Such extensive priority had already been given to the transport of American infantry and machine gunners that the troops of those categories which had received even partial training in the United States were practically exhausted. Moreover, the strain on our Services of Supply made it essential that early relief be afforded by increasing its personnel. At the same time, the corresponding services of our Allies had in certain departments been equally overtaxed and their responsible heads were urgent in their representations that their needs must be relieved by bringing over American specialists. The final agreement was cabled to the War Department on June 5, as follows:
The following agreement has been concluded between Gen Foch, Lord Milner, and myself with reference to the transportation of American troops in the months of June and July:
“The following recommendations are made on the assumption that at least 250,000 men can be transported in each of the months of June and July by the employment of combined British and American tonnage. We recommend:
“(a) For the month of June: (1) Absolute priority shall be given to the transportation of 170,000 combatant troops (viz, six divisions without artillery, ammunition trains, or supply trains, amounting to 126,000 men and 44,000 replacements for combat troops); (2) 25,400 men for the service of the railways, of which 13,400 have been asked for by the French Minister of Transportation: (3) the balance to be troops of categories to be determined by the Commander-in-Chief, American Expeditionary Forces.
“(b) For the month of July: (1) Absolute priority for the shipment of 140,000 combatant troops of the nature defined above (four divisions minus artillery ‘et cetera’ amounting to 84,000 men, plus 56,000 replacement); (2) the balance of the 250,000 to consist of troops to be designated by the Commander-in-Chief, American Expeditionary Forces.
“(c) It is agreed that if the available tonnage in either month allows of the transportation of a larger number of men than 250,000, the excess tonnage will be employed in the transportation of combat troops as defined above.
“(d) We recognize that the combatant troops to be dispatched in July may have to include troops which have had insufficient training, but we consider the present emergency is such as to justify a temporary and exceptional departure by the United States from sound principles of training, especially as a similar course is being followed by France and Great Britain.
9. The various proposals during these conferences regarding priority of shipment, often very insistent, raised questions that were not only most difficult but most delicate. On the one hand, there was a critical situation which must be met by immediate action, while, on the other hand, any priority accorded a particular arm necessarily postponed the formation of a distinctive American fighting force and the means to supply it. Such a force was, in my opinion, absolutely necessary to win the war. A few of the Allied representatives became convinced that the American Services of Supply should not be neglected but should be developed in the common interest. The success of our divisions during May and June demonstrated fully that it was not necessary to draft Americans under foreign flags in order to utilize American manhood most effectively.
10. When, on March 21, 1918, the German Army on the western front began its series of offensives, it was by far the most formidable force the world had ever seen. In fighting men and guns it had a great superiority, but this was of less importance than the advantage in