that entire First Corps with its corps troops and some 32,000 auxiliaries were to have been shipped by end of November, and that an additional program for December, January, and February contemplates that the shipment of the Second Corps with its corps troops and other auxiliaries should be practically completed by the end of February. Should such a program be carried out as per schedule and should shipments continue at corresponding rate, it would not succeed in placing even three complete corps, with proper proportion of Army troops and auxiliaries, in France by the end of May. The actual facts are that shipments are not even keeping up to that schedule. It is now the middle of December and the First Corps is still incomplete by over two entire divisions * and many corps troops. It can not be too emphatically declared that we should be prepared to take the field with at least four corps by June 30. In view of past performances with tonnage heretofore available such a project is impossible of fulfillment, but only by most strenuous attempts to attain such a result will we be in a position to take a proper part in operations in 1918. In view of fact that as the number of our troops here increases a correspondingly greater amount of tonnage must be provided for their supply, and also in view of the slow rate of shipment with tonnage now available, it is of the most urgent importance that more tonnage should be obtained at once as already recommended in my cables and by Gen. Bliss.
3. During January, 1918, discussions were held with the British authorities that resulted in an agreement, which became known as the six-division plan and which provided for the transportation of six entire divisions in British tonnage, without interference with our own shipping program. High commanders, staff, infantry, and auxiliary troops were to be given experience with British divisions, beginning with battalions, the artillery to be trained under American direction, using French materiel. It was agreed that when sufficiently trained these battalions were to be re-formed into regiments and that when the artillery was fully trained all of the units comprising each division were to be united for service under their own officers. It was planned that the period of training with the British should cover about 10 weeks. To supervise the administration and training of these divisions the Second Corps staff was organized February 20, 1918.
In the latter part of January joint note No. 12, presented by the Military Representatives with the Supreme War Council was approved by the Council. This note concluded that France would be safe during 1918 only under certain conditions, namely:
(a) That the strength of the British and French troops in France is continuously kept up to their present total strength and that they receive the expected reinforcements of not less than two American divisions per month.
4. The first German offensive of 1918, beginning March 21, overran all resistance during the initial period of the attack. Within eight days the enemy had completely crossed the old Somme battlefield and had swept everything before him to a depth of some 56 kilometers. For a few days the loss of the railroad center of Amiens appeared imminent. The offensive made such inroads upon French and British reserves that defeat stared them in the face unless the new American troops should prove more immediately available than even the most optimistic had dared to hope. On March 27 the Military Representatives with the Supreme War Council prepared their joint note No. 18. This note repeated the previously quoted statement from joint note No. 12, and continued:
The battle which is developing at the present moment in France and which can extend to the other theaters of operations, may very quickly place the Allied Armies in a serious situation from the point of view of effectives, and the Military Representatives are from this moment of opinion that the above-detailed condition (see (a) par. 3) can no longer be maintained, and they
The First, Forty-second, and Twenty-sixth Division had arrived; but not the Replacement and the Depot Division.
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