The following summary of America’s participation in the World War was compiled from data prepared by Colonel Leonard P. Ayres, Chief of the Statistics Branch of the General Staff. Before becoming a member of the General Staff, Colonel Ayres was director of the Departments of Education and Statistics of the Russell Sage Foundation.
1. The number of men serving in the armed forces of the Nation during the war was 4,800,000, of whom 4,000,000 served in the Army.
2. The British sent more men to France in their first year of war than we did in our first year, but it took England three years to reach a strength of 2,000,000 men in France, and the United States accomplished it in one-half of that time.
3. Of every 100 men who served, 10 were National Guardsmen, 13 were Regulars, and 77 were in the National Army (or would have been if the services had not been consolidated).
4. Of the 54,000,000 males in the population, 26,000,000 were registered in the draft or were already in service.
5. In the physical examinations the States of the Middle West made the best showing. Country boys did better than city boys; whites better than colored; and native born better than foreign born.
6. There were 200,000 Army officers. Of every six officers, one had previous military training with troops, three were graduates of officers’ training camps, and two came directly from civil life.
1. The average American soldier who fought in France had six months of training here, two months overseas before entering the line, and one month in a quiet sector before going into battle.
2. Most soldiers received their training in infantry divisions which are our typical combat units and consist of about 1,000 officers and 27,000 men.
3. Forty-two divisions were sent to France.
4. More than two-thirds of our line officers were graduates of the officers’ training camps.
5. France and England sent to the United States nearly 800 specially skilled officers and noncommissioned officers who rendered most important aid as instructors in our training camps.
1. The problems of feeding and clothing the Army were difficult because of the immense quantities involved rather than because of the difficulty of manufacturing the articles needed.
2. Requirements for some kinds of clothing for the Army were more than twice as great as the prewar total American production of the same articles.
3. To secure the articles needed for the Army the Government had to commandeer all the wool and some other staple articles in the United States and control production through all its stages.
4. The distribution of supplies in the expeditionary forces required the creation of an organization called the Services of Supply, to which one-fourth of all the troops who went overseas were assigned.
5. American Engineers built in France 83 new ship berths, 1,000 miles of standard-gauge track, and 538 miles of narrow-gauge track.
6. The Signal Corps strung in France 100,000 miles of telephone and telegraph wire.
7. Prior to the armistice 40,000 trucks were shipped to the forces in France.
8. Construction projects in the United States cost twice as much as the Panama Canal, and construction overseas was on nearly as large a scale.
9. The Army in France always had enough food and clothing.
1. The total production of Springfield and Enfield rifles up to the signing of the armistice was over 2,500,000.
2. The use of machine guns on a large scale is a development of the World War. In the American Army the allowance in 1912 was four machine guns per regiment. Army plans now provide for an equipment of 336 guns per regiment, or eighty-four times as many.
3. The entire number of American machine guns produced to the end of 1918 was 227,000.
4. During the war the Browning automatic rifle and the Browning machine gun were developed, put into quantity production, and used in large numbers in the final battles in France.
5. The Browning machine guns are believed to be more effective than the corresponding weapon used in any other army.
6. American production of rifle ammunition amounted to approximately 3,500,000,000, of which 1,500,000,000 were shipped overseas.
1. When war was declared the United States had sufficient light artillery to equip an army of 500,000 men, and shortly found itself confronted with the problem of preparing to equip 5,000,000 men.
2. To meet the situation it was decided in June, 1917, to allot our guns to training purposes and to equip our forces in France with artillery conforming to the French and British standard calibers.
3. It was arranged that we should purchase from the French and British the artillery needed for our first divisions and ship them in return equivalent amounts of steel, copper, and other raw materials so that they could either manufacture guns for us in their own factories or give us guns out of their stocks and replace them by new ones made from our materials.
4. Up to the end of April, 1919, the number of complete artillery units produced in American plants was more than 3,000, or equal to all those purchased from the French and British during the war.
5. The number of rounds of complete artillery ammunition produced in American plants was in excess of 20,000,000, as compared with 9,000,000 rounds secured from the French and British.
1. On the declaration of war the United States had 55 training airplanes, of which 51 were classified as obsolete and the other 4 as obsolescent.
2. When we entered the war the Allies made the designs of their planes available to us and before the end of hostilities furnished us from their own manufacture 3,800 service planes.
3. Aviation training schools in the United States graduated 8,602 men from elementary courses and 4,028 from advanced courses. More than 5,000 pilots and observers were sent overseas.
4. The total personnel of the Air Service, officers, students, and enlisted men, increased from 1,200 at the outbreak of the war to nearly 200,000 at its close.
5. There were produced in the United States to November 30, 1918, more than 8,000 training planes and more than 16,000 training engines.
6. The De Haviland-4 observation and day bombing plane was the only plane the United States put into quantity production. Before the signing of the armistice 3,227 had been completed and 1,885 shipped overseas. The plane was successfully used at the front for three months.
7. The production of the 12-cylinder Liberty engine was America’s chief contribution to aviation. Before the armistice 13,574 had been completed, 4,435 shipped to the expeditionary forces, and 1,025 delivered to the Allies.
1. Two out of every three American soldiers who reached France took part in battle The number who reached France was 2,084,000 and of these 1,390,000 saw active service at the front.
2. Of the 42 divisions that reached France 29 took part in active combat service. Seven of them were Regular Army divisions, 11
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