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Chapter XVI

Field Operations, Table of Contents

CHAPTER XVI

 THE FOURTH CORPS (89TH, 42D, 1ST, AND 3D DIVISIONS)

The Fourth Corps in the St. Mihiel operation, it will be recalled, comprised the 89th, 42d, and 1st Divisions in line, with the 3d Division in reserve. On September 6 the 89th Division held the entire Fourth Corps front line, with the 1st, 3d, and 42d Divisions in the back areas. The 1st Division was moved into the line, as the left division of the corps, on the nights, September 6-7 and 7-8, and the 42d Division on the night, September 10-11. The advance post of command of the corps was established in Menil-la-Tour, September 10. The 3d Division moved into the Foret de la Reine on the night of September 11-12, as corps reserve, and on September 12 moved up behind Beaumont Ridge, and continued to act as corps reserve.1

The corps attacked at 5 a. m., September 12, after an artillery preparation of four hours, which was followed by a rolling barrage which moved at the rate of 100 meters (109 yards) in four minutes up to include the hostile intermediate position (trench Bailly, trench Moulin-Maizerais, trench Euvezin). The corps attacked at H hour in spite of very unfavorable weather conditions. The first objective was reached at a mean time of 11 a. m. This pierced the enemy’s outpost position, broke through his position of resistance, and seized the heights of the Madine brook and heights southeast of Bouillonville. Orders were at once given to proceed to the first day’s objective as soon as the divisions were ready for the new phase of the operation. The first day’s objective, second phase, was the position: Eastern edge of Etang de Lambepinot—northern tip of woods north of Etang de Lambepinot (point 49.73)—Nonsard (inclusive)—Lamarche (exclusive)—southern tip of Bois de Thiaucourt—crossroads 700 meters southeast of Beney (point 08.155)—point 700 meters (763 yards) south of Xammes (point 255.265, point of junction, First Corps).1

During the afternoon of September 12 the enemy withdrew some of his troops through Vigneulles and points north, but his withdrawal was hampered to a great extent by the rapid advance of the Fourth Corps.

Field Order No. 21, Headquarters, Fourth Army Corps, issued at 4.30 p. m., September 12, directed that the advance to the first phase objective, second day, be made. The front line divisions also were ordered to assure the defense of the first day’s objective. The 1st and 89th Divisions continued to advance during the night of September 12-13. The 42d Division continued the advance at 6 a. m., September 13. To effect a junction with the Fifth Army Corps, the 1st Division was given a reserve of two battalions of the 42d Division and one brigade of the 3d Division. At 3.15 on the morning of September 13 the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, advanced, and between 8 and 10 a. m., September 13, occupied all routes leading north and east from Hat-


484

tonville and Vigneulles. Complete contact with the 26th Division, Fifth Corps, in the vicinity of Vigneulles, was obtained at about 9 a. m., September 13, by the provisional squadron, 2d Cavalry, and detachments, 2d Brigade, 1st Division. This contact completed the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient.1

The army objective, which was on the general line, Vieville (inclusive)—Hattonville (inclusive)—northern edge of Chaufour B.—Chateau St. Benoit—center of Bois de Dampvitoux—Xammes (inclusive), was reached at a mean time of 11 a. m. September 13.1

On September 15 the corps sector was held with two divisions in line, the 89th on the right and the 42d on the left. The 1st Division, in support, assembled in the area Bois de la Belle Oziere—Nonsard—Etang de Pannes; the 3d Division continued in reserve behind the Beaumont Ridge.1

Annex No. 4—F. O. No. 14. (Sept. 6, 1918)

IV. ARMY CORPS

PLAN OF COMMUNICATIONS, SUPPLY AND EVACUATION

Maps:         Mort Mare—1: 20000
                    Commercy—1: 80000
                    Chambley—1: 20000
                        5-6

PART I -Communications

1. Railroad and Light Railways:

(a) Standard gauge. Supplying the IV Army Corps:

Main line: Paris—Toul—Nancy. (Serves the railhead at Sorcy and Toul.)

Branch lines: (a) The Woevre line, an elbow of which branches at Pagny-sur-Meuse and touches at Trondes—Andilly and Villey-St. Etienne, with extensions as follows:

1. To the Foret-de-la-Reine. (Serves Army and Corps troops in Foret-de-la-Reine.)
2. To the vicinity of Avrainville.
3. To the Bois-de-Minorville.

* * * * * * *

(e) General instructions:

1. Divisions, the general commanding the corps artillery, and units of corps troops will make application daily before 4.00 p. m. to G-1, these headquarters, for transport desired by narrow gauge for the following day. The request will state kind of material to be transported, bulk in cubic yards, and point to which material is to be transported.

The following is the order of priority:

(a) Ammunition.
(b) Engineer material.
(c) Rations.
(d) Other supplies.

* * * * * * *

2. Roads.

(a) Corps axial road. Toul—Menil-la-Tour—Bernecourt—Flirey—Essey—Pannes—Beney—St. Benoit.

(b) Division axial roads.


485

1st Division

South to north — Pagny-sur-MeuseMon Forre—Charriere La-Belle—Raulecourt—Broussey—Rambucourt (by arrangement with commanding general 2d French Colonial Corps)—Beaumont—Seicheprey—St. Baussant—Essey—(western outskirts)—Pannes—Nonsard—Vigneulles.

North to south— Axial road to Broussey—Gironville—Jouy (by arrangement with commanding general 2d French Colonial Corps)—Cornieville Mon Forre—Boucq.

42d Division

South to north — Westof Toul—Lagney—Sanzey—Tuilerie—road south of Etang—Rome—Grange-en-Woevre Etang—road east of Etang Neuf-de-Mandres—Mandres—St. Dizier—Flirey—Essey (eastern outskirts)—Pannes (road to be constructed from Essey to Pannes parallel to main road)—Beney—St. Benoit.

North to south — Axial road to road junction at Grange-en-Woevre Etang—road south thru Bois-de-Boucq—thence east and south to road junction near Leonval—south thru Bois-le-Foncel—thence to road thru southern edge of Bois-de-Lagney—Croix Juree—Lagney.

89th Division

South to north — Corps axial road from east of Toul to Flirey—Limey—unimproved road along corps’s east boundary to center of Bois-D'Euvezin—Euvezin—point 246—Bouillionville—point 283—Xammes.

North to south — Same route.

3d Division

Corps road to area. When ordered forward will use axial road of the division in whose sector they move.

Axial roads will be marked by signboards bearing numerical designation of division.

The road Royaumeix—Minorville—Noviant—Limey is given to 1st Corps for axial road of 2d Division. This road may be used for evacuation of sick and wounded.

(c) Lateral roads. Euville—Vertuzey—Troussey—Pagny-sur-Meuse—Lay St. Remy—Foug—Toul; Cornieville—Boucq—Menil-le-Tour—Manoncourt; Bouconville—Beaumont—Limey.

Empty horse-drawn vehicles and horses will use the roads and tracks other than axial roads as far as possible.

(d) Army and corps. Will use the axial roads of the division nearest their line for supplies and evacuation.

(e) Road circulation:

1. The road system of the corps is divided into two zones:

(a) The corps zone covers all territory within the corps sector between the roads: Euville—Vertuzey—Troussey—Pagny-sur-Meuse—Lay St. Remy—Foug—Toul (inclusive). Cornieville—Boucq—Sanzey—Menil-le-Tour—Andilly (exclusive).

(b) Division zones include all territory within their respective sectors, north of Cornieville—Boucq—Sanzey—Menil-le-Tour—Andilly (inclusive).

(c) Regulations covering traffic within divisional zones will be prepared by divisions but must conform to G. H. Q. traffic regulations.

(d) Corps axial road is free for all vehicles both ways.

(e) The circulation maps for corps zone showing the corps and division axial roads will be furnished each division.

3. Traffic control:

(a) By the corps within the corps zone. By the divisions within their respective zones.


486

Railheads:

    Manoncourt, by 89th Division.
    Sorcy, by 1st Division.
    Toul, by 3d Division.

(b) Organization of traffic control.

In the A. C. and in each division, the P. M. and his assistants will supervise the whole service.

The control will be effected by stationary posts of dismounted police and patrols of mounted police.

The stationary posts will be placed on the principal crossroads and at the entrance of dumps. They must see that the rules concerning the direction of traffic are observed and prevent any blocks. They must prohibit access to roads which are temporarily shelled and direct the traffic to other routes previously determined. They must enforce a strict observance of the prescribed measures of safety when vehicles are obliged to pass through a portion of the road under bombardment.

In order to carry out the above, the head of each post will be given written orders prepared by the P. M. for the corps zone and by the A. P. M’s for the division zones. A copy of these orders will be sent to G-I IV A. C.

(c) Traffic regulations for D day.

Traffic on the axial roads of the 1st, 42d, and 89th Divisions:

    1. Those belonging to the division on its own road.
    2. Those of the Signal Corps.
    3. The ambulances.
    4. The staff cars.

Until H plus 8h (in order to hasten the repair of the axial roads) no traffic will be allowed on these roads from the line Bouconville—Beaumont—Limey (inclusive), save for vehicles for repair of roads, those of Signal Corps, ambulances, messengers, Artillery, and those carrying ammunition.

Upon capture of first day’s objective the responsibility for traffic control is as follows:

1. IV Corps will be responsible from present dividing line forward to a boundary which will be fixed from time to time in orders. This boundary will be Beaumont—Limey road, inclusive.

2. The 1st, 42d, and 89th Divisions will be responsible in their own area beyond the above boundary as far as the battle line.

(d) Stragglers.

Straggler post lines - Eachdivision in the front line will establish the following lines:

1st line, approximately 100 yards in rear of the line of regimental aid stations.

2d line, approximately 3 kilometers in rear of the first line.

Corps will establish a third line across corps area approximately 6 kilometers from the front.

(e) Instructions

1. The first two lines will cover all first-aid stations, roads, paths, and trails leading from the front, and no enlisted man will be permitted to pass to the rear without written authority, except the walking wounded. In case of walking wounded they will be required to bring with them their full equipment.

2. All posts will be instructed in the location of first aid stations, near-by headquarters, location of their divisional collections station, destination of roads, near-by water sources, and traffic regulations.

3. Each division will establish a collecting station for stragglers with an officer in charge whose duty is to return stragglers to their organizations. This station should be provided with water and some reserve rations.

4. The corps provost marshal will have charge of the 3d stragglers' line and of the 1st and 2d lines for purposes of coordination. He will also effect liaison with the corps on our right and left.

5. As the above progresses the straggler lines will be moved forward. In each case well-defined roads should be selected for the 3d line.


487

6. The posts and patrols of mounted police will arrest any man going to the rear without a pass signed by the C. O. of his unit or a medical officer, except as provided in Paragraph I. These passes shall be valid for one day only. They will indicate the object of the mission, its duration, and the itinerary to be followed by the bearer. Written orders to be delivered, the receipted envelope signed by the addressee, will be valid as a pass for the bearer. They will stop the sick and wounded and direct them to the proper field hospitals.

7. Civilians - The circulation of civilians will be strictly observed. It will be forbidden from 7 p. m. to 5 a. m. All the stationary posts, and patrols of mounted police, will be given orders to that effect.

* * * * * * *

PART V.—Evacuation of sick and wounded

MAPS: COMMERCY}          
                  NANCY}1 : 80000.
               WOEVRE}

1. Organization of sanitary units, etc.

Battalion aid stations, litter bearers, and regimental aid stations will be established by the various regimental surgeons, under direction of their respective division surgeons. In no case should a battalion or regimental aid station be located at the same place as the regimental P. C.

2. Sorting and advanced dressing stations (triage) will be established as follows:

        1st Division, Raulecourt.
        42d Division, Ansauville.
        89th Division, between Minorville and Royaumeix off road to northeast of the road about 1,400 meters S. W. of Minorville.
        3d Division.

These stations must be located off the main routes of traffic, in order to avoid congestion and blocking.

All cases go to the division triage, where they are given such preliminary treatment as is found to be needed and then will be distributed and evacuated, as per the table below and over the routes specified in that table.

The corps surgeon and division surgeon will notify their respective corps and division provost marshals of the location of their sanitary units as soon as it is possible to do so.

The divisional medical gas officer, psychiatrist, and orthopedist will take station at the triage. The medical gas officer will examine all gas or suspected gas cases and advise such preliminary treatment as is required, recommending the return to the front of such cases as he deems fit for duty, and to the rear such cases as he deems require hospitalization. The psychiatrist will examine all cases of shock or simulated shock or other nervous conditions, recommending their disposition as in the case of the gas cases. The orthopedist will examine fractures and joint injuries and will see that no cases are sent to the rear improperly splinted.

3. The sanitary units of the 3d Division will be held subject to the call of the corps surgeon for use where needed. If this division should reinforce the line, it will then use the sanitary organizations and system of evacuation and the triage laid down for the division it reinforces or relieves.

4. Divisional ambulance companies will be used as far forward of their triage as the military situation will permit and to evacuate their triage to both field and evacuation hospitals, but especially to the former, and in the case of the latter only to assist the evacuation ambulance companies. If additional transportation is needed, call will be made on the corps surgeon, who will have at his disposition the ambulance companies of the division in reserve and those of the corps, if the latter are then provided, or, if the conditions warrant it, the corps surgeon may use ambulance companies from any one division to help out another division under stress.


488

5. Chief surgeon of the divisions will be held responsible that all roads and hospitals, aid stations, etc., are plainly marked so as to facilitate ambulance traffic.

6. Wherever the narrow-gauge lines run in contact with any of the evacuation points, the corps surgeon will use returning empties to assist in evacuation. Effort will be made to locate the triage with this point in view, and, as far as practicable, in making forward locations of triages, this point must be considered by division surgeons and by the chief surgeon of the corps.

7. Cases will be evacuated as follows and over the routes indicated:


Type of cases and where evacuated


Routes of evacuation

A. Severely wounded.-All severe1y wounded of corps troops on the extreme left flank and of the left flank division will be evacuated to Mobile Hospital No. 39 at Aulnois sous Vertuzey, ˝ kilometer south of Aulnois, on the Aulnois—Vertuzey road.

For all other troops west of the Moselle River, to Evacuation Hospital No. 1, at Sebastopol; 5 kilometers north of Toul on the Toul—Menil-le-Tour road.

Evacuation Hospital No. 3, in the H. O. E. of the Justice group of barracks, just south of Toul, will receive the overflow from the above hospitals. A careful sorting must be effected at the divisional triage, so that these hospitals are not overwhelmed with slight cases or gas cases, necessitating a secondary evacuation to hospitals to which they should have been sent originally.

B. Slightly wounded.-Corps troops on the extreme left flank and the left flank division to Provisional Evacuation Hospital (F. H. No. 41) near Sorcy—Gare, 1˝ kilometers north of Sorcy on the Aulnois—Sorcy road. (The road to this hospital is a one-way road only. All other divisions of the IV Corps and the corps troops adjacent, to Evacuation Hospital No. 3 at Toul Justice.)

Evacuation Hospital No. 14, in the Perrin Brichambault section of the Justice group of barracks, just south of Toul, will receive the excess of slightly wounded of all divisions and corps troops, except the left division.

C. Gassed (for evacuation).-For all troops: To gas hospital at La Marche section of the Justice group of barracks, just outside of the city of Toul.

All gas cases which are not to be evacuated to be taken care of in field hospital which is equipped as a gas hospital.

D. Contagious, venereal and skin.—For all troops: To the contagious hospital of the Justice group of barracks just outside of the city of Toul.

E. Sick, nervous and shell concussion (for evacuation).-For all troops: Base Hospital No. 45, La Marche section of the Justice group of barracks, just outside the city of Toul, and Base Hospital No. 51, Fabvier, of the same group of barracks.

F. Nontransportable cases.-Will be taken care of in the field hospital designated by the division surgeon for that purpose.

G. Wounded prisoners, as far as it is possible to sort same, will be evacuated to Evacuation Hospital 1.

H. French wounded will be evacuated to Evacuation Hospital No. 14, Justice, Toul.

1st Division.-Raulecourt—S. E. fork—south—Rangeval—Cornieville—Aulnois. And if and when necessary to overflow to Evacuation Hospital No. 3, in Toul (Toul Justice) via Vertuzey—Troussey—Pagny-sur-Meuse—Lay St. Remy—Foug— Ecrouves—Toul.

42d Division - Ansauville—division axial road—Tuilerie—Boucq—Lagney—Bruley—Evacuation Hospital No. 1 (Sebastopol), crossing corps axial road just before reaching destination.

89th Division —Triage—Royaumeix—division axial road.

Sebastopol.

From Mobile Hospital 39, via Trondes Lay St. Remy—Foug—Ecrouves—Toul Justice. From Evacuation Hospital No. 1 to road east of Bruley—Toul Station—Toul Justice.

1st Division - Raulecourt—S. E. fork south— Rangeval—Cornieville—Aulnois—Vertuzey—Sorcy.

42dDivision — Ansauville—Tuilerie—Boucq—Lagney—Bruley—Toul.

89th Division — Royaumeix—Andilly—Menil-la-Tour—Toul Justice.

Trondes—Lay St. Remy—Foug— Ecrouves—Toul Justice (Evacuation Hospital No. 14).

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Division — Raulecourt—S. E. fork south—Rangeval—Cornieville—Troussey—Pagny-sur-Meuse—Lay St. Remy—Foug—Ecrouves—Toul Justice (gas hospital).

42d Division — Aunsauville—Tuilerie—Boucq— Trondes—Lay St. Remy—Foug—Ecrouves—Toul Justice.

89th Division.—Minorville road—Royaumeix—Menil-la-Tour (corps axial road) —Toul Justice.

Same as above.

 

8. Corps consultants attached to the office of the chief surgeon, IV Army Corps, will receive definite verbal instructions from the chief surgeon from time to time as the situation develops.

9. Evacuation of animals.

1. The corps will establish an advance collecting point at Menil-la-Tour.

2. Divisions will establish a central collecting point, where corps will send necessary personnel to secure animals to be evacuated.

3. Divisions having animals to be evacuated will make application to G-1 of the corps.

THE 89TH DIVISION

Prior to September 11, 1918, the 89th Division held the Lucey sector on a front of approximately 16 km. (9.9 miles) to the north of the Metz road from west of Bouconville to east of Limey. A small portion of the western end of the line was taken over by the French Second Colonial Corps, on the night of September 8-9. Some units on the position of resistance were relieved by the 1st Division on the nights of September 6-7 and 7-8, by units of the 2d Division on the nights of September 9-10 and 10-11, and by units of the 42d Division on the night of September 10-11. The advanced post positions were held, however, by the 89th Division of the night of September 11-12, when these were taken over west of Flirey by units of the 1st and 42d Divisions. The 2d Division was scheduled to relieve the outposts east of Limey on the night of September 11-12, but did not do so.2

The artillery preparation began at 1 a. m., September 12. H hour was 5 o'clock. On the right, the 177th Brigade of Infantry advanced in good order and on schedule time. At 11 a. m. the brigade was halted on a line designated as the objective of the first phase, the limit of the independent action of the


490

division, rectifying the position by a slight advance, where it remained until 4 p. m. The advance of the 178th Brigade was not so favorable, as it did not reach this line until 3 p. m.2

By dawn of September 13 the division was occupying substantially the army objective,2 having featured in the capture of Bois de Mort Mare, Bouillonville, Euvezin, Beney, and Xammes.3

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

Battalion surgeons advanced usually in the support lines, attempting to keep contact with the battalion commanding officers, and at various times collected the wounded at designated points where they were picked up by ambulances from the 353d Ambulance Company.4 Similarly, regimental surgeons established aid stations, but these did not function so actively as did those of the battalions.5 In smaller units, such as Machine Gun Battalions or field signal battalions, the Medical Department enlisted men were distributed among the several companies and the wounded were evacuated to the aid stations of the regiment to which the battalion was attached or near which it was operating.5 During this operation the removal of wounded to aid stations or collecting points was greatly facilitated by the fact that line companies furnished an adequate number of bearers, an expedient prohibited later in the Meuse-Argonne operation.6 Liaison between forward stations was maintained by runners, and between these and the dressing stations by telephone or by returning ambulances. It proved difficult at times to get word back and, when delivered, messages were sometimes distorted.6

AMBULANC COMPANIES

On September 13 four ambulances of Ambulance Company No. 353 got through to Bouillonville, where they overtook the regimental surgeons. The company headquarters moved to that point the same day and established a dressing station in an old German hospital; but on account of mud, bad roads across No Man’s Land, and congested traffic, it could not evacuate patients to the triage that night.4 Ambulances were therefore engaged in collecting the wounded from the forward area; these were cared for at an improvised hospital operated by the dressing station. Next day 4 ambulances carried 16 litter patients to Bernecourt, and by evening of the 14th this company had transported 600 cases.4 Ambulance Company No. 355 also moved forward to this point. The congested condition of roads greatly delayed evacuations, but for this there was no remedy. Ambulance Companies No. 354 and No. 356 were used to clear field hospitals. The former soon moved to Euvezin, Flirey, and Bouillonville and the latter to the vicinity of Manonville.4

FIELD HOSPITALS

When the divisional front was contracted in preparation for the offensive, Field Hospital No. 355, the divisional gas hospital, retaining its position near Royaumeix, was designated as the divisional triage.7 It operated in the latter


PLATE XX.


491

capacity until September 15, evacuating most of the cases it received direct to Evacuation Hospital No. 1 or to the base hospitals at Toul, and remaining in this location until it left the sector.7 Field Hospital No. 353, just outside of Andilly, was prepared to receive nontransportable cases, but none was sent to it there.7 It then took station at Bernecourt, moving later for one day to Flirey, after which it returned for station to Bernecourt.8 This unit was well equipped with an X-ray plant and other facilities for operations.9 Field Hospital No. 354, at first in reserve at Andilly, moved to Euvezin on September 14, when it received some 60 patients, using the church as a hospital ward.

FIG. 62.-Field Hospital No. 353, 89th Division, at Bernecourt, France, during the St. Mihiel operation.

On the afternoon of that same day it moved to a point 2.5 km. (1˝ miles) east of Euvezin, there operating the triage until the 19th, when it was placed in reserve.8 Field Hospital No. 356, originally in reserve at Andilly, moved to Bernecourt on the afternoon of September 12 and began to receive patients the same day. On September 19 it became the divisional triage and received an average of 119 cases daily during the remainder of its stay in this sector.8

When the lines became established, a detachment of Field Hospital No. 354 was detailed to the emergency hospital at Bouillonville, where emergency and nontransportable patients were received. At this point a degassing station was put into operation, and later a delousing and bathing plant. By these means the incidence of skin diseases and lice infestation was kept low until the division was relieved from the sector early in October.9


492

THE 42D DIVISION

On September 11 the 42d Division was assembled in the Foret de la Reine, with the exception of one battalion of the 83d Infantry Brigade and one battalion of the 84th Infantry Brigade, which had relieved battalions of the 89th Division on the night of September 10-11.10

On the night of September 11-12 the elements of the division moved up to the vicinity of their attack positions, the 83d and 84th Infantry Brigades each sending one company forward to relieve elements of the 89th Division in the front-line trenches.10

At 5 o’clock on the morning of September 12, after a four-hour artillery preparation, the division moved to the attack.10

Upon the arrival of the leading elements at the enemy’s first-line trenches, the artillery fire, which had been concentrated on these trenches from the time of the jumping off of the Infantry, started to roll forward at the rate of 100 meters (109 yards) in 4 minutes. The Infantry followed the barrage closely, and on the left experienced very little difficulty after breaking through the enemy’s first line of defense. On the right the enemy defense was more vigorous. However, this was shortly overcome and by 12 o’clock both the 83d and the 84th Infantry Brigades had reached the objective of the first phase, first day, and were advancing beyond it.10 The advance from this point was very rapid, and by 2.10 p. m., on September 12, both brigades had arrived on the first day’s objective. Late that afternoon orders were received directing an advance to the objective of the first phase, second day. However, because of impending darkness, the advance was not made to this objective until 6 o’clock the next morning.

At 10 a. m., September 13, both brigades had taken their portion of the first phase, second day’s objective, and were consolidating it. Shortly afterwards orders were issued to advance to the army objective. This merely consisted of advancing the left of the line, as the right was already resting upon this objective. No resistance was met in this operation.10

This division remained in the front lines on the St. Mihiel front until September 30, 1918, when, beginning on that date, it was relieved by the 89th Division and started moving to the vicinity of Souilly (Meuse).11

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

On September 10 the division surgeon’s office had reached Bruley and the field hospital section was assembled in Foret de la Reine.12 At zero hour, September 12, a dressing station was in operation at Hamonville, where reserves of all the ambulance companies were assembled.13 Other stations were later established at Pannes, Lamarche, and Beney. The divisional triage, operated by ambulance company personnel, was established at Ansauville, and two field hospitals (No. 166 and No. 168) prepared to receive patients.13 These formations occupied a large barn which lent itself readily to their purpose and afforded facilities for a receiving ward, shock and recovery wards, and operating room, etc.12 During the 24 hours following the attack, evacuation of the wounded was practically impossible because of the destruction of roads where


PLATE XXI


493

they crossed No Man’s Land, and the consequent blockade of traffic.13 At this time German prisoners were employed in numbers for the portage of the wounded, especially across No Man’s Land. Fortunately, casualties were few, but on the 13th, after the 42d had attained its objective in front of strong enemy positions, the number of wounded increased considerably.13 As the line moved forward, Field Hospitals No. 165 and No. 167 moved to Mandres, where they were held in reserve.12 On September 13 the ambulance companies opened a triage at Essey, through which, during the ensuing 24 hours, 584 cases were evacuated.14 The two field hospitals which had been located at Mandres (No. 165 and No. 167) moved up to Essey on the 14th to cooperate with the triage. Though not required to function as hospitals, they took charge of the shock and operating rooms of the triage, and thus the wounded received prompt and efficient surgical care within 10 kms. (6.2 miles) of the front.12 The hospitals at Ansauville (No. 166 and No. 168) were ordered to Beaumont on the 21st and there functioned until the 28th. Field Hospital No. 167 moved on September 26 to Nonsard.12

FIG. 63.-Dressing station operated by Ambulance Company No. 167, 42d Division, at Essey, France

Ambulance service was so organized at this time that each ambulance company evacuated casualties from the infantry regiment of corresponding number, detailing an officer and a sergeant to the regiment for liaison service. Similarly a liaison officer, assigned to the artillery as a whole, was charged with the duty of locating all its aid stations and arranging for evacuations


494

from them by cooperation with the ambulance companies evacuating the nearest Infantry regiments. Casualties from Machine Gun Battalions and smaller units were evacuated by the ambulance companies serving the Infantry to which they were attached. This proved to be an extremely satisfactory method. By maintaining constant communication between liaison officers and the ambulance company bases as well as the triage, accurate information was promptly available concerning conditions at the front, with the result that emergencies and rapid movements to and from the line were covered more readily than had been the case previously.14

In this division the medical supply unit was always established with the triage, and when conditions demanded, an auxiliary supply station was sent forward to the advance ambulance company dressing station. From the triage and the dressing station, supplies were carried forward by ambulances and litter bearers, respectively. As written or verbal requests from surgeons with the troops were promptly filled, it was seldom that an emergency arose which demanded a special trip by ambulance. Vehicles bringing patients to the rear returned to the front with supplies. The following is quoted from the medical history of the 42d Division:15

The difficulties to be met and overcome by the medical supply unit of a division are of a unique character. A fairly comprehensive idea of them may be formed if one will draw a mental picture of managing the only drug store in a city of 30,000 people, operating it day and night, and frequently, sometimes daily, changing its location. There are only eight clerks, for no more can be obtained, and transportation consists of two 3-ton trucks operating over congested roads. The community of which the unit forms a part is frequently bombed and shelled.

THE 1ST DIVISION

On September 6, 1918, the 1st Division commenced the relief of troops on the line of resistance in the western part of the sector held by the 89th Division. The relief was completed on the night of September 7-8. The post of command of the division was opened at Rangeval, 9 a. m., September 8. At this time the commanding general of the division assumed command of the new Beaumont sector, held by one battalion of the 89th Division on the line of surveillance and by the 1st Division with attached units on the line of resistance in the northern part of the Foret de la Reine.16

The division attacked at 5 a. m. September 12, passing through elements of the 89th Division on the line of surveillance. The division was the left flank division of the Fourth Corps and had the mission of covering its own advance as well as the advance of the divisions on its right.16

Despite very unfavorable weather conditions, all infantry of the division was in place at the jumping-off line, Seicheprey—Marvoisin, and attacked on time.16

The first objective was reached on time at a mean hour of 5.40 a. m. This objective, from east to west, was the southeast bank of the Rupt de Madt to Richecourt, thence a box inclosing Richecourt and the open ground on the northwest. Up to this point few casualties were suffered. These were mainly from artillery fire.16


495

The second objective was taken on time also, with few losses. This objective was an arbitrary line passing north of the enemy position northwest of the Rupt de Madt.16

The most serious resistance of the day was encountered between the second and third objectives at the southern edge of the Quart de Reserve. The enemy’s principal line of resistance was through this woods, and much opposition was encountered here.16

The third objective was reached between 9.30 and 10 a. m. The division’s third objective was the first phase of the first day’s objective, as prescribed by Fourth Corps orders, and passed through the northern edge of the Bois Rate.16

The Infantry went forward at 11 a. m. and took the first day’s objective at about 12.30 p. m. This objective was the defensive position marked by the towns of Lamarche—Nonsard, and included the occupation of a defensive left flank running from Nonsard south to a junction with troops of the French Second Colonial Corps at the Bois de Gargantua. This position also was taken without serious losses, and consolidation was begun.16

At 5.45 p. m., September 12, the infantry advance was resumed, and at 7.45 p. m. the objective bounded by the Decauville railroad was reached. At 10 p. m. on September 12 one company of the 28th Infantry was astride the Vigneulles—St. Benoit road, with its left protected by the 16th Infantry and its right protected by the 26th Infantry.16

During the night of September 12-13 exploitation by the division was continued. To insure the safety of the rapid exploitation to the north, in an endeavor to effect a junction with the Fifth Army Corps, the division was given, as reserve, two battalions of the 42d Division, which were ordered to be in the vicinity of Lamarche by 4 a. m. September 13. The division also was given one regiment (eventually one brigade) of the 3d Division as division reserve. On the arrival of the troops of the 3d Division the two battalions of the 42d Division were released from the reserve of the 1st Division.16

Thus reinforced, the 1st Division extended its left flank, whose protection was assured by the 1st Infantry Brigade. The 2d Infantry Brigade advanced in force at 3.15 a. m., September 13, and occupied all routes leading north and east from Hattonville and Vigneulles between 8 and 10 a. m. the same day. Complete contact with the 26th Division, Fifth Army Corps, inthe vicinity of Vigneulles, was obtained at about 9 a. m. September 13, when the provisional squadron, 2d Cavalry, passed through that town for further exploitation. At noon, September 13, the division post of command was established at Nonsard.16

The division was then regrouped in the vicinity of Nonsard, September 14, where it remained in reserve of the Fourth Corps until September 20, 1918.16

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

Litter-bearer details from the ambulance companies were attached to the several regiments, and battalion and regimental aid stations were established


496

in close liaison with the regimental headquarters of the organizations they served.17 Battalion medical personnel established aid stations as close to the lines as possible, and all such stations moved forward with the advance.17

AMBULANCE COMPANIES

Dressing stations were established on September 11 at Beaumont by Ambulance Company No. 12 and at Rambucourt by Ambulance Company No. 13, but these organizations moved forward so rapidly that they held one location only a short time during the day.18 At 9 a. m. Ambulance Company No. 12 moved to Richecourt and then to Nonsard, where it remained until the 20th. Ambulance Company No. 13 also moved on the afternoon of the 12th to Nonsard, where two regimental stations were operating.19 Ambulance Company No. 2 took station at Xivray et Marvoisin, while Ambulance Company No. 3 located its station first at La Hayville but later—September 13—advanced it to Lamarche.19 On account of the congested and obstructed condition of the roads, which delayed evacuation to hospitals, a dressing station with extra supplies for a large number of wounded was established at St. Baussant, to operate until the roads could be opened.20 Dressing stations were kept very close to the front during the advance, often ahead of regimental aid stations. The wounded, collected by advancing battalion personnel, were quickly located by dressing station parties, given emergency treatment, and taken to the rear by any means of transport available. As several hours’ work was necessary before the engineers were able to repair the impassable roads across No Man’s Land, patients were at first carried by litter-bearer detachments to the dressing stations and hospitals, and later by German prisoners.19 After several hours a few ambulances worked their way across and patients were carried by them to the break in the road. Thence they were carried by litter to a point where they could be placed in ambulances operating between that point and the triage.19 On the 12th of September, particularly, roads across No Man’s Land were crowded with delayed traffic and but few vehicles got across. Among these, however, were a few Ford ambulances, which were thus made available for a front circuit.19

FIELD HOSPITALS

All the field hospitals took station at Raulecourt September 6. Field Hospital No. 3 pitched tentage and operated the triage and cared for the slightly wounded. Field Hospital No. 12 and Mobile Surgical Unit No. 2 cared for the seriously wounded. The medical supply unit, located at the same place, which forwarded matériel (especially litters) to points close to the firing line. Field Hospitals No. 2 and No. 13 were in reserve.19 On the 13th, Field Hospital No. 2 advanced to Richecourt, remaining there until September 20, and caring for the divisional sick.19 Field Hospital No. 13, moving on this date toward Nonsard, was delayed by a damaged bridge across Rupt de Madt. By the time the damage was repaired the hospital was no longer needed at Nonsard and it therefore remained in reserve.20


PLATE XXII


497

Evacuations from the triage were made as follows: Nontransportables to Field Hospital No. 12, at Raulecourt; severely wounded to Mobile Hospital No. 39, at Aulnois (9 km. (5.5 miles) distant); slightly wounded to Field Hospital No. 41 (a provisional evacuation hospital), at Sorcy Gare, 12 km. (7.4 miles) distant, and gassed patients to the appropriate hospital of Justice group, at Toul, 20 km. (12.4 miles) away.19 From September 23 to October 1 no divisional hospitals were established, the sick being evacuated direct to evacuation hospitals.21 Unsuccessful efforts were made to obtain authority to utilize for evacuation purposes the narrow-gauge railroad between Raulecourt and Aulnois.22

After withdrawal of the division from the line the sanitary train was encamped in the vicinity of Nubecourt until September 27, moving on that date to the vicinity of Julvecourt. There it remained during the two days prior to the entrance of the division into the lines near Charpentry.20

REFERENCES

(1) Operations report, Fourth Army Corps, St. Mihiel operations.

(2) Operations report, 89th Division, St. Mihiel operation.

(3) Outlines of Histories of Divisions, U. S. Army, 1917-1919, prepared in the Historical Section, the Army War College.  On file, Historical Section, the Army War College, 1700, (42d Division).

(4) Report of Medical Department activities, 89th Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon (undated), 21. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(5) Ibid., 10.

(6) Ibid., l1.

(7) Ibid., 20.

(8) Ibid., 22.

(9) Ibid., 23.

(10) Operations report, 42d Division, St. Mihiel operation.

(11) Outlines of Histories of Divisions, U. S. Army, 1917-1919, prepared in the Historical Section, the Army War College. On file, Historical Section, the Army War College, 1700, (42d Division).

(12) Report of Medical Department activities, 42d Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon (undated). Part I, 79. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(13) Ibid., Part I, 55.

(14) Ibid., Part I, 56.

(15) Ibid., Part I, 107.

(16) Operation report, 1st Division, St. Mihiel operation.

(17) Report of Medical Department activities, 1st Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon (undated). Part II, 33. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(18) Ibid., Part I, 58.

(19) Ibid., Part I, 59.

(20) Ibid., Part I, 32.

(21) Ibid., Part II, 37.

(22) Ibid., Part I, 31.