senior Advisor to Ministry of Defense and his military assistant, who were meeting with Spanish Defense officials, including Admiral Antonio Moreno, head of the Spanish Forces, to hear their proposal to deploy the Spanish Guardia Civil (Civil Guard) to Iraq to “restore public order.”   There were three briefings:

The first briefing presented an overview of preliminary issues to be addressed to deploy the Spanish force. Someone mentioned the need to contact Commissioner Kerik, the Senior Advisor to the Minister of Interior as soon as possible to see what his plan was for security forces.  There would have to be cooperative international police” to assist in setting up the Iraqi gendarme. The Guard would be operationally under the control of Ambassador Bremer—another portion of the “restore order” forces would belong to Centcom—but need to work out organization between the two (Bremer and Centcom).  Regarding the Iraqi Force, the group discussed starting with one army battalion.  The questions arose, though, what about other services?  The response was that there is a sea component of Guardia Civil.  The plan would be to begin by deploying the army and other services would come later in restoring Iraqi military.

It is a major budget decision to restart the Iraqi Air Force…would start with some helicopters. Have to decide in next several weeks what bases to keep for the Iraqi Army.  And need a police plan equivalent to new Army plan.

The next briefing was about the Spanish Guardia Civil. Among the points brought up in the briefing:  Guardia Civil has wide experience in post conflict situations.  The biggest issue in Iraq in short term is restoration of public order; over the long term it is to establish a democratic, peaceful government.  It is imperative over the long term that Iraqis take over responsibility for their own government and public order. Iraq will in all probability face more than law enforcement issues, such as terrorism and efforts to destabilize the government by outside forces.  Need to consult with Commissioner Kerik (responsible for internal national security) on how he sees the Guardia Civil fitting with his plan for police.

The Guardia Civil force is a police force with military status and military missions, as well as law enforcement missions. Its mission is to uphold free exercise of rights and freedoms and to guarantee public security. It was founded in 13 May 1844 and adheres to a “Deontological code” of duty first and always.  Also does peacekeeping in addition to law enforcement tasks.  It is accountable to National Secretary of Security and has dual accountability to defense and interior (akin to Coast Guard).  Guardia Civil missions include: humanitarian aid as well as traditional police work (e.g., investigation of crimes).  Further the Guardia Civil has exclusive responsibility for:  protection of national assets; road and traffic surveillance; coasts, borders, etc.; environmental protection; arms and explosives.  It has special explosive disposal units, an Anti-terrorist task force; and other units in Maritime, Air service, Coast and Border Service.  Its officers move around country frequently during the course of a career.

Overseas it has a “technical mission” in training police forces abroad. It has worked with NATO, countries, such as Bosnia and Kosovo and consulates, in “institution building.”  Conflict hardships that must be addressed include: lack of legal reliability; abuse of power; corruption; lack of training; low salaries; no legal status, tools, reliability as protection for police; no operative procedures; and no planning.

Three focuses of setting up police force are: (1) training, (2) deployment/operations and (3) organization. Issues in training include: direct training; “training the trainers;” design of courses and curriculum; procedures; books/manuals; data bases; training of training; and the need to create sustainability.

Issues in deployment and operations include: planning and deploying; field training; interrelationship and responsibility. Issues to be addressed in organization include: a code of ethics; equipment; human resources; tools & regulations; administrative procedures; operating procedures; relationships and obligations.

“Keys to Succeed” in an “institution building” include: planning; team building; political support; “Acceptance” in society; time to “digest;” and corollary improvements in judiciary.

The third brief was a proposal for Guardia Civil participation in Iraq.  In summary, it would provide advice and technical assistance (personnel, recruitment, training, organization).  In utilization, remember that this is an armed police force of a military nature and with a singular professional status–review of laws necessary to insure appropriate and legally consistent use, as well as doctrinal review for operational interoperability with other coalition forces

Steps to deployment of the Guardia Civil include: pre-deployment project definition; preparation phase to obtain resources and infrastructures; recruit and train required personnel.  At deployment, recruit, train and deploy first Iraqi units.  At the consolidation phase, monitor the process and the progress.  Need to win Iraqi support and avoid politicization.  Further, must integrate into Iraqi public support structure.

At the completion of the briefings, Mr. Slocombe, the Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Defense, asked “how long would it take to train the Iraqis?” The answer was that it depends.  If starting with people who were already police, it would require perhaps four months minimum training for “plain police,” but more time to train people who are already police but to train them in specialized or technical areas.

Someone asked if we were using former Iraqi police, former military or plain citizens? The answer, again, depended on time: The short term fix is to use existing police force.  But the answer for the long term answer is to build a whole new structure reflecting new status post Saddam.

It was suggested that in small villages, where there are no police, Guardia Civil could perform the law enforcement.

There are issues of jurisdiction – when to employ the Guard Civil? Mr. Slocombe and General Feliu need to meet with Commissioner Kerik as soon as possible to discuss how the Guardia Civil fits in.  For instance, in the case of Iraqi police v. Guardia Civil, who would investigate police corruption?

Initially the Guard wants to work alone in a training force consisting of 55 people who can train units of 1,000 people. But the problem of the language barrier (Spanish to Arabic) was raised. It is a hurdle.

Slocombe asked “how quickly can you ‘be operational?'”

The response was three weeks to send a team there, three more weeks to draft the scope of project. The work could begin 1 August.  Guardia Civil would turn to EU for money for the mission.

Journal Entry 12 June

I am sitting on a British plane C130 taxiing down the runway from Kuwait headed for Baghdad.  It is hot in here and very tight, with all of us sitting shoulder to shoulder on little net webbed jump seats.  To the right of me is the high wall enclosing the pilot’s cage, covered with pipes, knobs, cords and one lone fire extinguisher.  To my left, after the four rows of sweating passengers, is the cargo, beginning with a humvee chained to the floor so it doesn’t roll.  I carried on board a bag with a computer, a satellite phone, a palm pilot, CD player and BlackBerry stand.  I asked the crew to please be careful as I handed them the bag to be packed and stacked with the rest of the cargo located to the rear of the plane behind the humvee.  My luggage has been temporarily lost somewhere between Washington and Kuwait and I have already worn the clothes on my back for two days.  I am profusely sweating and will shortly be rendered entirely repulsive to all who dare to approach.  Hint to the wise: a silk blouse is a very poor choice for this type of weather, since, when it gets damp from sweat, tends to cling to the body like a wet tea shirt.

Journal Entry Later that Day

We are in Basra, Iraq, where we stopped initially to drop someone off but had to stay longer when one of the crewmembers got sick from the heat.  The Basra Airport is supposedly the finest in the Middle East with high ceilings, marble columns and granite floors.  The light fixtures are very striking–one room’s light fixtures are aligned with green and blue diagrams and another room’s with brown.

Journal Entry even Later that Day

We are back on the plane headed for Baghdad from Basra.  I am back in my red webbed seat (a real contrast to the slate/gray/green of the rest of the inside of the plane).  On the left side of me is a British soldier with his rifle and on the other side a Major in the Spanish Army, one of several Spanish officers serving as aides to LTG Feliu. While LTG Feliu is to be Mr. Slocombe’s deputy of sorts, he is primarily, I believe, a champion for the Spanish forces to be deployed to Iraq, particularly the Guardia Civil.  Plus he is a wonderful gentleman a sunny disposition.  His aides are particularly protective of him, which allows him the luxury appearing more relaxed than he might be otherwise given the war footing of where we are headed.

Email sent 13 June, Subject: Arrived in Baghdad

Chief.

I arrived in Baghdad last night and am borrowing someone’s computer until my line is connected.  So far so good, except for the lost luggage.  Hopefully I will get it today on the next flight in from Kuwait. I meet Commissioner Kerik this morning and will let you know how it goes.

We spent 8 hours in Madrid getting briefings on their Guardia Civil, which is a cross between police and army.  Very interesting.  They offered to help provide security here, in the short term.  A bigger concern for the long term is training an Iraqi police force.  Lots of interesting issues.

The drive in from the airport in Baghdad was very strange…mangled parts of planes and cars along both sides of the road.  Last night I was invited to a party outside the presidential compound and we drove in a two car caravan with a “shooter” in each car, as required here.  I even got to wear body armor.  Never thought that would be part of my party going outfit.  I’ll write once I get my own line.  Hope all is well.

Aleks

 

Patton’s Car Accident – Investigation Findings, December 13, 1945

13 DECEMBER 1945

Public Affairs, Seventh Army, sends message detailing accident report —Patton’s Driver noticed no signal from truck driver of his intention to turn—His condition progressing satisfactorily.

* * * *

FROM CONKLIN ACTING PRO SEVENTH ARMY TO INFORMATION ROOM PRD USFET FOR TRIBBLE STOP ONE COPY TO AFN FRANKFURT STOP AS GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON’S CONDITION CONTINUED TO IMPROVE TODAY IN THE HUNDRED THIRTIETH STATION HOSPITAL AT HEIDELBERG CMA FURTHER DETAILS OF THE ACCIDENT IN WHICH HE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED LAST SUNDAY NEAR MANNHEIM WERE MADE AVAILABLE AT HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ARMY CMA WESTERN MILITARY DISTRICT. THE OFFICIAL ACCIDENT REPORT COMPILED BY MEMBERS OF THE EIGHT HUNDRED EIGHTEENTH MILITARY POLICE COMPANY ON THE SCENE WAS MADE PUBLIC TODAY. FIRST LIEUTENANT PETER BABALAS CMA WHO SIGNED THE REPORT AS DUTY OFFICER RECORDED HIS OPINION THAT QUOTE THE ACCIDENT WAS CAUSED BY CARELESSNESS ON THE PART OF BOTH DRIVERS PD UNQUOTE THE REPORT SHOWED THAT GENERAL PATTON’S NINETEEN HUNDRED THIRTY EIGHT CADILLAC SEDAN WAS BEING DRIVEN SOUTH ON HIGHWAY N THIRTY EIGHT JUST NORTH OF MANNHEIM AT ELEVEN FORTY FIVE LAST SUNDAY MORNING. LIEUTENANT BABALAS CMA AS THE INVESTIGATING OFFICER CMA GAVE IT AS HIS OPINION THAT THE GENERAL’S CAR WAS BEING DRIVEN AT A SPEED OF APPROXIMATELY THIRTY FIVE REPEAT THIRTY FIVE MILES PER HOUR PD PRIVATE FIRST CLASS HORACE L WOODRING OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL’S SECTION OF FIFTEENTH ARMY CMA COMMANDED BY GENERAL PATTON CMA WAS AT THE WHEEL PD THE TWENTY THREE YEAR OLD DRIVER WHO COMES FROM SPURGIS KENTUCKY CMA WAS RATED AS AN EXCELLENT DRIVER AND HAD A DRIVER’S LICENSE IN HIS POSSESSION PD MAJOR GENERAL HOBART R GAY CMA CHIEF OF STAFF OF FIFTEENTH ARMY CMA WAS RIDING IN THE BACK SEAT WITH GENERAL PATTON PD AS THE GENERAL’S CAR PASSED A LARGE QUARTERMASTER DUMP IN A SECTION OF MANNHEIM KNOWN AS KAFERTAL A TWO AND ONE HALF TON GMC TRUCK DRIVEN BY T/5 ROBERT L. THOMPSON CMA TWENTY TWO YEARS OLD OF THREE ZERO NINE FIVE HIGHLAND AVENUE CAMDEN CMA NEW JERSEY BEGAN A LEFT TURN INTO THE QUARTERMASTER DUMP PD THE CARGO TRUCK CMA BELONGING TO THE HUNDRED FORTY FIRST SIGNAL COMPANY OF THE FIRST ARMORED DIVISION WAS GOING TEN REPEAT TEN MILES PER HOUR IN THE OPINION OF THE INVESTIGATING OFFICER PD IT CARRIED FRANK KRUMMER CMA A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE SIGNAL COMPANY CMA AS A PASSENGER IN THE BODY OF THE TRUCK PD THE TRUCK HAD ALMOST COMPLETED ITS LEFT TURN ON THE THIRTY DASH THREE DASH FOOT DASH WIDE COBBLESTONED HIGHWAY WHEN IT WAS STRUCK ON THE RIGHT DASH HAND SIDE BY THE SEDAN CMA WHICH WAS ON ITS OWN SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY PD THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED AT ELEVEN FORTY FIVE AND BOTH THE CONDITION OF THE ROAD AND THE CONDITION OF THE TWO VEHICLES WAS LISTED AS QUOTE EXCELLENT UNQUOTE IN THE OFFICIAL REPORT PD T/5 THOMPSON HAD AN OPERATOR’S LICENSE IN HIS POSSESSION AND WAS RATED AS AN EXCELLENT DRIVER PD THE IMPACT DAMAGED THE FRONT OF THE GENERAL’S SEDAN INCLUDING THE MOTOR BUT DID NOT BREAK ANY OF THE GLASS IN THE VEHICLE. THE CARGO TRUCK HAD ITS DRIVE SHAFT DAMAGED CMA ITS GASOLINE TANK BENT AND ITS BATTERY CASE BROKEN PD THE TRUCK WAS FIRST IMPOUNDED BY THE MILITARY POLICE AND LATER RELEASED TO ITS UNIT CMA THE HUNDRED FORTY FIRST SIGNAL COMPANY PD GENERAL PATTON’S CAR WAS TAKEN TO THE MILITARY POLICE MOTOR POOL AND LATER TURNED OVER TO THE SEVENTH ARMY COLLECTING POINT PD THE ACCIDENT REPORT SHOWED THAT THE TRUCK DRIVER HAD SIGNALLED A LEFT TURN AS HE APPROACHED THE QUARTERMASTER DUMP AND THAT GENERAL PATTON’S DRIVER HAD NO NEED TO SIGNAL SINCE HE WAS PROCEEDING STRAIGHT SOUTH PD THE REPORT ENTRY ON THE CONDITION OF DRIVERS WAS QUOTE SOBER UNQUOTE PD MAJOR GENERAL GAY’S ACCOUNT OF THE ACCIDENT FOLLOWS IN FULL SMCLN QUOTE ON SUNDAY DECEMBER NINE NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY FIVE GENERAL PATTON AND I WERE PROCEEDING SOUTH ON THE FRANKFURT DASH MANNHEIM ROAD IN A CADILLAC CAR DRIVER [sic] BY  PVT 1ST CL HORACE L WOODRING PD WE WERE FOLLOWED IN A ONE DASH QUARTER DASH TON TRUCK BY SGT SPRUCE PD AT APPROXIMATELY ELEVEN FORTY DASH FIVE WE SLOWED DOWN VERY APPRECIABLY CMA PERHAPS TO TEN MILES AN HOUR CMA TO CROSS THE RAILROAD TRACKS WHICH ARE ON THE NORTHERN OUTSKIRTS OF MANNHEIM PD SHORTLY AFTER WE CROSSED THE RAILROAD TRACKS CMA WHEN AGAIN WE SLOWED DOWN CMA OR PERHAPS WE HAD NOT PICKED UP SPEED PD SGT SPRUCE IN THE ONE DASH QUARTER DASH TON TRUCK PASSED US AND MOTIONED FOR US TO FOLLOW HIM CMA AS HE KNEW THE  ROUTE FROM THERE ON AND WE DID NOT PD APPROXIMATELY AT THIS TIME GENERAL PATTON SAID QUOTE LOOK AT ALL THE DERELICT VEHICLES UNQUOTE WHICH WERE IN PARKS ALONG BOTH THE RIGHT AND LEFT SIDES OF THE ROAD PD HE FURTHER  REMARKED QUOTE HOW AWFUL WAR IS PD THINK OF THE WASTE PD UNQUOTE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY CMA WHILE I WAS LOOKING TO THE LEFT CMA HE SAID CMA QUOTE LOOK AT THAT UNQUOTE PD I LOOKED UP JUST IN TIME TO SEE A TWO DASH AND DASH AND ONE DASH HALF DASH TON TRUCK TURNING AT A NINETY DEGREE ANGLE ACROSS THE ROAD IN FRONT OF US PD I HAD TIME TO SAY QUOTE SIT TIGHT UNQUOTE PD THEN WE CRASHED PD GENERAL PATTON WAS APPARENTLY THROWN FORWARD AND THEN BACKWARD CMA BECAUSE HE FELL IN MY ARMS WITH HIS HEAD TO THE LEFT CMA MY RIGHT ARM AROUND HIS SHOULDERS PD I WAS AT THAT TIME FACING APPROXIMATELY HALF TO THE RIGHT PD HE WAS BLEEDING PROFUSELY FROM WOUNDS OF THE SCALP AND FOREHEAD. UNQUOTE. SIGNED HOBART R. GAY MAJOR GENERAL U S ARMY PD GENERAL PATTON’S DRIVER CMA PFC WOODRING GAVE A SWORN STATEMENT TO LIEUTENANT BABALAS PD HIS STATEMENT FOLLOWS IN FULL SMCLN QUOTE EYE PFC HORACE L WOODRING CMA DRIVER FOR GENERAL PATTON WAS PROCEEDING FROM BAD NAUHEIM TOWARD MANNHEIM WITH THE GENERAL AND MAJOR GENERAL GAY ON THE NINTH DECEMBER NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY FIVE AT APPROXIMATELY TWELVE HUNDRED HOURS I WAS TRAVELLING ON N DASH THIRTY EIGHT (KAFERTALSTRASSE) NEAR THE MANNHEIM CLASS TWO AND FOUR WAREHOUSE PD ABOUT TWENTY FIVE FEET FROM THE ENTRANCE A TWO DASH AND DASH ONE DASH HALF DASH TON GMC WENT TO THE LEFT COMING FROM THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION INTENDING TO ENTER THE WAREHOUSE PD I NOTICED NO HAND SIGNAL OR ANY PREVIOUS INTENTION ON THE PART OF THE OTHER DRIVER INDICATING A DESIRE TO MAKE A LEFT DASH HAND TURN PD I WAS TRAVELLING AT APPROXIMATELY THIRTY TO THIRTY FIVE MILES PER HOUR PD I ATTEMPTED TO STOP BUT BEFORE I COULD COMPLETELY COME TO A FULL HALT CMA I COLLIDED WITH THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE TRUCK NEAR THE GAS TANK PD UNQUOTE SIGNED BY PFC HORACE L WOODRING PD T/5 TOMPSON CMA THE TRUCK DRIVER CMA ALSO MADE A SWORN STATEMENT TO SECOND LIEUTENANT HUGH O LAYTON OF THE EIGHT HUNDRED EIGHTEENTH MILITARY POLICE COMPANY PD HIS STATEMENT FOLLOWS IN FULL SMCLN QUOTE AT APPROXIMATELY TWELVE HUNDRED HOURS ON NINE DECEMBER NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY FIVE EYE T/5 ROBERT L THOMPSON 42085092 WAS TRAVELLING NORTH ON HIGHWAY N THIRTY EIGHT PD I WAS APPROACHING THE CLASS TWO AND FOUR QM DEPOT PD IN MAKING MY LEFT TURN FROM THE HIGHWAY I NOTICED A  GENERAL’S CAR APPROACHING ME PD AS I HAD ALREADY STARTED MY TURN I COULD NOT AVOID THE CAR HITTING THE REAR OF THE TWO DASH AND DASH ONE DASH HALF DASH TON TRUCK WHICH I WAS DRIVING PD I DID NOT NOTICE THE CAR UNTIL I HAD STARTED TO TURN PD THE WIDTH OF THE HIGHWAY AT THE POINT OF THE ACCIDENT IS APPROXIMATELY THIRTY DASH THREE FEET PD UNQUOTE SIGNED BY T/5 ROBERT L. THOMPSON BOTH DRIVERS WERE REPORTED BACK WITH THEIR UNITS YESTERDAY DASH THURSDAY DASH MORNING PD NO DISCIPLINARY ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN AGAINST EITHER DRIVER AND NO REASON FOR HOLDING EITHER ONE WAS FOUND BY THE MILITARY POLICE WHO INVESTIGATED ON THE SCENE LAST SUNDAY PD GENERAL PATTON’S CONDITION WAS REPORTED FROM THE HUNDRED THIRTIETH STATION HOSPITAL AT NINE O’CLOCK YESTERDAY DASH THURSDAY DASH MORNING IN THE FOLLOWING BULLETIN SMCLN QUOTE TEMPERATURE ONE HUNDRED PULSE SIXTY TWO RESPIRATION TWENTY PD HAD A GOOD NIGHT PD CHEERFUL AND ALERT PD GENERAL CONDITION REMAINS SATISFACTORY PD NO COMPLICATIONS PD NEUROLOGICAL STATUS REMAINS ABOUT THE SAME PD UNQUOTE MRS PATTON CMA WIFE OF THE GENERAL IS REMAINING CLOSE ON THE SCENE AND SAW HER HUSBAND AT THE HOSPITAL AGAIN THIS MORNING PD HER PLANS CALL FOR HER TO REMAIN IN THE VICINITY OF THE HOSPITAL INDEFINITELY PD COL LOREN JENKS, CHIEF CHAPLAIN OF SEVENTH ARMY HEADQUARTERS AND LT. COL PAUL MAURER CMA RELIGIOUS ADVISER FOR MILITARY GOVERNMENT IN THE WESTERN MILITARY DISTRICT WENT TO SEE GENERAL PATTON AT THE HOSPITAL LAST SUNDAY PD SINCE NEITHER CHAPLAIN KNEW THE GENERAL PERSONALLY THEY LEFT WORD THAT THEY HAD CALLED CMA AND DEPARTED WITHOUT SEEING HIM PD WHEN THE REV FATHER ANDREW WHITE CMA CATHOLIC CHAPLAIN AT THE HOSPITAL CMA APPROACHED HIS ROOM CMA GENERAL PATTON THOUGHT THE CALLER WAS HIS OLD FRIEND FATHER JAMES O’NEIL CMA FORMER CHAPLAIN WITH THE THIRD ARMY WHO IS NOW CHAPLAIN OF THE FIRST SERVICE COMMAND IN BOSTON PD QUOTE SEND HIM IN AND LET’S GET GOING QUOTE GENERAL PATTON SAID PD CHAPLAIN WILLIAM P PRICE CMA THE PROTESTANT CHAPLAIN AT THE HOSPITAL CMA ARRIVED FROM THE EIGHTY FOURTH DIVISION SOON AFTER GENERAL PATTON WAS ADMITTED PD HE HAD BEEN ON ORDERS TO REPORT TO THE HOSPITAL FOR DUTY FROM THE DIVISION CMA AND THE NEWS OF THE GENERAL’S ACCIDENT SPEEDED HIS ARRIVAL PD HE IS AN EPISCOPALIAN CMA OF THE SAME FAITH AS GENERAL PATTON PD ENDIT. SIGNED CONKLIN ACTING PRO SEVENTH ARMY

 

George S. Patton War Diary entry for September 13, 1918

DATE: September 13, 1918

ORGANIZATION: 344th Battalion FROM: Nonsard

HOUR: 3:00 p.m. TO: Vigneulles HOUR: 12:00 m.n.

ORGANIZATION: 345th Battalion FROM: Beney

TO: Bois de Beney 358.1-243.0

AVAILABLE FOR ALL DUTY: 46 Officers and 643 Men

WEATHER: Rain a.m. Clear p.m. ROADS: Poor

HEALTH: Good CAMP: Fair LOSSES: [1 or 0 – digit unclear] Officers wounded; 3 men wounded

NARRATIVE OF OPERATIONS:

Due to bad road conditions, no supplies arrived during the night. By draining all the tanks, the 344th Battalion was able to supply seven of their tanks which moved forward to VIGNEULLES and thence to HATTON CHATTEL.50 Supplies arrived at 3:00 p.m. and the remaining tanks moved forward to VIGNEULLES.

At 5:00 a.m. 345th Battalion with 15 tanks reported to Brigadier General McArthur and were instructed by him to lay in readiness at BOIS DE BENEY and await orders. Per V.O.C.O.51 the battalion moved from BOIS DE BENEY to BOIS DE THIAUCOURT at 8:00 p.m. At 11:55 p.m. orders were received from Lieutenant Colonel Patton “to go to assistance of infantry against enemy counterattack.” The tanks were made ready but the attack did not take place.

The sorry tale of Lord French’s CYA book, “1914.”

J. W. Fortescue, “Lord French’s ‘1914,’” Vol. 232, Quarterly Review (London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1919), pp. 352-363. In this article Fortescue explains why, “this to be one of the most unfortunate books that ever was written.”

No man, it has been well said, was ever written down except by himself; and we wish that Lord French had pondered this aphorism before he sat down to write this book. The Field-Marshal at the opening of the war enjoyed a military reputation which was second only to Lord Kitchener’s in this country; and he had worthily earned it. The memories of South Africa are swamped in those of the past five terrible years; yet there are some who have not yet forgotten the name of Colesberg and the excellent and audacious service of General French which is associated with that name. At the close of the Boer War no one was surprised to see him rise successively to the command of the First Army Corps at Aldershot, to the Inspectorship-General of the Forces, and to the supreme post of the Chief of the General Staff. Lord Haldane has testified to the valuable assistance which he received from Sir John French in preparing the forces of the Empire for the great struggle which has so recently been brought to a successful end; this is a thing which we must never forget. The time will come when the country will set aside old political prejudices and acknowledge the vast debt which it owes to Lord Haldane; and then the names of the officers who were associated with him in his reorganization of the forces of the Empire will likewise be remembered with honour.

The country therefore heard with confidence and satisfaction of the appointment of Sir John French to command the British Expeditionary Force in August, 1914. People hardly realized that his army was, though small in numbers, incomparably the best trained, the best equipped, the best organised and the best disciplined that Britain had ever put into the field. It was (we say it after mature consideration) certainly superior to that which Wellington led from Portugal to the campaign of Vitoria in 1813, and from the battlefield of Vitoria through the Pyrenees to Toulouse. This is no small praise, but it is the truth. It was felt in 1914 that Sir John French was the right man to command such an army.

By Aug. 20 the British force–four infantry divisions and one cavalry division–was assembled; the infantry southeast of Landrecies, the cavalry northeast of it about Maubeuge, seeking touch with the French Fifth Army under General Lanrezac, on the left of which the British were appointed to stand. A great advance of the French and British line along the whole length of the French frontier from Longwy north-westward to Landrecies was, so Lord French tells us, in immediate prospect; and all ranks were in the highest spirits. So far only one misfortune had overtaken the British, namely the sudden death of Sir James Grierson, who commanded the II Corps, on Aug. 17. Sir John French asked that Sir Herbert Plumer might take General Grierson’s place. Lord Kitchener preferred to send Sir Horace Smith Dorrien; and thereby hangs a very sorry tale.

On the 21st the British began their movement northward; and at the close of the day the cavalry reached the line of the Mons Canal on either flank of Mons, while the four divisions of infantry, according to Sir John French’s account, radiated forth (so to speak) from Maubeuge the I Corps north-eastward to Givry, and the II Corps north-westward to Sars-la-Bruyere. This, if correct, would be a rather a curious disposition; but it is not correct. Lord French cannot describe even his first day’s march with accuracy. On the 22nd the Field-Marshal motored eastward to visit General Lanrezac, and came upon the French Army in retreat. What had happened was obscure to him then and is still somewhat obscure to us now; but the fact of the retirement was certain. Unable to find General Lanrezac, Sir John French returned to his own troops, but did not arrest their further advance, which had gone forward in accordance with his previous orders. Nightfall found the II Corps on the Mons Canal, upon a line running from Obourg (three miles east of Mons) westward, with the cavalry moving away westward to prolong the left of the II Corps, and the I Corps thrown back on the right from Mons south-eastward.

Concerning the object of these dispositions Sir John French is silent, but it is certain from his own confession that he had some idea of an offensive movement. Early on the morning of the 23rd the Germans opened an attack between Obourg and Mons, which gradually spread westward until the whole line of the II Corps was engaged. This was the action of  Mons, which the Field-Marshal airily dismisses as mere ‘heavy pressure upon our outposts.’ General Smith-Dorrien, he says, ‘was nowhere threatened by anything more than cavalry supported by small bodies of infantry.’ Unfortunately German as well as British accounts show that large bodies of German infantry were engaged, and that they suffered very heavily. But the Field-Marshal cares nothing for facts so long as he can say something unpleasant about General Smith-Dorrien. He implicitly blames Sir Horace for evacuating the untenable salient of Obourg, and drawing back the whole of his line slightly to conform with the movement; and he sneers at his subordinate for feeling anxious when he, the august chief, was calm.

The sequel showed that the subordinate was right. At 5 p.m. Sir John received ‘a most unexpected telegram’ from General Joffre, saying that Lanrezac’s army was in full retreat, and that three German corps were moving against the British front and a fourth round their left. As the Field-Marshal had seen the French retirement with his own eyes and had been warned, buy his own admission, on the 22nd that at least three German corps were opposed to him, it is difficult to understand why this telegram was ‘most unexpected.’ However, he still waited for yet another telegram, which reached him at 11:30 p.m., before he gave his orders for retreat. Thus, on his own showing, Sir John French wasted from six to seven previous hours until he decided to extricate his army from a position of the utmost peril.

On the 24th the retreat began. The Field Marshal would have us believe that the I Corps covered the retreat of the II. This is ludicrously incorrect. The II Corps was heavily engaged all along the line, and fought a desperate flank action on the extreme left with brilliant success; whereas the I Corps was not pressed in the least. Lord French gives the whole of the credit for the flank action to the cavalry, thought the brunt was borne by the 1st Norfolks and 1st Chesires, and to the 19th Brigade which had no share in it at all. The II Corps was commanded by General Smith-Dorrien and therefore could no nothing right. Even a clever little movement, by which Sir Horace made the 3rd and 5th Divisions change places, is set down as ‘confusion,’ and is described quite unwarrantably, as having hampered the retreat of the I Corps. By a singular irony, however, Lord French does blunder into commendation of the 8th Brigade which, though he forgot it for the moment, belonged to the II Corps, but was commanded by Doran and not by Davies, as he inaccurately says.

On the 25th the retreat was continued. An awkward obstacle, the Forest of Mormal, lay in the way; and it was necessary for the I Corps to pass to east and the II Corps to west of it. At the day’s close the two corps were six miles apart, General Haig’s left being at Landrecies, where it ought not to have been, and General Smith-Dorrien’s right in its appointed place at Le Cateau. How did this come about? The Field-Marshal talks vaguely about serious German attacks on the I Corps at Maroilles and Landrecies, and assigns as the time of the engagement Landrecies a varying series of hours from 9 p.m. on the 25th to the early morning of the 26th–all for the purpose of excusing the failure of the I Corps to arrive at its proper halting-ground. This is quite useless. There must have been some grave mistake or neglect on the part of his staff; and we cannot forget that, though Lord French covers Sir Archibald Murray and Sir Henry Wilson with fulsome praise in his book, he did not keep them on his staff till the end of his command. Sir Archibald, being Chief, must, in the absence of further information, be held responsible for the gap between the I and II Crops, and for the action of Le Cateau which followed in consequence.

The Field-Marshal’s orders were for the retreat to be continued on the 26th; and General Smith-Dorrien had issued his commands accordingly to the II Corps. It was  past midnight, however, before he could ascertain the whereabouts of all his troops; and then he discovered that the 4th Division, which had joined the army on the 25th, was in isolation in advance of his line, that his troops were greatly exhausted, and that the cavalry was so weary and so much dispersed that it could not be counted on longer to cover the retreat. He therefore took his memorable decision to stand and fight, in spite of the Field-Marshal’s orders. Lord French condemns this resolution, omitting, however, to say anything about the situation of the 4th Division, and inserting instead a story (of which we are sorry to say that we believe not one word) about General Allenby’s warning Sir Horace that, unless he continued his retreat, he would be surrounded. And here we approach the most astonishing and unsavoury incident in the whole of Lord French’s volume.

In his despatch of Sept. 7, 1914, the Field-Marshal gave General Smith-Dorrien full credit for the cool courage he had shown in accepting battle at Le Cateau. Further, he by implication blamed the French General Sordet, for failing to help Smith-Dorrien. In the volume before us he takes back his praise, alleging that, when he wrote his dispatch, he was unaware of the service rendered by General Sordet; and he now contends that, but for General Sordet, Sir Horace would have been pinned to his ground and surrounded. Now it is an indisputable fact, established by documentary evidence, that General Smith-Dorrien, in addition to writing his own thanks to General Sordet and recounting his obligations to him in a special order to his troops, reported within three days to Lord French himself the good help that he had received from General Sordet, and begged that thanks might be sent to him through General Joffre. The Field-Marshal’s statements upon this point, therefore, both in his dispatch and in his book are not correct.

The fact, we fear, is that on the 26th Lord French and his staff completely lost their heads, and that, in the vain endeavor to conceal this, he has taken leave of all sense of accuracy. He would fain have us believe that at Le Cateau, as at Mons, General Smith-Dorrien was opposed by nothing but cavalry; but this absurd contention can be equally disproved in both cases. It is significant that the Germans never mention and never have mentioned the action of Le Cateau, which is pretty sure evidence that it went ill for them. Lord French, in his eagerness to belittle it, contends that, without General Sordet, General Smith-Dorrien would  never have escaped. Yet the safe retreat of the II Corps was assured long before General Sordet came into action. Lord French avers (on p. 78) that the fight cost at least 14,000 men and 80 guns, and on p. 87 that the casualties of the II Corps since Aug. 23 numbered 15,000 men and 80 guns. The two statements are plainly incompatible with one another; and the actual casualties at Le Cateau–as Lord French could easily have ascertained if he desired to know the truth–did not exceed 8000 men and 36 guns. He actually has the effrontery to asset that the German cavalry reached St. Quentin, in pursuit of the II Corps, on the evening of the 26th, whereas it had not done so even on the morning of the 28th. Lastly, he commends the withdrawal of the I Corps from Landrecies, which was hardly even hampered by the enemy, as one of the most brilliant episodes of the whole retreat.

No doubt there is ignorance as well as malice in this portion of his narrative. Lord French himself, long before the issue of the action of Le Cateau was decided, hurried away to Noyon, forty miles from the battlefield, and there waited, leaving his army for one day, if not two, to look after itself. Happily Von Kluck, instead of pursuing the II Corps, marched south-westward across its rear; and the British force continued its rapid retreat unmolested. It is evident that Lord French sent home very gloomy reports, for they brought Lord Kitchener to Paris, where there was a stormy interview between the two Field-Marshals. As to what actually passed, we are too distrustful of Lord French’s accuracy to accept his account for gospel; but we must record our entire agreement with him upon one point, namely that a Commander-in -Chief in the field must not, so long as he be Commander-in-Chief, be subjected to interference from home. The Government may remove him if it so pleases, but, if it does not remove him, it must leave him alone.

Retreat gave place to advance and to the battle of the Marne. Lord French throws little new light on the rather feeble movements of the British on Sept. 6; but he, who ignores the great work of the II Corps during the retreat, finds space to describe every petty action of the cavalry and I Corps in the subsequent movements. The truth is that, though the British share in the battle of the Marne was important, it was not very arduous. As to the battle of the Aisne, again, he has little of interest to say;  and it is not until its close, when he very rightly pleaded for the transfer of the British Army to its old place on the left of the line, that Lord French’s narrative again becomes arresting.

It seems that the resolution of the Belgian Government to abandon Antwerp, when the Germans began actively to threaten it, came as a most disagreeable surprise to the Field-Marshal. ‘It was difficult (he says) to understand why the Belgians, who had fought so well at Liege, were unable to do more in defence of a fortress which was much stronger, and situated, moreover, in a position where it could be supported by the British fleet.’ Was it so difficult? The example of Liege had shown that no fortifications could stand for long under high-explosive shells of large caliber; and forty-five miles–the shortest distance between Antwerp and the sea–is surely longish range even for the very newest guns of the British fleet. Or does Lord French think that the fleet could have steamed up the Scheldt to Antwerp or near it? However Lord French at once realized that Antwerp was to be made the base for a German advance against the channel ports; and he very naturally and rightly became eager to move north-ward as soon as possible in order to relieve Antwerp, if it might still be saved, or, if not, at any rate to bar the way to the sea.

Unfortunately Lord Kitchener and Mr. Churchill were also framing plans for the relief of Antwerp on their own account, and making arrangements with General Joffre in furtherance of the same, without consulting Lord French in the first instance at all. A hundred and twenty years ago Henry Dundas had initiated operations upon this same Belgian coast under his own direction, ignoring the Duke of York, who was in command of the Army in the field; and history repeated itself. The relief of Antwerp failed egregiously; and the Belgian Army, having delayed its retreat until dangerously late, suffered very heavy losses before it reached the Yser. Beyond doubt Lord French is right in maintaining that the Troops sent by Lord Kitchener and the First Lord of the Admiralty to save Antwerp should have been placed under his command, subject to the supreme direction of General Joffre; and there is very much to be said for his contention that, if this had been done, Lille would have been saved. Antwerp has been a tender spot to British statesmen for over three centuries; and it seems that both the Admiralty and the War Office lost their heads when they realized that it was in serious danger.

Meanwhile the main British Army had been travelling northward from the Aisne; and the race for the sea, begun by both French and Germans in September, had become very keen. There were high hopes that the British and French would on the 13th make a combined advance, and that the French left would reach Lille and the British centre Courtrai. Unfortunately the Germans were too quick for the Allies; and to save the French from being outflanked in the north, it was necessary to throw the II Corps hastily into the fighting line in that most difficult and detestable country just to the north of La Bassee. This was hard upon the II Corps, which had borne all the brunt of the retreat and had, by sheer ill-fortune, happened also upon the most difficult ground in the valley of the Aisne. Many of its battalions had suffered so heavily that their numbers, in spite of the drafts sent to them, were very low; and they were sadly short of officers. In such circumstances its fighting power had necessarily been diminished; and General Smith-Dorrien could not but be alive to the fact. Lord French endeavoured, as he himself tells, to calm Sir Horace’s misgivings by point out that the cavalry, the 4th Division and the 19th Brigade had all of them been as heavily engaged at Le Cateau as the II Corps. We should doubt if his arguments carried great weight. In the first place the cavalry was very little engaged at Le Cateau; and in the second, the 4th Division had not been seriously engaged before that action, whereas the II Corps had had two severe days’ fighting on the 23rd and 24th, as well as a wearing day on the 25th of August before it turned and stood to bay at le Cateau on the 26th. To this day we believe that Lord French has no idea of the work done by the II Corps between the 23rd and the 26th. He has persuaded himself that the I Corps covered the retreat of the II, which is the exact reverse of the truth; and he has not grasped the elementary fact that the II Corps lost more men in combat with the enemy on the 23rd than did the I Corps during the whole of the retreat.

In any case this premature, though inevitable, launching of the II Corps into the fighting line seems to have militated against the success of the great offensive movement in the north upon which Lord French, apparently General Foch also, had built great hopes. The British troops were thereby broken up; and the II and III Corps, instead of standing side by side, were some miles apart, the gap being filled by French cavalry, which, in such a country, was at great disadvantage.

Meanwhile the Cavalry Division and the III Corps cleared the high ground that lies east of Cassel and the lower hills to south of it, encountering no very serious opposition; and the II Corps also made some progress. But there was continual evidence that the Germans were growing stronger and stronger on the line from La Bassee northward, and the Allied troops were none too thick at any point. On Oct. 19 the I Corps came up from the Aisne; and Lord French had to make up his mind whether he should use it to reinforce his sorely tried troops from Menin southward to La Bassee, or to meet, by a counter-offensive, the enemy’s threats against Ypres and the Yser. On the one hand, if the Germans succeeded in driving a wedge through the British at some point south of Menin–and the place of junction with the French about La Bassee was likely to be chosen for the purpose–then they would either force the British Army to surrender or drive it into the sea. On the other hand, if they broke through the line about Ypres or to the north of it, they would reach the sea-board and master the Channel ports. Lord French, as he puts it, had to choose between the certain disaster of losing the Channel ports and the less certain though, if it should overtake him, more overwhelming disaster of being driven into the sea. He decided to avert the certain disaster, thereby taking terrible risks; and the event showed that his judgment was correct. This in our opinion, is the one great thing that Lord French did during his period of command on the Western Front; and too gladly admit that it was really and truly great. He had every right to select for himself the title of Lord French of Ypres.

On Oct. 21 he launched the I Corps to an attack for the recovery of Bruges; and on the same day, whether before or after he had committed these troops to their offensive he does not tell us, he learned that the Germans had brought up four fresh Reserve Corps to break his line at Ypres. The strength of this reinforcement and the suddenness of its appearance came to him, as he confesses, like a bolt from the blue. Apparently the Intelligence Departments of the Belgian, French and British armies must all equally have been taken by  surprise. Then the storm broke, and the projected offensive of the Allies became a stubborn, almost desperate, defensive. The story of the first battle of Ypres afford such numberless examples of British coolness and tenacity that it is hard to select any one of them as more conspicuous than the rest. Lord French dwells in particular upon the defence of Messines by the cavalry; and, though he may foster some natural prejudice in favour of the arm in which he was trained we do not think that he is unduly partial here. He gives no instances of individual gallantry, and herein shows sound sense; but we can never read of those days without recalling Lieutenant Stewart, of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, who on Oct. 24 went out with two men only to parry a flank attack upon his battalion and shot down seventy Germans, including the teams of two machine-gun detachments, with his own rifle.

Lord French’s account of the crisis of the battle on Oct.31 is highly dramatic:

‘As I passed through Ypres on the way to Haig there were manifest signs of unusual excitement, and some shells were already falling in the place…I saw loaded vehicles leaving the town, and people were gathered in groups about the streets chattering like monkeys or rushing hither and thither with frightened faces…I had not gone more than a mile from the town, when the traffic in the road began to assume an anxious and most threatening aspect. It looked as if the whole of the I Corps were about to fall back in confusion on Ypres. Heavy howitzers were moving westward at a trot–always a most significant feature of a retreat–and ammunition and other wagons blocked the road almost as far as the eye could reach. In the midst of the press of traffic and along both sides of the road, crowds of wounded came limping along as fast as they could go, all heading for Ypres. Shells were screaming overhead and bursting with reverberating explosions in the adjacent fields.’

Sir John pursued his way on foot to the Chateau of Hooge and found General Haig and his Chief of Staff, John Gough, anxious but cool, poring over their maps. They gave a bad account of affairs; and the Commander-in-Chief passed the worst half-hour of his life until a staff officer came galloping in with the news that the lost village of Gheluvelt had been retaken, and that the advancing Germans had been checked. Lord French’s account of the reason for the sudden turn of the tide is the usual one–that Brigadier-General FitzClarence had on his own initiative summoned the Worcesters of the 5th Brigade and ordered them to counter-attack. But is it not the fact that the Worcesters had been held ready by the Divisional Commander for just such a contingency, and were brought in to action according to his orders? This in no way detracts from the good service of General FitzClarence in the actual direction of the counter-attack; and it must not be considered derogatory to the fame of the Worcesters if we mention that the Berkshires also attacked Gheluvelt independently, and contributed not a little to the re-establishment of a favourable situation. A Commander-in-Chief has no time to trouble himself with such details; but we, who have leisure, can do justice to the good work of one of the finest battalions of the Old Army.

With the last phase of the famous battle we shall not concern ourselves further than to note that the II Corps, which had been withdrawn from the line, utterly exhausted, on Oct. 28, was gradually drawn into it again, brigade by brigade or battalion by battalion, until almost the whole of it had been absorbed into the I Crops. Even so Sir Douglas Haig had under him but a shadow of a corps, and Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien was left with hardly a man under his command. Such was the price of the victory of Ypres–the destruction of the Old Army, probably the finest, for its numbers, that ever went for the to war.

We shall not follow Lord French into the rather controversial matter which concludes his volume. We agree heartily with him that it was a great mistake in Lord Kitchener to raise new armies, instead of utilizing the organization for expansion of the Territorial Force which Lord Haldane had already prepared for him; but beyond that we shall not go. We have found too many inaccuracies in this book to permit us to accept any statement of his without the utmost caution; and, though this may seem to be a hard saying, we must warn our readers to follow our example.

Upon the whole we must pronounce this to be one of the most unfortunate books that ever was written. It does not preach even sound military doctrine. There is some parade of commonplace military reading, but there is also the curious teaching that such a river as the Somme or the Oise would provide a military barrier, behind which a retreating army could rest and refit. Surely such a notion is hardly one which in these days should be put forward upon the authority of a Field-Marshal. But this is not the worst. It is the spirit of the whole work which really gives us pain. The author has descended to misstatements and misrepresentations of the clumsiest and most ludicrous kind in order to injure the reputation of a subordinate, who is forbidden to defend himself; and, coming from one in his high position, this brings shame and dishonor not only upon the Field-Marshal himself but upon the Army. A worse example to young officers than is to be found in this book we cannot imagine. We entreat them to avoid it, or, if they do read it, to study it for warning against what is wrong rather than for instruction in what is right. Lord French is, it is true, still the recipient of honours and rewards; but no accumulation of titles, batons, grants, orders or decorations can ever fit him to stand in the company of such men as Ralph Abercromby, John Moore, Rowland Hill and Thomas Graham. Let these, and not Lord French, stand before the youth of Britain as the models upon which to train themselves to be officers and gentlemen.

J.W. Fortescue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading List for World War I (The Great War)

Abbott, Willis J. The United States in the Great War. New York: Leslie-Judge Co., 1919.

Allison, J. Murray. Raemaekers’ Cartoon History of the War. New York: The Century Co., 1918.

Blumenson, Martin. Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885-1945. New York: Quill – William Morrow, 1985.

__________. The Patton Papers 1885-1940. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972.

Boraston, J.H. Sir Douglas Haig’s Despatches. London & Toronto: J.M. Dent & Sons LTD, 1919.

Buchan, John. A History of the Great War. Vols. I-IV. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923.

Cotton, Robert C. “A Study of the St. Mihiel Offensive,” Infantry Journal. XVII, No. 1 (July 1920), 43-59.

D’Este, Carlo. Patton: A Genius for War. New York: HarperPerennial, 1996.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. A History of the Great War: The British Campaign in France and Flanders 1918 July to November. Vol. Six. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1920.

Egan, Maurice F. A Brief History of the Great War. New York: William H. Sadlier, 1919.

Eisenhower, D. D. “A Tank Discussion,” Infantry Journal. XVII, No. 5 (November 1920), 453-458.

Farago, Ladislas. Patton: Ordeal and Triumph. New York: Ivan Obolensky, Inc., 1964.

Field Service Regulations United States Army 1914, Corrected to July 31, 1918. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1918.

Hirshson, Stanley P. General Patton: A Soldier’s Life. New York: Perennial, 2003.

Horne, Charles F. Ph.D. and Walter F. Austin, LL.M., eds. The Great Events of the Great War.  Vol. VI. The National Alumni, 1920.

List, Major Single. “The Battle of Booby’s Bluffs.” Infantry Journal. Published in six installments: XVIII, No. 5 (May 1921), 447-458; XVIII, No. 6 (June 1921), 606-611; XIX, No. 1 (July 1921), 41-50; XIX, No. 2 (August 1921), 149-155; XIX, No. 3 (September 1921), 295-302; and XIX, No. 4 (October 1921), 427-433. Verbatim transcription published by same title, The Battle of Booby’s Bluffs. Silver Spring: Dale Street Books, 2017. 

Ludendorff, General. My War Memories. Vols. I and II. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1919.

McKinley, Albert E., Charles A. Coulomb, and Armand J. Gerson. A School History of the Great War. New York: American Book Company, 1918.

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War. Vol. 1. American Expeditionary Forces: General Headquarters, Armies, Army Corps, Services of Supply, Separate Forces. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History United States Army, 1988.

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War. Vol. 2. American Expeditionary Forces: Divisions. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History United States Army, 1988.

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War (1917-1919). Vol. Three, Part 1. General Introduction, Organization and Activities of the War Department, Territorial Departments, Tactical Divisions Organized in 1918, Posts, Camps, and Stations. Washington, D.C.: World War I Group, Historical Division Special Staff United States Army, 1949.

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War (1917-1919). Vol. Three, Part 2. Directory of Troops in Alphabetical Order. Washington, D.C.: World War I Group, Historical Division Special Staff United States Army, 1949.

Palmer, Frederick. America in France. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1918.

__________. Our Greatest Battle. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919.

Patton, George S., Jr. “304th American Brigade at St. Mihiel: Operations of the 304th Tank Brigade, September 12th to 15th, 1918,” November 12, 1918. Appendix 4, U.S. Army Expeditionary Force, France, 1917-1919, Tank Corps: Report Operations Tank Corps, A.E.F. France: General HQs A.E.F., Office of Chief of Tank Corps, 1918. Carlisle: U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, Ridgway Hall, D608.U56 1918.

__________. “Tanks in Future Wars,” Infantry Journal. XVI, No. 11 (May 1920), 958-962.

Pershing, John J. My Experiences in the World War. Vols. I and II. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1931.

Rockenbach, Samuel D. Operations of the Tank Corps, A.E.F. Silver Spring: Dale Street Books, 2017. Verbatim transcription of unpublished document commonly known as the Rockenbach Report, dated November 1918.

__________. “Tanks and their Cooperation with other Arms,” Infantry Journal. Published in installments: XVI, No. 7 (January 1920), 533-545; XVI, No. 8 (February 1920), 662-673.

__________. U.S. Army Expeditionary Force, France, 1917-1919, Tank Corps: Report Operations Tank Corps, A.E.F. France: General HQs A.E.F., Office of Chief of Tank Corps, 1918. Carlisle: U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, Ridgway Hall, D608.U56 1918.

Rogge, Robert E. “304th Tank Brigade: Its Formation and First Two Actions,” Armor. XCVII, No. 4 (July-August 1988), 26-34.

Simonds, Frank H. History of the World War. Vol. 5. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1920.

Stamps, T. Dodson and Vincent J. Esposito. A Short Military History of World War I.: Atlas. West Point, New York: Department of Military Art and Engineering, 1950.

Stanton, Theodore, Translator. A Soldier of France to His Mother. Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co., 1917.

The Americans in the Great War. Vol. I. The Second Battle of the Marne (Chateau-Thierry, Soissons, Fismes). France: Michelin & Cie, Clermont-Ferrand, 1919.

The Americans in the Great War. Vol. II. The Battle of St. Mihiel (St. Mihiel, Pont-a-Mousson, Metz). France: Michelin & Cie, Clermont-Ferrand, 1920.

The Americans in the Great War. Vol. III. Meuse-Argonne Battlefields (Montfaucon, Romagne, Sainte-Menehould). France: Michelin & Cie, Clermont-Ferrand, 1920.

The Story of the Great War. Vol. XV. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1920.

Thomas, Shipley. The History of the A.E.F. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1920.

Von Giehrl, Hermann. Battle of the Meuse-Argonne from the German Perspective. Silver Spring: Dale Street Books, 2017. Reproduction of articles titled “Battle of the Meuse-Argonne,” published in installments in the Infantry Journal: Vol. XIX, No. 2 (August 1921), 131-138; Vol. XIX, No. 3 (September 1921), 264-270; Vol. XIX, No. 4 (October 1921), 377-384; and Vol. XIX, No. 5 (November 1921), 534-540.

__________. Das Amerikanische Expeditionskorps in Europa 1917–18. Originally published as an article in the German Military Journal, Wissen und Wehr (July 1921), pp. 217-340. Also published independently under same title by Berlin: E.S. Mittler & Sohn, 1922.

__________. The American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, 1917-1918. Silver Spring: Dale Street Books, 2018. Reproduction of English translation of Das Amerikanische Expeditionskorps in Europa 1917–18, published by the Infantry Journal in installments: Vol. XIX, No. 6 (December 1921), 630-637; Vol. XX, No. 1 (January 1922), 18-23; Vol. XX, No. 2 (February 1922), 140-149; and Vol. XX, No. 3 (March 1922), pp. 292-303.

Wilson, Dale E. Treat ‘Em Rough: The Birth of American Armor, 1917-20. Novato, California: Presidio Press, 1990.

 

1914 – British Expeditionary Forces Organization

Excerpt from 1914 by John French, Viscount of Ypres, first Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Forces. ebook version here http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24538/24538-h/24538-h.htm

[…] THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

I have thought fit to interrupt my narrative here to devote some pages to the composition of the original Expeditionary Force. The First Expeditionary Force consisted of the First Army Corps (1st and 2nd Divisions) under Lieut.-Gen. Sir Douglas Haig; the Second Army Corps (3rd and 5th Divisions) under Lieut.-Gen. Sir James Grierson (who died shortly after landing in France and was succeeded by Gen. Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien), and the Cavalry Division under Major-Gen. E. H. H. Allenby. To these must be added the 19th Infantry Brigade, which, at the opening of our operations in France, was employed on our Lines of Communication. The original Expeditionary Force was subsequently augmented by the 4th Division, which detrained at Le Cateau on August 25th. The 4th Division and the 19th Infantry Brigade were, on the arrival of Gen. Pulteney in France, on August 30th, formed into the Third Army Corps, to which the 6th Division was subsequently added.

For the purpose of convenient reference, I have included in this chapter the composition of the 6th Division, which joined us on the Aisne, and of the 7th Division and the 3rd Cavalry Division, which came into line with the original Expeditionary Force in Belgium in the opening stages of the First Battle of Ypres; as also of the Lahore Division of the Indian Corps, which likewise took part in the Battle of Ypres.

THE FIRST EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief: Field-Marshal Sir J. D. P. French.

Chief of the General Staff: Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. J. Murray.

Adjutant-General: Major-Gen. Sir C. F. N. Macready.

Quartermaster-General: Major-Gen. Sir W. R. Robertson.

 

First Army Corps: Lieut.-Gen. Sir Douglas Haig.

 

1st Division: Major-Gen. S. H. Lomax, wounded October 31st, replaced by Brig.-Gen. Landon (temp.), then by Brig.-Gen. Sir D. Henderson.

 

1st Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. F. I. Maxse, succeeded by Brig.-Gen. FitzClarence, V.C. (killed, November 11th). Col. McEwen then took command. Later on, Col. Lowther was appointed to command the Brigade.

1st Batt. Coldstream Guards.

1st Batt. Scots Guards.

London Scottish (joined Brigade in November).

1st Batt. Royal Highlanders (the Black Watch).

2nd Batt. Royal Munster Fusiliers (cut to pieces at Etreux, August 29th, replaced by 1st Batt. Cameron Highlanders).

 

2nd Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. E. S. Bulfin, wounded November 1st, succeeded by Col. Cunliffe-Owen (temp.). Brig.-Gen. Westmacott took command November 23rd.

2nd Batt. Royal Sussex Regt.

1st Batt. Northampton Regt.

1st Batt. N. Lancs Regt.

2nd Batt. K.R.R.

 

3rd Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. H. J. S. Landon, appointed to command the Division after October 31st, Col. Lovett taking command of Brigade. Brig.-Gen. R. H. K. Butler was appointed to command the Brigade November 13th.

1st Batt. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regt. (cut up October 31st, replaced by 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers).

1st Batt. S. Wales Borderers.

1st Batt. Gloucester Regt.

2nd Batt. Welsh Regt.

 

Divisional Cavalry:

“C” Squadron 15th Hussars.

1st Cyclist Co.

 

Royal Engineers:

23rd & 26th Field Cos.

1st Signal Co.

 

Royal Artillery:

R.F.A. Batteries—

XXV. Brigade—113, 114, 115.

XXVI. Brigade—116, 117, 118.

XXIX. Brigade—46, 51, 54.

XLIII. Brigade (Howitzer)—30, 40, 57.

Heavy Battery R.G.A.—26. 1st Divisional Train.

R.A.M.C.: 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Field Ambulances.

 

2nd Division: Major-Gen. C. C. Monro.

 

4th (Guards) Brigade: Brig.-Gen. R. Scott-Kerr, wounded September 1st and succeeded by Brig.-Gen. the Earl of Cavan (arrived September 18th).

2nd Batt. Grenadier Guards.

3rd Batt. Coldstream Guards.

2nd Batt. Coldstream Guards.

1st Batt. Irish Guards.

1st Herts (T.F.) (joined Brigade about November 10th).

 

5th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. R. C. B. Haking, wounded on September 16th; succeeded by Lieut.-Col. Westmacott until Haking returned on November 20th.

2nd Batt. Worcester Regt.

2nd Batt. Highland L.I.

2nd Batt. Oxf. & Bucks L.I.

2nd Batt. Connaught Rangers. (2nd Connaughts were amalgamated with their 1st Batt. at the end of November and replaced in the Brigade by 9th H.L.I. (Glasgow Highlanders).)

 

6th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. R. H. Davies, invalided in September; succeeded by Brig.-Gen. Fanshawe, September 13th.

1st Batt. The King’s (Liverpool) Regt.

1st Batt. Royal Berks Regt.

2nd Batt. S. Staffs Regt.

1st Batt. K.R.R.

 

Divisional Cavalry:

“B” Squadron 15th Hussars.

2nd Cyclist Co.

 

Royal Engineers:

5th & 11th Field Cos.

2nd Signal Co.

 

Royal Artillery:

R.F.A. Batteries—

XXIV XXXIV. Brigade—25, 50, 70.

XXXVI. Brigade—15, 48, 71.

XLI. Brigade—9, 16, 17.

XLIV. Brigade (Howitzer)—47, 56, 60.

Heavy Battery R.G.A.—35. 2nd Divisional Train.

R.A.M.C.: 4th, 5th & 6th Field Ambulances.

 

Second Army Corps: Lieut.-Gen. Sir James Grierson, died August 17th; succeeded by Gen. Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien.

 

3rd Division: Major-Gen. Hubert I. W. Hamilton, killed October 14th; Major-Gen. Mackenzie in command till end of October; then Major-Gen. Wing till November 6th; then Major-Gen. Haldane.

 

7th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. F. W. N. McCracken

3rd Batt. Worcester Regt.

1st Batt. Wilts Regt.

2nd Batt. S. Lancs Regt.

2nd Batt. Royal Irish Rifles.

 

8th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. B. J. C. Doran, invalided October 23rd; Brig.-Gen. Bowes took over command.

2nd Batt. Royal Scots.

2nd Batt. Royal Irish Regt. (Battalion cut up at Le Pilly, October 20th; became G.H.Q. troops, replaced by 2nd Suffolks.)

4th Batt. Middlesex Regt.

1st Batt. Gordon Highlanders. (Employed as G.H.Q. troops during September, being replaced by 1st Devons, but rejoined Brigade at beginning of October.)

 

9th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. F. C. Shaw, wounded November 12th; succeeded by Lieut.-Col. Douglas Smith, Royal Scots Fusiliers.

1st Batt. Northumberland Fusiliers.

4th Batt. Royal Fusiliers.

1st Batt. Lincolnshire Regt.

1st Batt. Royal Scots Fusiliers.

 

Divisional Cavalry:

“A” Squadron 15th Hussars.

3rd Cyclist Co.

 

Royal Engineers:

56th & 57th Field Cos.

3rd Signal Co.

 

Royal Artillery:

R.F.A. Batteries—

XXIII. Brigade—107, 108, 109.

  1. Brigade—6, 23, 49.

XLII. Brigade—29, 41, 45.

XXX. Brigade (Howitzer)—128, 129, 130.

Heavy Battery R.G.A.—48.

3rd Divisional Train.

R.A.M.C.: 7th, 8th, & 9th Field Ambulances.

 

5th Division: Major-Gen. Sir Charles Fergusson, invalided October 22nd; succeeded by Major-Gen. Morland.

 

13th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. G. J. Cuthbert, invalided about the end of September; succeeded by Brig.-Gen. Hickie, who went sick October 13th, Col. Martyn getting command (temp.).

2nd Batt. K.O. Scottish Borderers.

2nd Batt. (Duke of Wellington’s) West Riding Regt.

1st Batt. Royal West Kent Regt.

2nd Batt. K.O. Yorkshire L.I.

 

14th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. S. P. Rolt, invalided October 29th; succeeded by Brig.-Gen. F. S. Maude.

2nd Batt. Suffolk Regt. (replaced by 1st Devons at the beginning of October, and became G.H.Q. troops).

1st Batt. East Surrey Regt.

1st Batt. Duke of Cornwall’s L.I.

2nd Batt. Manchester Regt.

 

15th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. Count A. E. W. Gleichen.

1st Batt. Norfolk Regt.

1st Batt. Cheshire Regt.

1st Batt. Bedford Regt.

1st Batt. Dorset Regt.

 

Divisional Cavalry:

“A” Squadron 19th Hussars.

 

Royal Engineers:

17th & 59th Field Cos.

5th Cyclist Co.

 

Royal Artillery:

R.F.A. Batteries—

  1. Brigade—11, 52, 80.

XXVII. Brigade—119, 120, 121.

XXVIII. Brigade—122, 123, 124.

VIII. Brigade (Howitzer)—37, 61, 65.

Heavy Battery R.G.A.—108.

 

5th Divisional Train.

R.A.M.C.: 13th, 14th, & 15th Field Ambulances.

 

19th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. L. G. Drummond, succeeded early in September by Brig.-Gen. F. Gordon. [Note.—This Brigade was formed from units on Lines of Communication, and was attached successively to the Cavalry Division, Second Corps and Fourth Division during the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne. In the Flanders fighting of October-November, 1914, it worked with the Sixth Division.]

2nd Batt. Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

1st Batt. Scottish Rifles.

1st Batt. Middlesex Regt.

2nd Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

19th Field Ambulance.

 

Cavalry Division: Major-Gen. E. H. H. Allenby, took command of the Cavalry Corps on its formation in October, Brig.-Gen. De Lisle taking command of the 1st Cavalry Division.

 

1st Cavalry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. C. J. Briggs.

2nd Dragoon Guards. 5th Dragoon Guards.

11th Hussars.

 

2nd Cavalry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. H. De B. De Lisle, transferred to command 1st Cavalry Division in October and succeeded by Brig.-Gen. Mullins.

4th Dragoon Guards.

9th Lancers.

18th Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own).

 

3rd Cavalry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. Hubert De La Poer Gough.

4th Hussars.

5th Lancers.

16th Lancers.

 

4th Cavalry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. Hon. C. E. Bingham.

Household Cavalry (Composite Regt.).

6th Dragoon Guards. 3rd Hussars.

 

5th Cavalry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. Sir Philip P. W. Chetwode.

12th Lancers.

20th Hussars.

2nd Dragoons (Scots Greys).

 

Royal Horse Artillery:

Batteries—”D,” “E,” “I,” “J,” “L” (“L” Battery went home to refit after Néry (September 1st), and was replaced by “H,” R.H.A., which arrived about the middle of September).

 

Royal Engineers:

1st Field Squadron. 1st Signal Squadron.

[Note.—In September the 2nd Cavalry Division was formed, consisting at first of the 3rd and 5th Cavalry Brigades under Major-Gen. Gough, Brig.-Gen. Vaughan taking command of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade. With these brigades were “D” and “E” Batteries, R.H.A. In October the 4th Cavalry Brigade was transferred to the 2nd Cavalry Division, as was also “J” Battery, R.H.A. The 2nd Cavalry Division had the 2nd Field Squadron R.E. and 2nd Signal Squadron.]

R.A.M.C.: corresponding Cavalry Field Ambulances.

 

Royal Flying Corps: Brig.-Gen. Sir David Henderson.

Aeroplane Squadrons Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5.

 

4th Division: Major-Gen. T. D. O. Snow, invalided September; succeeded by Major-Gen. Sir H. Rawlinson, who was transferred to 4th Army Corps early in October and replaced by Major-Gen. H. F. M. Wilson.

 

10th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. J. A. L. Haldane, appointed to command 3rd Division, November 6th; succeeded by Brig.-Gen. Hull.

1st Batt. Royal Warwickshire Regt.

2nd Batt. Seaforth Highlanders.

1st Batt. Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2nd Batt. Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

 

11th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. A. G. Hunter-Weston.

1st Batt. Somersetshire L.I.

1st Batt. Hampshire Regt.

1st Batt. E. Lancs Regt.

1st Batt. Rifle Brigade.

 

12th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. H. F. M. Wilson, in command of the 4th Division in October, and on promotion succeeded by Col. F. G. Anley.

1st Batt. K.O. (R. Lancaster) Regt.

2nd Batt. Lancashire Fusiliers.

2nd Batt. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2nd Batt. Essex Regt.

 

Divisional Cavalry:

“B” Squadron 19th Hussars.

4th Cyclist Co.

 

Royal Engineers:

7th & 9th Field Cos.

4th Signal Co.

 

Royal Artillery:

R.F.A. Batteries—

XIV. Brigade—39, 68, 88.

XXIX. Brigade—125, 126, 127.

XXXII. Brigade—27, 134, 135.

XXXVII. Brigade—31, 35, 55.

Heavy Battery, R.G.A.—31.

R.A.M.C.: 10th, 11th, & 12th Field Ambulances.

 

Lines of Communication and Army Troops:

1st Batt. Devonshire Regt. (transferred to 8th Brigade about middle of September, later to 14th Brigade).

1st Batt. Cameron Highlanders (replaced 2nd Munsters in 1st Brigade about September 6th).

[Note.—The 28th London (Artists’ Rifles), 14th London (London Scottish), 6th Welsh and 5th Border Regt. were all in France before the end of the First Battle of Ypres, as was also the Honourable Artillery Company. These battalions were all at first on Lines of Communication.]

6th Division: Major-Gen. J. L. Keir.

 

16th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. C. Ingouville-Williams.

1st Batt. East Kent Regt. (The Buffs).

1st Batt. Leicestershire Regt.

1st Batt. Shropshire L.I.

2nd Batt. York and Lancaster Regt.

 

17th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. W. R. B. Doran.

1st Batt. Royal Fusiliers.

2nd Batt. Leinster Regt.

1st Batt. N. Staffs Regt.

3rd Batt. Rifle Brigade.

 

18th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. W. N. Congreve, V.C.

1st Batt. West Yorks Regt.

2nd Batt. Notts and Derby Regt.

1st Batt. East Yorks Regt. (the Sherwood Foresters).

2nd Batt. Durham. L.I.

 

Divisional Cavalry:

“C” Squadron 19th Hussars.

6th Cyclist Co.

 

Royal Engineers:

12th & 38th Field Cos.

6th Signal Co.

 

Royal Artillery:

R.F.A. Batteries—

  1. Brigade—21, 42, 53.

XXIV. Brigade—110, 111, 112.

XXXVIII. Brigade—24, 34, 72.

XII. Brigade (Howitzer)—43, 86, 87.

Heavy Battery R.G.A.—24. 6th Divisional Train.

R.A.M.C.: 16th, 17th & 18th Field Ambulances.

 

7th Infantry Division: Major-Gen. T. Capper.

 

20th Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. H. G. Ruggles-Brise.

1st Batt. Grenadier Guards.

2nd Batt. Border Regt.

2nd Batt. Scots Guards.

2nd Batt. Gordon Highlanders.

 

21st Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. H. E. Watts.

2nd Batt. Bedfordshire Regt.

2nd Batt. Royal Scots Fusiliers.

2nd Batt. Yorkshire Regt.

2nd Batt. Wiltshire Regt.

 

22nd Infantry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. S. T. B. Lawford.

2nd Batt. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regt.

2nd Batt. Royal Warwickshire Regt.

1st Batt. Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

1st Batt. S. Staffs Regt.

 

Divisional Cavalry:

Northumberland Yeomanry (Hussars).

7th Cyclist Co.

 

Royal Engineers:

54th & 55th Field Cos.

7th Signal Co.

 

Royal Artillery:

R.H.A. Batteries—”F” and “T.”

R.F.A. Batteries—

XXII. Brigade—104, 105, 106.

XXV. Brigade—12, 35, 58.

Heavy Batteries R.G.A.—111, 112.

R.A.M.C.: 21st, 22nd and 23rd Field Ambulances.

 

3rd Cavalry Division: Major-Gen. The Hon. Julian Byng.

 

6th Cavalry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. E. Makins.

3rd Dragoon Guards (joined the Division early in November).

North Somerset Yeomanry (attached to the Brigade before the end of First Battle of Ypres).

1st Dragoons (The Royals).

10th Hussars.

 

7th Cavalry Brigade: Brig.-Gen. C. T. McM. Kavanagh.

1st Life Guards.

2nd Life Guards.

Royal Horse Guards (the Blues).

 

Royal Horse Artillery:

Batteries “C” and “K.”

 

Royal Engineers:

3rd Field Squadron.

R.A.M.C.: 6th, 7th and 8th Cavalry Field Ambulances.

First Gas Attack on the Western Front -April 22, 1915 at the Second Battle of Ypres

Excerpt from A History of the Great War by Arthur Conan Doyle (New York: George H. Doran Company, 1917), Vol. Two, pp. 48, 49 (describing the first mass gas attack on the Western Front).

[…] Up to the third week of April the enemy opposite the French had consisted of the Twenty-sixth Corps, with the Fifteenth Corps on the right, all under the Duke of Württemberg, whose headquarters were at Thielt. There were signs, however, of secret concentration which had not entirely escaped the observation of the Allied aviators, and on April 20 and 21 the German guns showered shells on Ypres. About 5 p.m. upon Thursday, April 22, a furious artillery bombardment from Bixschoote to Langemarck began along the French lines, including the left of the Canadians, and it was reported that the Forty­ fifth French Division was being heavily attacked. At the same time a phenomenon was observed which would seem to be more in place in the pages of a romance than in the record of an historian. From the base of the German trenches over a considerable length there appeared jets of whitish vapour, which gathered and swirled until they settled into a   definite low cloud-bank, greenish-brown below and yellow above, where it reflected the rays of the sinking sun. This ominous bank of vapour, impelled by a northern breeze, drifted swiftly across the space which separated the two lines. The French troops, staring over the top of their parapet at this curious screen which ensured them a temporary relief from fire, were observed suddenly to throw up their hands, to clutch at their throats, and to fall to the ground in the agonies of asphyxiation. Many lay where they had fallen, while their comrades, absolutely helpless against this diabolical agency, rushed madly out of the mephitic mist and made for the rear, over-running the lines of trenches behind them. Many of them never halted until they had reached Ypres, while others rushed westwards and put the canal between themselves and the enemy. The Germans, meanwhile, advanced, and took possession of the successive lines of trenches, tenanted only by the dead garrisons, whose blackened faces, contorted figures, and lips fringed with the blood and foam from their bursting lungs, showed the agonies in which they had died. Some thousands of stupefied prisoners, eight batteries of French field-guns, and four British 4.7’s, which had been placed in a wood behind the French position, were the trophies won by this disgraceful victory. The British heavy guns belonged to the Second London Division, and were not deserted by their gunners until the enemy’s infantry were close upon them, when the strikers were removed from the breech-blocks and the pieces abandoned. It should be added that both the young officers present, Lieuts. Sandeman and Hamilton Field, died beside their guns after the tradition of their corps. […]

German Occupation of Poland 1939-1945

[…] Collective Murders and Killings

This principle, discarded by the civilised nations, is contrary to the conception of human justice and right, and certainly to Article 50 of the Hague Regulations. The massacres carried out by the Reich in the name of this principle have taken place not only when the act of repression was the sequel to an offence of a political character, but also when it concerned simple infractions of the common law, without any connection with political activity.[i]  In numerous cases the German authorities shot Polish citizens apprehended either among representatives of the intellectual classes, or in compact groups among the population of a given locality, sometimes a very small one. The Polish Government desires in this connection to call attention to some examples, which it has been able to collect from the German press in the occupied territories or on the basis of authentic evidence, and which clearly demonstrate Germany’s utter disregard for human life and the contempt of the German authorities for the sufferings of others.  In order to illustrate this the Polish Government wishes to record the following episodes:

In Warsaw 180 out of 300 civilian hostages were massacred when an arrested man broke prison and failed to give himself up voluntarily to the German authorities within 48 hours as fixed by the police.[ii]

In another case, according to a printed report from a German newspaper source, 53 inhabitants of a building in Warsaw were executed for the reason that a Jewish criminal who had a dossier with the Polish police, was living there.[iii]

In a further case, 120 persons were shot in Lublin for no other reason than that a German policeman had been attacked in the district where these people were living; the attack had been made by common criminals who were being pursued by the German authorities at the request of the Polish local non-armed police.[iv]

In the borough of Wawer, near Warsaw, shots were exchanged between some German policemen and a delinquent whom they were pursuing. One of the policemen was killed.  The place was surrounded by a detachment of German “Landesschuetzen” and the following night 107 males, aged from 15 to 60 years, were dragged from their homes and killed with machine guns.[v]

Under a similar pretext 62 innocent civilians were murdered in the town of Bochnia, near Kraków. In the market town of Skarzysko, more than 300 working people were murdered; in the municipality of Zywiec approximately 100.

In the town of Wejherowo, the day after the entry of the German troops, more than 300 representatives of the intellectual and commercial classes of the Polish port of Gdynia were executed, including the director of the Port, the directors of the local banks, judges, advocates and the principal industrialists and business men.[vi]

In the district of Tuchola, in Polish Pomerania, ten Poles were executed on the night of November 11-12, 1939, to avenge the death of a “Volksdeutscher,” one named Fritz, who died from a heart attack when his farm had been set on fire.[vii]

“Punitive Expeditions”

It is worth dwelling especially on the so-called “punitive expeditions.” One of them was sent, by order of the German authorities, to the villages of Józefów Mały, Józefów Duży and neighbouring localities. The lorries of the expedition, which had been despatched from Lublin by the “Selbstschutz” under the command of Count Werner von Alvensleben, became stuck in the mire on a side road.  The Germans brought eleven peasants from the nearest village in order to extricate the vehicles.  As soon as their work was completed they were all shot dead.  The Germans then proceeded to carry out further massacres.  The male inhabitants of the following villages: Józefów Mały (30), including several boys aged 11, Józefów Duży (14 men), Bronisławów Stary (70), Zakępie (60), Bielany (25), Ruda (18), Nowiny (26), Sereba (13), were arrested and murdered. A so far unascertained number of persons in the villages of Serekomla, Hordzieszów, Okrzeja and other localities were similarly slaughtered.  In the course of this expedition the Germans murdered a total of more than 300 persons.  The victims, men, women and children, were lined up in three rows and machine gunned.  Finally, 17 workers were brought from other localities, made to dig the graves, then also murdered.  A number of officials returning from the district offices were shot as an afterthought.  Five villages, representing more than 60 homes, were set on fire.

In the district of Końskie, in the Radom area, another punitive expedition was sent against certain villages suspected by the German authorities of having given aid to Polish guerilla detachments. The Germans for this reason set on fire the villages of Hucisko (26 homes), Królowiec, Lelitków, Skłoby (328 homes), Sulki (number unknown), Szałasy (54 homes), Wiśniowiec, also seven villages with 72 homes in the rural district of Miedzieża. In the village of Chlewisko 40 people were hot, at Królowiec 123, at Hucisko and Lelitków 350, in Sulki 42, at Skłoby 360.

In the village of Szałasy all the male inhabitants of over 15 years of age were executed, a number of them shot, while the others were locked into a school, which was set on fire. This “punitive expedition” took to Radom approximately 300 persons, who were subsequently put to death at Firlej. This “punitive expedition” murdered a total of approximately 1,200 persons.

These savageries against the population took place not only during the first months of enemy occupation. It appears from authenticated testimony and reliable accounts emanating from the occupied territories that they assumed even more serious proportions during subsequent months, when they took the form of mass executions either without any trial, or on the basis of sentences imposed by German courts constituted ad hoc, or by German military courts.

Individual Murders

In addition, there were numerous cases of individual murders perpetrated by representatives of the occupation authorities, sometimes, as they said, “for amusement…”

The executions referred to were not always dictated by the same motive. In certain cases they bore the character of simple political repression, in others they were impelled by chauvinistic hatred, and in still others they were the outcome of the Reich’s eugenic policy, which, as we know, is peculiar to Germany.

Murder of the Insane and Prostitutes

Thus, for instance, mental cases cared for in asylums, as well as prostitutes, were either machine gunned or murdered with poison gas. In a number of cases the executions were carried out by the German authorities with the utmost bestiality, the victims being locked into a building, such as a stable, hangar, etc., which was then set on fire.

German Courts—the Death Penalty

Apart from the mass executions and the so-called “punitive expeditions” described above, the authorities of occupation are responsible for having without mercy ordered the execution of Polish citizens on the basis of the judgments of special military courts, police courts and special courts (Sondergerichte).[viii] These courts use and abuse the power of imposing the death penalty.

It would be impossible to enumerate here the series of German rules providing for the capital penalty;[ix] let a single one suffice here by way of example. The Governor-General Dr. Frank’s order dated April 13, 1940, concerning the “protection of forests”[x] –the word “protection” sounds ironical in view of the pillage of the Polish forests which are falling down under the invader’s axe—provides in sect. 3, the death penalty for any theft of wood after nightfall; and the order adds that if the thief is under 14 years old, his father (or guardian) may be condemned to forced labour for his negligence.

It is scarcely necessary to add that they do not observe any procedure laid down in advance; the guarantees represented by defence are lacking, and the grounds of judgments are not published. As a rule, no accused escapes with his life from these farcical trials.

It is no exaggeration to say, on the basis of a considerable number of reliable reports and corroborated accounts, that there is no village of any agglomeration of people in occupied Poland which does not bear the bloody traces of the passage of the Germans.

Arbitrary Arrests—Treatment in Prisons

The conduct of the German authorities towards the people of the invaded regions is further characterised by terrorism and cruelty.  In this connection the Polish Government is obliged to record an uninterrupted sequence of violations by the Reich of the fundamental terms of Article 46 of the Hague Regulations.

The personal liberty of the Polish citizens is at the mercy of enemy functionaries and soldiers. Mass arrests of representatives of the liberal professions, such as advocates, doctors, as well as of teachers, are common. The same applies to the clergy.  These arrests are generally effected without any legal procedure and, in the majority of cases, without any apparent pretext.  Thus the arrested people lack all means for their defence, as they are detained without any inquiry or examination.  The buildings that serve as prisons are unheated in the winter and devoid of hygienic equipment.

The Polish Government knows of cases in which the same persons have been arrested and incarcerated several times; sometimes entire families have been thrown into jail.

In the jails the evidence of the prisoners is frequently obtained by force. Victims of this procedure have reported some of the means employed in this connection: they were beaten with steel rods in the small of the back or on the head, or with rubber truncheons on the face or chest, or were whipped with leather thongs. Usually, several Germans attended to a victim simultaneously.  After the beatings and tortures the prisoners frequently suffer from bruised or broken limbs, injured kidneys, etc.  Sometimes their power of resistance fails and they succumb under the blows of the executioners.[xi]

Even women and children are not spared this inhuman treatment.[xii]

Since the beginning of the German occupation cases have been reported of bands of German officers, soldiers or even civilians visiting prisons, selecting some prisoners at random and murdering them on the spot.[xiii]

Concentration Camps

In addition, Polish citizens of the occupied regions are in their tens of thousands deported and incarcerated in concentration or internment camps. The camps whose names will mark the most horrible pages in the annals of German bestiality are those of Oświęcim (Auschwitz), Oranienburg, Mauthausen and Dachau.

As regards maintenance in the camps, no account is taken of the most elementary hygienic requirements, nor of the needs involved in the labour which the prisoners are forced to perform. In certain camps, in Mauthausen, for example, where the prisoners were employed in stone quarries, the working day was 15 hours without a break.  The degree of brutality was no smaller in the camps than in the prisons.  The “gymnastic” exercises, which are compulsory in the concentration camps, are devised to exhaust the prisoners and drive them beyond the limit of endurance; fainting during these exercises is not a rare occurrence.  The daily roll calls of the internees take place in the open, despite extreme cold and bad weather.[xiv]

The prisoners of the camps are ill-treated and humiliated on every occasion. For example, they are forced to handle mud and excrements with their hands or to clean latrines with their hands.[xv]  The guards amuse themselves by making the prisoners participate in some atrocious games; the Germans force them to run round in a circle, while they beat them with sticks or truncheons; or the Germans order the prisoners to run at a very fast pace and jump over obstacles which are so disposed that they cause painful crashes. Above all, however, the unfortunate prisoners are savagely beaten, kicked, pummelled with the fists, thrashed with truncheons and whipped on every occasion under any sort of pretext.  The German executioners apparently take a sadistic[xvi] pleasure in making the prisoners suffer, and they appear to have acquired a subtle technique in the various ways of beating their victims so as to cause the most pain. The women have also not been spared.

The Polish Government desires to point out that this treatment is not reserved exclusively for the inmates of the prisons and concentration camps. The population which is “at liberty” also frequently suffers in a similar way, either individually or collectively.

Humiliations

By means of a series of orders and decrees, the occupation authorities have conceived and created an entire system of humiliating procedures tending to lower the human dignity of the Polish citizens.

A decree issued by the German authorities imposes on citizens of the Jewish faith and people of Jewish origin the obligation to wear on their clothes in a visible manner, a mark in the shape of the Shield of David.[xvii] In certain towns and villages Polish citizens of whatever faith must raise their hats to any German citizen they meet in the street; in other cases the use of the pavements is reserved for German citizens, and Poles must walk in the roadway.[xviii] The national emblems are exposed to various insults. Poles deported to work in Germany must wear special marks on their clothes in order to distinguish them from Germans.[xix] A particularly active propaganda in country districts is designed to inculcate in the German farmers hatred for the Poles who are assigned to them as agricultural labourers.[xx]

In order to terrorise and humiliate the population of small towns, the German authorities have frequently resorted to the following procedure: The people of a market town are driven to the market place; there they are made to kneel down in row and beat each other with their fists or with sticks. The Jews, wearing their praying shawls, are forced to execute, for example, dances or high-jumps, while the organisers of this spectacle distribute blows right and left with whips or riding crops.

Treatment of Women

Polish women are subjected to particularly humiliating and barbarous treatment by German officers, soldiers and functionaries. The Polish Government is in possession of proof that, in some cases, collective rape has been committed.[xxi] The German police have repeatedly organised raids in different towns, in the course of which young women have been abducted, in order to be placed subsequently in brothels frequented by German officers and soldiers. In numerous cases it has been established that young women, arrested in the streets or even in their homes, on the pretext that they would be sent to work, were in reality carried off into brothels for the soldiery in Germany.[xxii] The German authorities themselves have admitted that the consigning of young Polish women to the brothels constitutes a measure of repression which they are applying deliberately.

The Polish Government is of the opinion that the number of young women thus snatched away from their families in order to be thrown into German brothels and condemned to a life of dishonor and ignominy could be checked from the frequency with which advertisements by parents searching for their suddenly vanished daughters appear in the papers.

In the course of numerous searches carried out in the homes of Polish citizens it has happened that the German policemen forced the women to undress, to dance naked, or to scrub, with the underwear torn from their bodies, the stairs or the floor.[xxiii]

Expulsion and Deportation of Civilians

The German Government, which during the war of 1914-1918 carried out in Belgium and France numerous deportations among the civil population, is at present employing the same methods in Poland, but on an infinitely vaster scale.[xxiv] Deportation of the civil population, together with the system of collective terror constitutes the principal weapon which the Germans are using to weaken the Polish nation.

It is necessary to distinguish between the different forms of deportation: first of all, the Reich deports the Polish population from the territories unlawfully incorporated with the Reich; next comes the deportation of agricultural and industrial workers to Germany; then there are the deportations of scholastic youth and children. Finally, the transplantation of certain categories of citizens:

  1. those who are domiciled in certain cities (such as Kraków);
  2. those who come from certain districts; and
  3. those who come from other countries (as Austria) to certain districts reserved for the “Jewish population;” also, people are expelled from certain parts of a city to other parts.

According to a provisional estimate arrived at by the Polish Government, approximately a million and a half of the inhabitants of the Western Provinces (about 92,000 square kilometres), which were unlawfully annexed to the Reich, had been deported by the end of 1940. The people expelled from their homes were transported to other Polish territories occupied by Germany, that is to say, the “Government General.”

According to the public admissions of the German leaders,[xxv] the object of the expulsion of the Polish population from the so-called “incorporated” provinces is a radical de-Polonisation of these territories, the cradle of the Polish nation, which have remained Polish despite a century and a half of Prussian domination; from the ethnographical point of view 94 percent of the population of these provinces is Polish. The German Government has for some time been carrying out measures and procedures, unprecedented in comprehensiveness and cruelty, to clear these territories of their autochthonous population, with a view to make room for various German minorities from other countries, and notably from the U.S.S.R., the Baltic States, Rumania, the Tyrol, and also from other Polish provinces. […]

 

September 12, 1939 – Warsaw, Poland

Excerpt from Marta Korwin, In Spite of Everything (Kilmarnock: Dunlop & Drennan, 1942). See also updated book by Marta Korwin Rhodes, “The Mask of Warriors: The Siege of Warsaw September 1939 (New York: Libra Publishers, 1964).

[…] 12th September – Tuesday

All the morning I work in the office. The hospital is functioning very well, but is already so overcrowded that we shall be unable to admit any more casualties or wounded. We must establish another hospital.

In the afternoon I go to bring bread from the auxiliary hospital at the Rey School. there, unexpectedly, I meet my great friend Grzegorz Fitelberg, the famous conductor. His wife is seriously wounded…she is dying.

“What are you doing here, Fit?”

“I am a stretcher-bearer.”

A stretcher-bearer has the heaviest work of all; it is day work and night work. It never ends, carrying wounded out of the ambulances or cars, on to the first or fourth floor–the auxiliary hospitals have no arrangements for taking stretchers in the elevator. Then down to the operating theater and back again, picking up people in the streets. Such is the task that Fitelberg, Poland’s greatest conductor, has undertaken. […]

Before the war, Marta Korwin Rhodes graduated from the Krakow Conservatory of Music and became a concert pianist. During World War II, she was director of one of the emergency hospitals established in Warsaw during the September 1939 siege. After the Germans defeated the Polish resistance, she fled to England where she served with free Polish forces until the end of the war. She wrote this book to help raise funds for the Polish fight for freedom. This books is highly recommended for its raw depiction of a city under siege, without water, food or electricity, but still firm in its courage and will to fight on against an evil regime.   

 

 

 

 

George S. Patton, Jr. on the birth of the specialist

Excerpt by George S. Patton, Jr. on the effects of the Great War on the military, republished in Cavalry and Tanks in Future Wars (Silver Spring: Dale Street books, 2017).

[…] Another feature resulting from the [Great] war, and which also has left its mark, is the evolution of the specialist.

His birth is the result of an unholy union between trench warfare and quick training. Fighting in trenches was more or less stereotyped; hence men apt at bombing, shooting rifle grenades, using automatic rifles, etc., had time and opportunity to ride their hobbies. Further, it was easier and quicker to make a good grenade-thrower than a good soldier. Time pressed, so one-sided men were evolved who knew little and cared less for anything but their one death-dealing stunt. But the evil did not stop here; these one-idea gentry could be more quickly produced by instructors of a like ilk. These instructors and their pupils assembled in schools, with the result that unit commanders did not train their men, did not learn to know them, leadership suffered, and as one drink leads to another, so the evil grew. The only way to fight such collections of specialists was to devise “set-piece” attacks, where each did his little stunt in his little way. This made necessary voluminous orders defining in detail the littlest operation, and in consequence taking all initiative from the fighting officers. All that was left to them was to set heroic examples; and this they did.

Now, so long as the specialists could ply their sundry trades behind the barrage and scavenge in the wake of the shells, they were efficient; but when they either lost the barrage or progressed beyond the range of the guns, they were lost. Untutored courage was useless in the face of educated bullets; so when the barrage was gone, officers and men felt naked and at a loss. They had no confidence in the rifle which they had never used; for confidence is the result of habit. Fire and movement, as taught by the Field Service Regulations, were forgotten or never learned.

Our own men, thanks to the genius of General Pershing, were less troubled by the specialist disease than were our allies; but, due to the lack of time, many of ours were not, and could not have been, well-rounded open-war soldiers. Now, the moral of this story of the specialist is this: the combat officer must be the combat instructor of his own men; not only must he know his own tactics, but he must know how to use the various instruments with which his unit is equipped to ply its trade, and he must know each better than any of his men. Further than this, he must have thought and practiced the use of his complicated instrument, so that it plays equally well under his hand the simple one-step of the set-piece attack or the complicated tango of the open-war fight. He must think, teach, and practice the tactics of his arm. […]