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Chapter XXXV

Field Operations, Table of Contents

SECTION V

OPERATIONS CONTEMPORANEOUS WITH THE MEUSE-ARGONNE OPERATION


CHAPTER XXXV

THE SECOND ARMY

During the activities which were taking place west of the Meuse, other operations had been in progress farther east which were acquiring greater importance. The front had become so extended and the objective so diverse that a single army could no longer handle the situation, and the Second Army had been organized. This army, under General Bullard, established headquarters on October 12, and took over the front from Fresne-en-Woevre to the Seille River, east of Pont-a-Mousson. This line ran from Port-sur-Seille near Clemery to Pont-a-Mousson, down the river to Vandieres, thence by Lachaussee Lake and Doncourt to Fresne-en-Woevre. The line in question was about the same as that held by the American Army at the end of the St. Mihiel operation; when taken over by the Second Army it was occupied by the American Fourth and the French Second Colonial Corps. The Sixth Corps was also assigned to that army, but as yet it consisted of headquarters only, no troops having been assigned to it. On the right, the Second Army connected with the French Eighth Army; on the left, with the American First Army.

The new army had first to perfect its own organization, meanwhile occupying and defending the assigned zone; later, to prepare for offensive action.

The right of the army was astride the Moselle, which here runs generally north through Metz and Thionville. Its valley is about 2 km. (1.2 miles) wide. The bank of each side rises into a series of ridges, well suited to defensive positions. Along these heights, west and southwest of Metz, are the permanent forts forming part of the chain of defenses of the city. In front of our sector of the lines were woods, favorable to defense. On the left, the country was more open and more favorable for offensive operations.

The enemy’s withdrawal position, known as the Michel position, along this front had been laid out some two years before, but very little was actually done upon it until now. It was well wired, and recently the enemy had improved the trenches. Behind it were the works of the Metz defenses.

aFor convenience of description it has been decided to cover here the period from the organization of the Second Army, October 12, 1918, until the armistice, November 11, 1918; it should be noted, however, that this advance, which was in the direction of Briey Iron Basin, took place only during the last three days of hostilities. The 79th Division, attached to the French Second Colonial Corps, was a part of the Second Army from October 12 to 23. Its activities have been described in Chapter XXXIII.
bAbstracted from: Major Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, 1917-18, prepared in the Historical Section, the Army War College.


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Metz was strongly fortified, being entirely surrounded by a chain of permanent forts mounting heavy long-range guns. About the forts some work had been done in the nature of temporary fortifications. It was commonly assumed that, in the withdrawal of the German Army, Metz would serve as a pivot, the line running generally north from there.

The enemy line being now in motion, and hotly engaged throughout, a blow at the pivot itself should be decisive. To direct a frontal attack at Metz, however, would have meant unnecessary losses, for the advance of the First Army made it possible to direct an attack eastward, north of the city. At the same time, the French could launch one northward, east of the Seille. This was the plan of operations contemplated.

On October 23 the American Sixth Corps entered the line, taking over the right section on the Moselle.

On November 1 orders were issued, giving instructions as to the course to be followed in case of a withdrawal by the enemy. These orders were based upon the assumption that the withdrawal would be to the northeast and east, holding as a pivot the outer defenses of Metz, along the line between Amanviller, Ancy-sur-Moselle, and Verny. They provided for an advance by the left corps in the direction of Conflans, conforming to the movements of the First Army; by the center corps in the direction of Vionville, keeping touch both ways; the right corps was to remain in position and to send forward strong reconnaissances to maintain contact.

On November 6, preparations for a withdrawal having been observed, the army commander decided to "develop the situation by a reconnaissance in force," which was to seize and hold a portion of the enemy main line of defense. It was believed that this action would definitely determine the enemy’s intentions, and clear up the question as to the point on which he proposed to pivot.

This mission was assigned to the Fourth Corps, in the center. The attack was to be made down the Rupt de Mad; a line through Charey and the north edge of the Bois de Grand Fontaine was to be taken and held, and reconnaissance pushed to the Chambley railway. The flank corps were to make raids and artillery demonstrations during the operation. While preparations for this were under way, it was discovered that the enemy, disorganized, was withdrawing along the entire front; and the Second Army ordered an attack at 7 a. m. November 10. The Sixth Corps was to push forward west of the Seille River, along the heights on both banks of the Moselle, its left boundary being the line from Preny to Gorze. The direction for the center corps was Vionville; its left boundary, the line Jonville—Jarny. The French Seventeenth Corps, on the left, was to attack toward Conflans, its left following the line Fresnes—Parfondrupt—Lantefontaine. On account of the wide front occupied, the army did not possess sufficient strength to make a general attack along the whole line; therefore, the action was begun by vigorous attacks at selected points, which did not, in fact, develop beyond local operations because of the cessation of hostilities. The total advance was from 1.5 to 3.5 km. (0.9-2.1 miles) along the whole line.


PLATE L


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MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

The medical staff authorized by our Tables of Organization for an army consisted of 4 officers, 3 noncommissioned officers, and 8 other enlisted men.1 This proved quite inadequate, and the commissioned Medical Department personnel at army headquarters consisted in point of fact of many more officers organized by the army surgeon into several administrative sections, which were under his immediate jurisdiction.2

When the Second Army was organized, certain units which have been mentioned in the discussion of the Medical Department activities in the second phase of the Meuse-Argonne operation were transferred to it from the First Army; these were the following:2

Sebastopol, Evacuation Hospital No. 1; Provisional Evacuation Ambulance Company No. 1.
Baccarat, Evacuation Hospital No. 2.
Royaumeix, Evacuation Hospital No. 12; Evacuation Ambulance Company No. 4; Field Hospital No. 117.
Rosieres-en-Haye, Mobile Hospital No. 3.
Aulnois-sous-Vertuzey, Mobile Hospital No. 39.

The following units, though technically under command of the chief surgeon, Services of Supply, were in effect and de facto virtually under the control of an army surgeon. Such jurisdiction over them as he possessed was transferred by the army surgeon, First Army, to the surgeon of the Second Army, when the latter was authorized.

Toul, Evacuation Hospital No. 13; Base Hospitals, Nos. 45, 51, 55, 78, 82, and 87; Neurologic Unit No. 2; gas hospital; contagious disease hospital; medical supply park.

Additional units as follows were assigned to the Second Army:3

Verdun, Evacuation Hospital No. 15.
St. Mihiel, Evacuation Hospital No. 18.
Bernecourt, Mobile Hospital No. 7.
Motorized section, 115th Sanitary Train.
Evacuation Ambulance Companies Nos. 7, 32, 33, 68, 69, 70, and 71.
United States Army Ambulance Sections No. 570 and No. 600.
Field Hospital No. 39, 6th Division.
Ambulance Company No. 39, 6th Division.

The following is extracted from an order issued concerning the plan of communications, evacuation, supply and salvage:

Annex No. 6 to F. O. No. 13.                                                  HEADQUARTERS SECONDARMY,
                                                                                                                        November 7, 1918.

I. Evacuation of sick and wounded.

A. Sixth Corps sector and all troops therein:

Seriously wounded: Mobile Hospital No. 3, near Rosieres.
Slightly wounded: Evacuation Hospital No. 1; Sebastopol, 5 km. north of Toul.
Gassed: Base Hospital No. 87, Justice group, at Toul.
Psychiatric cases: Base Hospital No. 87, Justice group, at Toul.
Contagious cases: Contagious hospital, Justice group, at Toul.
Normal sick: Any base hospital of Justice group.


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B. Fourth Corps sector and all troops therein:

Seriously wounded: Mobile Hospital No. 39, between Heudicourt and Chaillon.
Slightly wounded: Evacuation Hospital No. 12, near Royaumeix; Evacuation Hospital No. 1, Sebastopol, 5 km. north of Toul.
Gassed: Evacuation Hospital No. 12, near Royaumeix; Base Hospital No. 87, Justice group.
Psychiatric cases: Base Hospital No. 87, Justice group, Toul.
Contagious diseases: Contagious Hospital, Justice Group at Toul.
Normal sick: Evacuation Hospital No. 12, near Royaumeix.

C. French Seventeenth Colonial Corps:

Seriously wounded: Mobile Hospital No. 39, between Heudicourt and Chaillon.
Slightly wounded, gassed, psychiatric cases, contagious diseases, normal sick:

Evacuation Hospital No. 13, at Caserne Oudinot, Commercy.

II. Evacuation of animals.

6th Corps, Belleville.
4th Corps, Bernecourt.
33d Division, Woinville

* * * * * * *

The hospitalization problem of the Second Army differed from that of the First Army in that in the former the base hospitals at Toul were within ambulance distance of the lines. At the time of the armistice the hospitals forming the Justice Groupe at Toul had a capacity of 17,000 beds. In addition to the Justice Groupe, a base hospital was established at Commercy, with a capacity of about 5,000 beds. Another was established at Lerouville, while arrangements had been made for taking over French hospitals at Nancy which would have afforded about 15,000 beds. Therefore, in future operations, had they occurred, the area of the Second Army could have been supplied with about 35,000 base hospital beds to which ambulance evacuations could have been made without the use of hospital trains.4

Neurological Hospital No. 3 was established at Varvinay, an advanced position within 4 km. (2.4 miles) of Mobile Hospital No. 39, which modified the evacuation order previously issued.5

The plan of hospitalization, evacuation, and supply in operation at the time of the armistice provided for an advanced office of the army chief surgeon at Bernecourt, where the officer in charge of hospitalization was posted, as also were the evacuation officer in control of a pool of all motor ambulances available and an advance medical supply depot. Liaison was established with the corps and divisions, with evacuation and mobile hospitals, with the base hospital group at Toul, and with the hospitals at Commercy and Nancy. The situation required constant supervision of hospitalization in order so to direct the flow of patients as to prevent congestion and to hasten evacuation, and the provision of advanced sites for the mobile and evacuation hospitals to keep pace with any advance of the troops. Casualties during the last few days of the operations were comparatively few and were not enough to severely tax the sanitary units engaged in hospitalization and transportation.5

Within the Second Army area were many miles of a 60-cm. light railway. A plan was made for the utilization of this system which it was thought might be of service, especially during periods of relative inactivity, but the result


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was unsatisfactory, as the closed cars available were top-heavy and often jumped the tracks. Open cars were then employed, equipped with upright posts and chains or straps for the support of litters, the extra equipment being carried on each car. At the time of the Second Army operation 2 trains of 7 cars each were placed at the disposal of the chief surgeon. The agreement for the use of light railways was as follows:6

1. Light railways will be employed in evacuation of sick and wounded from points on railway lines in forward areas directly to evacuation hospitals.

2. During active operations all empty rolling equipment returning from forward areas will be available for this purpose except that required for movement of troops, matériel, or ammunition service. During quiet periods a special hospital train will be at the disposal of Medical Department at all times. An operator from light railway service will be stationed at each clearing station and will be connected by telephone with the office of the light railway train dispatcher. Requests for transportation of sick and wounded will not be transmitted to G-4 of the army, but the requirements of Medical Department will be met without delay. Trains of wounded will have precedence over all traffic except ammunition, troops, and material destined for the front.

3. When practicable, light railway sidings will be installed at evacuation hospitals upon request of the chief surgeon of the army.

4. Corps and division surgeons will take into consideration the location of both light railways and roads in selecting triage or sorting stations.

5. The Medical Department will provide all necessary personnel for loading and unloading the sick and wounded and for their care en route.

6. Medical equipment necessary for hospital trains will be provided by the Medical Department.

All Medical Department transportation was supervised, distributed, and administered by a medical officer in the office of the army chief surgeon. Ambulance companies and evacuation ambulance companies were assigned to evacuation hospitals and to the Fourth and Sixth Corps.

The general plan of evacuation within the army area was the normal one of evacuation to divisional hospitals by divisional sanitary trains. Corps ambulances supplemented by army reserve ambulances transported patients from divisional hospitals to evacuation and mobile hospitals, or to base hospitals acting as evacuation hospitals. A central pool of ambulances under direction of officers detailed from the army surgeon’s office was in readiness to supplement the activities of other ambulances and to provide evacuation as needed by evacuation and mobile hospitals.7

Our Tables of Organization for a field army did not provide for a medical officer to supervise the service of the army troops, exclusive of the army Artillery. The multitude of army troops scattered throughout an army area and frequently changing station were without the control of corps or divisions, and so required a medical officer specifically detailed to supervise their medical and sanitary service. Provision of medical and ambulance service for these miscellaneous troops, who were widely distributed over the army area and in the interstices between divisions, was one of the most difficult problems encountered by the chief surgeon of the Second Army. The following plan was adopted and an officer was assigned to its execution:8

1. The region occupied by army troops, 2d Army, will be divided into definite areas, in each of which an ambulance station will be established.


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2. From these ambulance stations daily rounds will be made covering the camps of all troops within the area.

3. These stations will be designated by the chief surgeon, 2d Army, and changes will be made by him in their locations and the area covered as variations in the concentration and positions of the troops may require.

4. The senior medical officer at the ambulance station will provide a medical officer to accompany the ambulance on its rounds and will furnish him with such medical supplies as may be necessary. He will likewise arrange and regulate the proper handling of emergency calls. Lack of ambulances and the need for economy in their use require that the emergency in each case be a real one.

5. Ambulances on their rounds will be accompanied by a medical officer. In addition to the evacuation of the sick from organizations provided with a medical officer, the ambulance surgeon will take sick calls for any organizations not so provided.

6. Ambulances for this service will be detailed under direction of the chief surgeon, 2d Army. The commanding officer of the ambulance company from which the ambulances are drawn will retain technical control of this transportation, see that proper supplies are provided and repairs made. He will replace and change ambulances on duty at various stations as may be necessary to keep them in proper running order.

7. The commanding officer or surgeon of any unit of army troops to which this service is not extended shall communicate directly with the chief surgeon’s office, 2d Army, in order that proper arrangements can be made.

Special directions were given to medical officers furnishing this attendance, and reports of their activities were required. To supplement this method of meeting the situation, instructions were issued to corps and division surgeons to furnish medical attendance and ambulance service to all army organizations stationed within their areas.

The plan mentioned of ambulance rounds covering certain areas, with daily visits by the medical officers in charge, gave satisfactory results. It should be understood in this connection that most of the army troops were divided into small units which rendered it impossible to attach Medical Department personnel to each of them. Frequent changes of station, and, in many cases their isolated location, still further complicated the situation.c

The successful operation of the system adopted was found to depend in large part upon simplicity and elasticity. Constantly changing conditions required constant readjustment; and a plan complicated by establishment of many collecting points and dependent on the cooperation of various agents would not have brought about satisfactory results. Patients were evacuated

cThe gradual introduction of Services of Supply organizations into the area of the Second Army and the transfer of Second Army units to the Services of Supply, commencing shortly after the armistice and continuing through the period January 1 to April 1, 1919, transferred the service of the Second Army more and more into that belonging to the advance section, Services of Supply. No distinction was ever made between Second Army and Services of Supply troops and the management of Medical Department affairs in the respect mentioned continued under the supervision of the chief surgeon, Second Army, until March 28, 1919, when the Medical Department personnel and units engaged in the work were definitely turned over to the advance section and with them the management of the service. Certain modifications made in the original plans from time to time as conditions required should also be noted. The following were the most important: (1) For units of the Air Service it was necessary to station ambulances at flying fields to be available for duty at all times. (2) For Engineer and Pioneer Infantry on demolition or other hazardous service, in addition to the ambulance on the ambulance run, other reserve ambulances were stationed at specified points on call in cases of emergency, as accidents not permitting delay might require their use at any time. (3) For outlying organizations too remote to be included on a regular ambulance route separate ambulances had to be assigned. (4) For organizations in and about the larger centers, such as Toul, stationing groups of ambulances on call was found to be the best assignment for meeting evacuation requirements.9


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in each case to the nearest hospital without delay. Retention of technical control of ambulances by ambulance companies as was the case insured economy in the operation and proper care of transportation.9

The main source of supply for the Second Army was the advance medical supply depot at Is-sur-Tille, whenever supplies were forwarded through the regulating station at the same place. To provide for replacements and immediate issues to troops in line, a medical supply park at Toul which had been established by the First Army was transferred to the Second Army. This was stocked on the basis of 10 divisions; later, when the Second Army became actually organized, on a basis of 15 divisions. This depot was restocked by "replacement requisitions" as provided by General Orders, No. 44, General Headquarters, A. E. F., 1918. Immediate issues were made to troops upon requisition for 10-day periods, approved by the chief surgeon, Second Army. To facilitate further the prompt issue of supplies in emergencies, an advance depot was established at Bernecourt and another at St. Mihiel in the Second Army area. These depots were stocked with articles most needed by troops in action, viz, blankets, litters, cots, splints, dressings, and antitetanic serum. The supplies here were issued direct, requisitions being approved later. After the armistice, when the troops moved forward, other supply depots were established at Mars-la-Tour and at Walferdange, Luxembourg.10

The operation of the system of requisition and supply described in General Orders, No. 44, was suspended during activities, and replacements (exclusive of initial equipment) were at all times made on approval of the army chief surgeon. During quiet periods and for all initial equipment the provisions of General Orders, No. 44, General Headquarters, A. E. F., 1918, were complied with. That is, the requisition prepared by the divisional medical supply officer was approved by the division surgeon, and by G-1 of the division, and then forwarded, as was the case with other supplies, to G-4 of the army, who sent the requisition to the depot, whence supplies were forwarded through the regulating officer.10

THE SIXTH CORPS

For the few days prior to the operations of November 10, the Sixth Corps was occupied in patrolling its entire front, in making numerous raids, in daily exchange of Artillery bombardments, and in fluctuating activity of Infantry, machine guns, and airplanes. At 7 a. m., on November 10 the Infantry attacked, supported by a rolling barrage, and by 11 a. m., had taken Bois de la Voivrotte, Bois de Cheminot, and Bois de Frehaut. West of the Moselle, it did not attack, due to the inability of the right elements of the 7th Division (Fourth Corps), on the left of the Sixth Corps, to capture the heights of Preny.11

At 5 a. m., November 11, the attack was renewed on the front east of the Moselle, but was stopped at 11 a. m., in accordance with the terms of the armistice.11

The 92d Division was the only division on the front of the Sixth Corps during this action.11


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MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

Unfortunately no report of the activities of the Medical Department of the Sixth Corps during this action is available.

THE 92D DIVISION

On October 9 our 92d Division relieved the French 69th Division in the Marbache sector. It passed from the Fourth Corps to the Sixth Corps on October 23. The division participated in the attack of the American Second Army, November 10-11, between the Moselle and the Seille Rivers.12

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

Upon entering the Marbache sector, Field Hospital No. 366 was established as the divisional triage at Millery, in Adrian barracks, providing 200 beds. Its personnel was increased by six female nurses charged with the care of pneumonia cases, which were treated here with a very low mortality. In connection with the triage a gas hospital was established by Field Hospital No. 367, and near it, in tents, a camp for the treatment of skin and venereal diseases. Forty-three motor ambulances had been received shortly before the arrival of the division in this sector.13

Administrative Order No. 5, accompanying Field Order No. 22, 92d Division, read in part as follows:14

* * * * * * *

PART V.-Evacuation of sick and wounded

(a) Battalion and regimental aid stations will be established by the respective regimental surgeons, in consultation with the regimental commander and under supervision of the division surgeon. In no case will battalion or regimental aid stations be located at the same place as the regimental P. C.

(b) The divisional triage is located at the evacuation hospital at Millery. All cases evacuated from the front line will pass through this triage, where they will be classified and evacuated.

(c) Ambulance Company #365 will establish a dressing station at Atton and will furnish ambulance service from the front line via Pont-a-Mousson—Atton—Loisy—Millery.

(d) Field Hospitals Nos. 365 and 367 will be held in readiness at Millery. Ambulance Companies Nos. 366, 367, and 368 will be stationed at Millery.

(e) Commanders of battalion and regimental aid stations, ambulance companies, and field hospitals will be held responsible that the roads leading to these stations and hospitals are plainly marked.

(f) Cases will be evacuated as follows:

I. Severely wounded: To Evacuation Hospital No. 1 at Sebastopol, 5 km. north of Toul, on the Toul—Menil-la-Tour road.

II. Slightly wounded: To Evacuation Hospital No. 14, at Toul-Justice.

III. Nontransportable wounded: To the field hospital at Millery.

IV. Gassed: To Gas Hospital at La Marche section of the Justice Groupe of barracks just west of the city of Toul.

V. Contagious, venereal, and skin diseases: To contagious hospital of the Justice Groupe of barracks just outside the city of Toul.


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VI. Sick, nervous and shell concussion: To Base Hospital No. 51, La Marche section of the Justice Groupe, Toul.

(g) The division surgeon will indicate loading points for ambulances.

(h) The 60-cm. tram lines will be utilized in moving wounded to the rear, and cargo trucks will be used to move back the slightly wounded whenever such trucks return empty to the rear.

(i) The evacuation from dressing stations and stations for slightly wounded will be under direction of the Division Surgeon.

* * * * * * *

About October 25 Field Hospital No. 368 established a triage at Griscourt, and the same system of evacuation was now employed for the troops west of the Moselle. So much of the sanitary train as was not functioning with the hospitals at Millery was moved to Blenod, whence after a few days it proceeded to Jezainville. Distribution of the train was as follows: Field Hospitals No. 366 and No. 367 with an ambulance company at Millery; Field Hospital No. 365, in reserve at Millery; Field Hospital No. 368, at Griscourt; train headquarters and the remaining ambulance companies at Jezainville. When the armistice was signed, arrangements were being made to establish a field hospital as a triage at Pont-a-Mousson.

The divisional consultants were assigned to duty with the triage, where the orthopedic consultant supervised the use of splints and checked the administration of antitetanic serum. Orders required that all wounded and cases of trench foot be given this serum at the battalion aid stations. The amount given at first, 500 units, was later increased to 1000 units.

Hospital facilities at Millery were increased by a mobile surgical unit and a shock team.

When the advance began on Novemnber 10 the 365th and 366th Regiments reported a large number of casualties from mustard gas, but half the patients reporting were returned to duty from the regimental aid stations, and from the triage a large percentage more were sent back to their organizations.15

THE FOURTH CORPS

On November 9 the Fourth Corps occupied the Thiaucourt zone, comprising the Pannes and Puvenelle sectors. The Puvenelle sector was hilly and crossed by the Rupt de Mad. The Pannes sector was rolling, the western half of it being divided by the Etang de Lachaussee. The Puvenelle sector was held by the 7th Division and the Pannes sector by the 28th Division.16

The enemy was reported to be withdrawing, disorganized, along the entire front; but from 5.30 to 6.30 a. m., November 10, he placed a heavy bombardment along our whole front. Seven a. m., November 10, was designated as "H" hour for the attack required by field orders of the Fourth Corps. At 5.30 p. m. a battalion of the 112th Infantry, 28th Division, attempted to raid Dommartin, but intense enemy artillery fire prevented its advance. This raid had been planned before it was known that there was to be an attack by the corps, and, as it was thought the raid would help the attack, it was allowed to occur. Patrols from the 28th Division were active throughout the morning, but developed no weakness in the enemy lines opposite the division. At 2.30


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p. m., November 10, an artillery preparation was laid down south of Dommartin and south of the line Lachaussee—Bois Bonseil. At the same time, the 109th Infantry attacked through Haumont, gaining the railroad track northeast of that place. A battalion of the 111th Infantry made an attack on Dommartin at 3.30 p. m., but was held up on the edge of Dommartin woods by a counterattack. In the 7th Division, repeated attempts to take Mon Plaisir Ferme failed. The day’s operations resulted only in a slight advance of the lines held by the 7th Division in the morning. The enemy was still in his position on the Hindenberg line, and showed no intention of withdrawing.15

Early in the morning of November 11 the 109th Infantry, 28th Division, attacked northeast from Haumont, and reached the wire defenses of the enemy at 8.20 a. m., when word was received that the armistice had been signed, together with orders requiring a suspension of hostilities at 11 a. m. The division commander, 28th Division, issued orders directing a discontinuance of infantry attacks, and that positions be consolidated and held. The enemy opened heavy artillery and machine-gun fire, which was silenced by intense and accurate counter battery and destructive fire from our divisional and corps artillery, continuing until 11 a. m. In the 7th Division no infantry attack was made on November 11.16

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

The triage for the 7th Division was located at Thiaucourt and that of the 28th Division at Nonsard. Both formations were well forward, thus making possible early care of the wounded after a short haul. Surgical, orthopedic, medical, and gas consultants were stationed at the triages to insure proper treatment, splinting, and sorting before patients were removed to hospitals in the rear. Patients in shock were given appropriate treatment and were held until their recovery was such as to warrant further transportation.

By reason of the short haul and the well-advanced position of Mobile Hospital No. 39—which, in anticipation of the action, had been moved up to a point just west of Heudicourt—hospitals for nontransportable wounded were not established within the divisions, but all severely wounded, including the nontransportable cases, were evacuated direct to that hospital.17

Field hospitals for the slightly gassed were established in each division, to which slightly gassed patients were sent, while the more serious cases were sent to the Justice Hospital Group at Toul.

Slightly wounded were sent from triages to Evacuation Hospitals No. 12 and No. 1, at Royaumeix and at Sebastopol, respectively. Seriously sick and psychiatric patients were evacuated to the Justice Hospital Group at Toul.

At no time were the triages congested. Evacuation was prompt and proceeded smoothly, and the wounded were given prompt definitive surgical treatment, only a few hours intervening between receipt of wound and surgical treatment, except in a few instances when the wounded were not at once found on the field.17


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THE 7TH DIVISION

During the night of October 10-11 the 7th Division (less Artillery) completed the relief of the 90th Division (less Artillery), in the Puvenelle sector, from the Moselle River, near Champey, to a point northeast of Jaulny. On October 12 the 7th Division passed to the command of the Second Army.18

On November 9 the 7th Division, as a part of the Fourth Corps, held a line approximately as follows: Charey—Xammes road, just west of Bois de la Montagne, thence generally southeastwardly to Bois de Rappes.19

On November 10, in the general advance of the Second Army, the division launched an attack in the direction of Vionville, its objectives being Bois des Rappes—Bois de Riche en Cote—Chambley. On the right, Preny ridge was occupied, but the enemy could not be dislodged and our troops were forced to retire, after a 40 per cent loss. On the left, Hill 323 was captured, after a determined attack, but Mon Plaisir Ferme, the enemy strong point, resisted repeated attacks. The day’s operations resulted in a slight advance of the line held by the division, but it failed to gain its objectives, as the region in front was one of the last strongholds of the old Michel line, and the advancing line of the division was but a line of patrols. The operations planned for November 11 were canceled by reason of the armistice.19

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

On October 10, when the 7th Division relieved the 90th, its Medical Department personnel took over from the latter the sites of all corresponding formations. The units of the sanitary train were then disposed as follows: Ambulance Company No. 22, Mamey; Ambulance Company No. 34, Vieville-en-Haye; Ambulance Company No. 35, Vilcey-sur-Trey and Fey-en-Haye; Ambulance Company No. 36, Montauville; Field Hospital No. 34 (the triage), Griscourt; Field Hospital No. 36 (for nontransportable wounded), St. Jacques; and Field Hospitals No. 35 and No. 22 (for gassed and sick, respectively), near Rogeville. On October 19 Field Hospital No. 34, because of the enemy shelling of Griscourt, was moved to Martincourt. On November 1 Ambulance Company No. 22 moved to St. Jacques, and on November 10 organized a triage at Thiaucourt, 13 km. (8 miles) from the front line, where it functioned on November 10 and 11. Field Hospitals No. 22 and No. 35 moved, on October 29, to a point near Minorville, and Field Hospital No. 35, on November 11, to Bouillonville. Patients were sent from the divisional hospitals to Evacuation Hospital No. 1, at Sebastopol, about 15 km. (9.3 miles) in the rear of Field Hospital No. 36.20

The regimental medical detachments were divided into three battalion units, each of the latter consisting of 2 officers, a sergeant, and 13 privates or privates, first class. Two enlisted men from each battalion, Medical Department, unit were assigned to each line company of the battalion while the remainder were at the battalion aid station. At the company aid posts wounded were dressed and splints applied. Those unable to walk were carried on litters to the battalion aid stations, dressings there were readjusted if


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necessary, morphine and antitetanic serum were administered, proper markings being made with tincture of iodine on each patient’s temple or forehead to indicate that these medicaments had been given, appropriate notations on diagnosis tags being entered at the same time. If a patient was in a state of shock or this appeared imminent, he was treated on the shock table and heat, morphine, stimulants, and sometimes an intravenous injection of gum-salt solution were administered. Patients unable to walk were evacuated by ambulance to the dressing station. Here further examinations were made, splints were readjusted, and bandages changed if necessary, and hot coffee or chocolate were given. All patients were segregated here, and when necessary were undressed and, if facilities permitted, bathed. At the triage records were made, treatment was continued as indicated, and patients were classified for distribution.21

The majority of patients received at battalion aid stations were free from shock. The time necessary to transport them to hospital in this relatively quiet sector before the offensive averaged only about 45 minutes. Ambulances evacuated directly from battalion aid stations, for the division had its full quota of these vehicles and battalion stations were relatively well protected.22

The motor ambulances were pooled at the triage and definite quotas assigned to the service of each dressing station, to the evacuation of the field hospitals, and to service between them. As the several battalion aid stations were the ambulance heads, use of the ambulance company litter bearers in rear of the battalion aid stations was obviated except on a few occasions. The animal-drawn ambulances collected wounded from rear positions, while a large part of the personnel of the company to which they belonged reinforced other formations.22

Liaison was maintained by two runners posted at each regimental post control and at each battalion aid station.23 The dressing stations of this division cleared 2,647 patients during the 32 days it was at the front, evacuating nontransportable wounded direct to the surgical hospital (Field Hospital No. 36) and not to the triage. These included patients with aspirating wounds of the chest, wounds of the abdomen, extensive injuries of the head, compound fractures of the lower extremities, and all with hemorrhage who required a tourniquet during transport. Gassed patients were sent in separate ambulances (unless they had been degassed) and were kept recumbent.24

Ambulance Company No. 34 staffed its dressing station at Vieville-en-Haye with 1 officer and 32 men, and, as the sites occupied were well protected, parked three ambulances with the two battalion aid stations and the regimental station of the 34th Infantry. Some of its other ambulances were kept on the alert near the dressing station, while others served the triage. While the division was engaged in trench warfare this dressing station evacuated an average of 20 patients a day and gave dispensary treatment to the personnel of neighboring organizations. This service was typical of that performed at this time by other dressing stations in the 7th Division.25

In the 32 days that Field Hospital No. 34 (the triage) operated here it received 3,121 patients, including 935 gassed, 1,506 surgical, and 680 medical cases. Specialists classified all patients for further distribution, and those


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requiring special treatment here, e. g., for shock, received it before they were sent to other hospitals, a few also undergoing emergency operations.26

Field Hospital No. 35, the divisional gas hospital, practiced routine gas treatment for all such patients who had not been treated at the dressing stations. These patients were undressed by a detail which wore gas masks, oiled suits, and rubber gloves. This detail examined, recorded patients, and treated their eyes with a saturated solution of boric acid or a 1 per cent solution of sodium bicarbonate, followed by liquid petrolatum. Then the patient was passed into a room where he was bathed first with soap and water and then with a 2 per cent solution of sodium bicarbonate. He was then dried, warmed, given a hot drink and taken to a ward. After receiving this treatment patients usually slept for 24 hours.27

Field Hospital No. 36—the surgical hospital—reinforced by a mobile surgical unit, passed about 75 per cent of the cases it received through its shock ward, where they were cared for by a special team consisting of 1 medical officer, 2 nurses, and 1 noncommissioned officer. Moderately shocked and postoperative patients were sent to a surgical ward, where appropriate treatment was given for from 24 to 48 hours, after which they usually were fit for evacuation; but patients who had undergone operations for chest and abdominal wounds were held for a longer time. Two operating teams were organized, each consisting of 2 medical officers, an anesthetist, and 1 enlisted man, who was charged with the sterilization of dressings. At this hospital it was found that the following cases almost invariably developed shock: Compound fractures of the extremities, aspirating chest wounds, perforating wounds of the trunk, wounds of the head (except when superficial), those who had experienced severe hemorrhage, especially when they had required prolonged use of a tourniquet in addition, and those who had suffered any major injury several hours before treatment. The average time elapsing between receipt of wound and admission to this hospital was 8 hours, but it was sometimes as long as 20 hours. Patients received more than six hours after being injured were often in poor condition.28

Field Hospital No. 22 enjoyed many of the conveniences of a camp hospital and was therefore able to secure to its patients a greater degree of comfort than would have been possible otherwise. For example, each patient on admission received a bath; laundry facilities were also excellent. Though this hospital primarily cared for the divisional sick, it also received slightly wounded and slightly gassed patients. Of the 482 patients admitted while the unit functioned at Minorville, 152 were returned to duty.29

THE 28TH DIVISION

Beginning on the night of October 15-16, the 28th Division, as a unit of the Fourth Army Corps, relieved the 37th Division in the Pannes sector. With the 7th Division, this division constituted the front line of the American Fourth Corps. Until November 10 the division sent out patrols and conducted raids. On November 10 it participated in the general operations of the Second


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Army, from a line that extended approximately as follows: Bois de la Haute Voye, southeastwardly to about 1 km. (0.6 mile) south of Haumont, thence to the Clarey—Xammes road, west of Bois de la Montagne.30

On November 10 the plans of the division were to attack Dommartin, the area between Bois Bonseil and Lachaussee, and toward the enemy trenches northeast of Etang de Lachaussee, gaining the line Lachaussee—Hageville before nightfall. At 3.30 p. m. the town of Dommartin was attacked, but our troops were held up on the edge of Bois Dommartin by a counterattack. In the center the attack was made through Haumont; and at 6.10 p. m. the troops here had taken up a position on a railroad track northeast of Haumont. From this point the line extended generally northwestwardly to Ferme des Hauts Journaux.30

On November 11 the 55th Brigade was designated as the attacking unit, while the 56th Brigade was held as reserve. The attack of the 55th Brigade was made by pushing the 109th Infantry forward northeast from Haumont. This attack again only succeeded in reaching the enemy wire, where it was held up by machine-gun fire from both flanks, and was forced to withdraw. Troops were being reorganized, ready to make another attack at 8.30 a. m., when word was received, at 8.10 a. m., that the armistice had been signed, effective at 11 a. m. At about this time the enemy artillery opened all along the line in great force, and our artillery was directed to fire every gun in retaliation. This fire was kept up until just before approximately 11 a. m.30

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

In the Thiaucourt sector, Field Hospital No. 109 was first located at Bouillonville, whence, on October 30, it moved to Nonsard. There a large barn and surrounding buildings furnished fair facilities for a hospital and for quarters of the personnel. The site was constantly exposed to shell fire and several of the buildings were injured by fragments of shell and shrapnel, but the number of patients admitted daily was not large, as the sector was comparatively quiet. When the armistice was signed Field Hospital No. 104 was in active operation as the divisional triage—a capacity in which it had served since it entered upon active operations. Its grand total of admissions was 8,556 patients.31

Field Hospital No. 110, charged with the care of gassed and sick patients, after operating two days at Bernecourt moved, on October 19, to Essey-et-Maizerais, where it erected eight ward tents and two bathhouses. Here it admitted 632 patients before the armistice was signed.32

Field Hospital No. 111, after the 28th Division left the jurisdiction of the First Army, moved successively to Ferme Boyer, Minorville, Bernecourt, and on October 30 to Buxerulles, occupying there some barns and German-built shacks. This hospital, which received most of the sick, cared for more patients at this location than at any other, as its stay there lasted from October 30, 1918, to January 8, 1919.33


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Field Hospital No. 112, which cared for the wounded, took station in Essey-et-Maizerais, on October 18, occupying a barn where it began operation on the 20th. At first it discharged triage duties, but was soon relieved of these, Field Hospital No. 109 taking over all such service.34

GENERAL MEDICAL DEPARTMENT CONSIDERATIONS

ARMY HOSPITALS

What has been said in Chapter XXXIV concerning the histories of army hospitals in the Meuse-Argonne area equally applies in connection with those which served the Second Army. (Some further description of certain of these units which operated at Toul under the control of the First Army during the St. Mihiel operation, and prior to October 12, during the Meuse-Argonne operation, is given in Chapters XVIII-XXXIV.) All in all, however, information concerning Second Army hospitals is generally of very little value, and for this reason the following account of their activities is incomplete and imperfect.

MOBILE HOSPITAL NO. 3935

This unit has been described in part in the preliminary chapter on mobile hospitals, and its activities during the St. Mihiel operation are noted in Chapter XVIII. For several weeks after that attack it admitted patients from neighboring units, though it had been transferred to the Second Army on October 9. October 30, Mobile Hospital No. 39 was ordered to move to a station on the road between Chaillon and Heudicourt, some 32 km. (20 miles) distant. Here admissions began promptly, the first case being operated 11 hours after arrival of the first truck load of equipment. The hospital received some 250 seriously wounded or nontransportable patients during the last two days of its activity during operations.

A convenient narrow-gauge railroad was utilized to bring up some supplies, but no casualties were evacuated over it.

At the Chaillon-Heudicourt station the hospital admitted, between November 1 and December 20, 427 patients, which it classified as follows:

Battle casualties

312

Operated upon

239

Not operated upon

73

Died without operation

9

Died following operation

21

Acute appendicitis

6

Surgical conditions unoperated

63

Sick from command and other units

25

Surgical conditions operated, exclusive of appendicitis

12

Total admissions

427

Total deaths

30

Total percentage deaths

7

OPERATIONS

Patients operated on for battle casualties

235

Operations on above patients

388

Total deaths, including admitted dead

30

Total death percentage, battle casualties

9.6

Percentage of operative deaths

8.9

Number of cases débrided

226

Number of nonbattle casualties operated upon

12

Number of appendectomies

4

Total number of patients operated upon

241

Total operative death percentage

8.7

Average time elapsed between receipt of wounded and operation, 7 hours 10 minutes.

Average time elapsed between receipt of wounded and admission (evacuation time), 6 hours 10 minutes

CLASSIFICATION OF WOUNDS

1. Head:

 

Penetrating

8

Nonpenetrating

35

2. Chest:

 

Penetrating

6

Nonpenetrating

7

3. Abdomen:

 

Penetrating

16

Nonpenetrating

1

4. Extremities:

 

With fracture

54

Without fracture

231

With nerve or large blood vessel injury

9

5. Locality not stated

39

6. Trunk

34

7. Cord

3

MOBILE HOSPITAL NO. 336

On September 24 this hospital relieved Field Hospital 359 at Rosieres-en-Haye, when it established a hospital for nontransportable wounded. Here it employed four operating tables with six teams. On October 9 a fire broke out in the X-ray room, destroying the entire hospital, including its records, and nothing but the tentage was saved. The hospital remained at this station until December 20, when it returned to Evacuation Hospital No. 1 at Sebastopol Barracks, near Toul, where it formerly had served.

MOBILE HOSPITAL NO. 737

After serving at Ferme de Suippes and Somme Py, on November 7 Mobile Hospital No. 7 received orders to proceed to Berricourt, where it arrived on the 9th. Erection of all tentage had not been completed when the armistice became effective and the unit ceased to function.

EVACUATION HOSPITAL NO. 138

This unit was permanently stationed at Sebastopol Barracks, north of Toul, where it had been located since February, 1918. Its organization and


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earlier activities have been discussed in Chapter XVIII. Too far to the east to receive casualties from the Meuse-Argonne battle fields, it was transferred to the Second Army October 9, 1918.

EVACUATION HOSPITAL NO. 239

This hospital was permanently established at Baccarat, Meurth-et-Moselle, where it occupied a large set of French barracks on the outskirts of the town. As there was no violent fighting in this sector it did not receive many wounded, but in October, 1918, cared for large numbers of influenza patients from the 81st Division. The hospital was transferred to the Second Army on October 9, 1918, and it was planned that it should serve as a base hospital. It was exposed to six air raids during its service.

EVACUATION HOSPITAL NO. 1240

Arriving at Royaumeix on October 9, Evacuation Hospital No. 12 was quartered in an old French hospital consisting of four groups of Adrian barracks. On October 9 it was transferred to the Second Army. During its stay at Royaumeix it received 2,700 patients, including over 1,000 seriously wounded.

EVACUATION HOSPITAL NO. 1341

Arriving in France August 26, 1918, Evacuation Hospital No. 13 took station, September 2, at Chaligny, where until September 23 organization was developed and perfected. The unit then moved to Toul, where it occupied a part of the Justice Groupe of barracks, and was in reserve from September 23 to October 12. It then moved to Champigneulles, where it admitted 237 patients, and then, October 31, to Commercy, where its admissions prior to January 1, 1919, numbered 2,145, of whom 1,117 were received from November 9 to 12. Of the total cases admitted, 1,071 were surgical, including 525 battle casualties and 163 injuries caused by accident. Three hundred and forty-nine operations were performed. Among the 1,416 medical cases admitted, the most numerous were influenza, 345; gassing, 161; mumps, 150; and bronchitis, 140. All respiratory cases were placed in cubicled wards, while cases of measles and meningitis were isolated in separate rooms. Two hundred and twenty cases were treated in the eye, ear, nose, and throat departments; in the dental department 30 cases were cared for who required oral surgery, in addition to over 1,000 others.

The X-ray laboratory made over 2,000 examinations, almost all of which were fluoroscopic, but few plates being utilized, while the pathalogical laboratory made 247 examinations in the same period.

EVACUATION HOSPITAL NO. 1542

On September 21 Evacuation Hospital No. 15 arrived at Revigny, where it replaced a French hospital and shortly thereafter was joined by Base Hospital No. 83. As service here was not active, a number of officers were sent for temporary duty to other evacuation hospitals, namely, Nos. 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, American Red Cross Evacuation Hospital No. 114, and American Red Cross


860

Hospital No. 110. After the hospital moved to Glorieux, October 13, most of its detached personnel rejoined and was reinforced by operating, splint, and emergency medical teams and 20 nurses. At this place the unit at first received the nontransportable patients from the 33d and 79th Divisions, but after the field hospitals of those commands left the vicinity it admitted all classes of patients. From September 21 to November 17 it received 2,639 surgical patients and performed 1,235 operations. Admissions between the latter date and January 1, 1919, included 1,575 surgical patients, upon whom 151 operations were performed, with 5 deaths.

At both Revigny and Glorieux medical patients were cared for in wooden barracks accommodating from 15 to 40 beds. They were classified and distributed as "general medical contagious," influenza, pneumonia, and psychiatric, but at Glorieux prior to the armistice only a few medical patients were admitted. Immediately after the signing of the armistice the number of medical patients received increased greatly, and by the time the unit closed, in April, 1919, they had totaled 4,761.

During the Meuse-Argonne operation the dental service was occupied chiefly with surgery of gunshot wounds of the jaws. In none of these was infection by gas-forming bacilli noted. While the unit was at Glorieux, the eye, ear, nose, and throat service was occupied chiefly in the extraction of foreign bodies and in enucleations. The total number of patients cared for by this department of the hospital was 4,500, of whom 2,000 received treatment of the nose and throat, 2,000 of the ear, and 500 of the eye. The X-ray department examined every patient before he was sent to the operating room; i. e., from 75 to 200 patients a day in active periods. Roentgenograms were made only in joint cases where fracture was suspected and in those cases where a strongly suspected fracture could not be detected by visual fluoroscopy. The pathological laboratory was occupied by routine examinations, including wound bacteriology cultural tests and sanitary bacteriology, thus promoting diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in both the medical and surgical services.

EVACUATION HOSPITAL NO. 1843

This unit arrived at St. Mihiel November 3, 1918, and its first casualties were received November 10; on the 12th all casualties were evacuated, and on the 24th the unit was attached to the Third Army and operated at Briey.

REFERENCES

(1) Tables of Organization and Equipment, U. S. Army, Series C, Table 202, July 30, 1918.

(2) Report of Medical Department activities, Second Army, A. E. F., by Col. C. R. Reynolds, M. C., chief surgeon, Second Army, undated, 1. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(3) Ibid., 2

(4) Ibid., 3

(5) Ibid., 4

(6) Ibid., 5

(7) Ibid., 6


861

(8) Ibid., 7

(9) Ibid., 8

(10) Ibid., 10

(11) Report of operations, Sixth Army Corps, November 10-11, 1918, to December 28, 1918.

(12) 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 (92d Division).

(13) Report of Medical Department activities, 92d Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon, undated, 8. On file, Historical Division. S. G. O.

(14) Ibid., 10, 11

(15) Ibid., 12

(16) Special report, Fourth Army Corps, November 10-11 to November 26, 1918. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(17) Operations report November 10-11, Medical Department, Fourth Corps, by Col. J. W. Hanner, M. C., corps surgeon, undated. On file, with G-3 records, General Headquarters, A. E. F., Washington, D. C.

(18) 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 (7th Division).

(19) Report of operations, 7th Division for November 9 to 11, 1918, undated.

(20) Report of Medical Department activities, 7th Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(21) Ibid., 8

(22) Ibid., 9

(23) Ibid., 48

(24) Ibid., 49

(25) Ibid., 46

(26) Ibid., 65

(27) Ibid., 47

(28) Ibid., 72

(29) Ibid., 56

(30) Journal of operations, 28th Division.

(31) Report of Medical Department activities, 28th Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon, undated, Part I, 35. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(32) Ibid., Part II, 4

(33) Ibid., Part II, 10

(34) Ibid., Part II, 31

(35) Report of the activities of Mobile Hospital No. 39, from the St. Mihiel operation to demobilization, by Lt. Col. J. M. Flint, M. C., commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(36) Report of Medical Department activities, Mobile Hospital No. 3, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(37) Report of Medical Department activities, Mobile Hospital No. 7, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(38) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 1, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(39) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 2, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.


862

(40) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 12, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(41) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 13, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(42) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 15, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(43) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 18, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.