China Marines: Forts at Canton; November 1854

During his second visit to Japan, Commodore Perry had left the sloop of war U.S.S. Plymouth at Shanghai. China was then enflamed by the T’ai P’ing Rebellion against the Manchu Emperor, and Shanghai’s foreign trading settlements were nervous about their safety.

On the evening of April 4th 1854, the foreign missions and the Shanghai racetrack were invaded by the Imperial Chinese army. A detachment of 60 sailors and Marines from U.S.S. Plymouth landed and was reinforced later that night. The men joined a similar force of 150 sailors and Marines from two British warships, plus 37 British and American volunteers. They attacked the Chinese soldiers and cleared the foreign settlements and the racetrack. Part of Plymouth’s force remained ashore until June 15th.

Danger to American commercial interests in China persisted, and trouble erupted at Canton in the fall of 1856. Marine detachments were repeatedly sent to Canton from U.S. warships lying off Whampoa in the Pearl River eight miles below the city. Early on November 16th, an unarmed American boat sent up river to find a channel was fired on from one of the four barrier forts protecting the river approach to Canton, and the American coxswain was killed. To retaliate and teach the Chinese to respect the Americans, Commodore James Armstrong sent the sloop U.S.S. Portsmouth to bombard the forts, which had seven-foot-thick walls designed by European military engineers. Portsmouth fired more than 230 shells and took several hits in reply.

After that indecisive encounter, Armstrong returned to his flagship in ill health and tried to negotiate an apology from the Chinese. He left Commander Andrew H. Foote of Portsmouth in charge and, when negotiations broke down, gave Foote authority to act.
Early on November 20th, the aggressive Foote laid down a bombardment and put ashore a landing force of 287 men, including Brevet Captain John D. Simms and the squadron’s 50 Marines. The forts returned the ships’ fire but were soon silenced. Led by the Marines, the landing force squelched resistance in a village behind the nearest fort and opened fire on the fort itself. The Chinese tried to flee, some were swimming the river. The Marines picked off more than 40, seized the fort and raised the Stars and Stripes. Simms took his men back into the village, found that the enemy had reinforced it from Canton, and cleared it again. A thousand Chinese soldiers counter-attacked. Simms had his men hold their musket fire until the Chinese were within 200 yards; then the Marines decimated them. The Chinese attacked twice more before retreating.

Early the next morning, Simms lead an attack on the next fort, called “Fiddlers Fort.” The Americans advanced through waist-deep ditches against heavy but inaccurate fire and stormed the fort. In the face of a horde of Chinese soldiers, Corporal William McDougal, the Marines’s standard bearer, placed the American flag on the fort’s wall. Simms turned the forts guns on the next objective, Centre Fort on Napier Island in midstream, and dueled with its guns. As Simm’s Marines advanced on the island fort, the Chinese swarmed forward. The Marines threw them back. Again McDougal planted the American flag over the fort as the landing force assaulted its walls. At dawn the next day, the landing force waded in to seize the fourth fort. The enemy fled at their approach and the final fort was taken.

In the entire operation, American casualties totaled seven dead and 22 wounded in action. No Marine were killed but six were wounded. In three days, the American had destroyed four Chinese forts and 168 cannon. They got their apology.

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®

SOURCE:U.S. Marine Corps Story; BY: J. Robert Moskin
CONTRIBUTOR: Cade Pommeraan

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Napoleonic Wars: Armistice of Poischitz; 4 June 1813

Napoleons agreement to the Armistice of Poischitz had been hailed as one of his greatest mistakes, and in deed from that time onwards his fortunes began to turn for the worst. He probably had no choice. He had marched and fought his army into the ground, and the Cossacks and Prussian Freikorps were constantly raiding his lines of communication which stretched ever further from France. When the Armistice was concluded on 4 June 1813, the Russian General Woronzoff was actually on the point of seizing Leipzig. “This Armistice will interrupt the course of my victories,’ the emperor wrote on 2 June to General Clarke, his Minister of War. ‘Two considerations have made up my mind; my shortage of cavalry, which prevents me from striking great blows, and the hostile attitude of Austria.’

While the war progressed the diplomatists had been hard at work. Austria had offered her services as an intermediary and Napoleon had tried to treat directly with Tsar Alexander. It had been an exercise in futility. As one side secured a military advantage so it raised its bid, only to have it declined by the other, which hoped that the next round of fighting would be to its own advantage. Napoleon could not bring himself to accept terms, and could no longer impose them. Equally, though, the Allies had suffered rough treatment on the battlefield, and they too needed a respite.

Napoleon’s desire for an armistice must also be taken as proof of his dissatisfaction with his inconclusive victories at Lützen and Bautzen. But it may be doubted whether the Russo-Prussian alliance would have survived another defeat. A third victory might well have enabled the Emperor to relieve the beleaguered fortresses on the Oder, whose garrisons would have given a welcomed stiffening to his conscript army. On the other hand his cavalry was still feeble, his raw troops were unready for another blood-bath, and ammunition and supplies were running low. It is extremely doubtful whether he could have won a third victory at that time.

The diplomatic scene was dominated by the subtle Prince Metternich of Austria, whose suavity concealed a will of steel. He was faced by problems appalling in their complexity. As the spokesman for a multi-national Empire he deeply distrusted nationalism and the ideals of the French revolution. Napoleon was a bulwark against both. Metternich also with good reason feared the ambitions of Prussia and Russia and had no desire to see an increase in their strength, which he foresaw might well endanger the security of Austria. He was, however, conscious of the rising tide of nationalism that had begun to sweep across Germany and he detested it. He wished to retain Napoleon but he was not prepared for France to meddle any longer in German affairs. He was convinced that Napoleon’s Confederation of the Rhine must cease to exist. But Napoleon was not prepared to dissolve it.

On 23 June 1813, the two men met in the Marcolini Palace in Dresden. Napoleon wore sword and hat. The sword he threatened to draw, the hat he threw at Metternich the better to establish a point. Before the Austria went in to the nine-hour conference, Berthier buttonholed him and whispered, ‘Europe needs peace.’ These words uttered by Napoleon’s Chief-of-Staff, showed clearly enough how weary the French had grown of war. At the conference Napoleon tried to threaten and browbeat the Austrian. To Metternich the issues were clear enough. Napoleon could keep the Netherlands and what could hold of Italy and Spain, but the Confederation of the Rhine had to be dissolved. Napoleon would not give up his foothold in Germany. The wrangle went on interminably. Napoleon at one point confessed, ‘Your Sovereigns born to the throne may be beaten twenty times and return…. My reign will end when I am no longer strong.’ It was a theme to which he kept returning. With both Royalist and Republicans seeking to unseat him, he could not be tainted by failure. He nevertheless believed there were no issues that could not ultimately be settled on the battlefield, and growled to Metternich that he had beaten the Prussians at Lützen, and the Russians at Bautzen, and soon he would be renewing the argument in Vienna!

The two sides were irreconcilably opposed, and so they were to remain. Napoleon could not believe that his dream of becoming the conquering ruler of a united Europe had vanished; he could not understand how the growth of German nationalism had overtaken him. As the exhausted Austrian finally left the meeting, to the anxious enquiries of bystanders he replied, ‘C’est un homme perdu’ (He is lost)

Next the emperor Francis I of Austria pledged himself to go to war if Napoleon did not disband his Confederation of the Rhine and withdraw from Germany. Now Austria had declared against Napoleon the waverers began to follow suit. Bernadotte, the ex-Marshal of the Empire who was now Crown Prince of Sweden, joined the hunt. The old Republican General Moreau, appeared form the United States of America. As both sides prepared for renewal of the conflict the Allies discussed how best Napoleon might be fought. Moreau told them frankly that they would never beat Napoleon on the field of battle. They prepared a deadly plan. Commanders facing Napoleon should refuse action and withdraw, seeking to exhaust his men by useless marches. Where he did not himself command, his marshals should at once be engaged. Eventually, when Napoleon had been sufficiently worn down and the Allies had a sufficient superiority in numbers. Napoleon himself should be fought. Blücher expostulated angrily against such craven tactics but had to comply. The plan was quick to bear fruit.

Both sides now exerted the utmost effort to concentrate their forces for 10 August, when hostilities would clearly begin again. Russian reinforcements came wandering westward from the steppes. French battalions plodded towards the Elbe, their veteran cadres teaching them the rudiments of drill and weapons training as they went. In June Britain had agreed to subsidize Russia and Prussia to the extent of more than ₤1.5 million. British munitions poured into Stralsund and Colberg, enabling the Prussian Landwehr to exchange their pikes for muskets and to take their place in the line of battle. Before the conference dispersed, the Allies heard good news from Spain. Wellington’s great triumph at Vitoria (21 June) had driven the French headlong from the Peninsula. Now France herself was threatened with invasion. The Tsar ordered that a Te Deum should be sung, something that had never previously been done for a victory won by other than Russian troops.

The preparations were in motion for the next slaughter at Dresden.

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®

SOURCE: NAPOLEON: The Last Campaigns 1813-15
CONTRIBUTOR: Martin F. Elkins

Nuremberg 1945-46: IMTMWC; Appendix B

Th following presentation is Appendix B of the four counts of indictments at the International Military Tribunal of Major War Criminals, this deals the groups and organizations of the NAZI party.

APPENDIX B-STATEMENT OF CRIMINALITY OF GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS.
The statements hereinafter set forth, following the name of each group or organization named in the Indictment as one which should be declared criminal, constitute matters upon which the Prosecution will rely inter alia as establishing the criminality of the group or organization:

“Die Reichsregierung (Reich Cabinet)” referred to in the Indictment consists of persons who were:

(i) Members of the ordinary cabinet after 30 January 1933, the date on which Hitler became Chancellor of the German Republic. The term “ordinary cabinet” as used, herein means the Reich Ministers, i. e., heads of departments of the central Government; Reich Ministers without portfolio; State Ministers acting as Reich Ministers; and other officials entitled to take part in meetings of this cabinet.

(ii) Members of Der Ministerrat für die Reichsverteidigung (Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich).

(iii) Members of Der Geheime Kabinettsrat (Secret Cabinet Council). Under the Führer, these persons functioning in the foregoing capacities and in association as a group, possessed and exercised legislative, executive, administrative, and political powers and functions of a very high order in the system of German Government.
Accordingly, they are charged with responsibility for the policies adopted and put into effect by the Government including those which comprehended and involved the commission of the crimes referred to in Counts One, Two, Three, and Four of the Indictment.

“Das Korps der Politischen Leiter der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party)” referred to in the Indictment consists of persons who were at any time, according to common Nazi terminology, “Politische Leiter” (Political Leaders) of any grade or rank.

The Politischen Leiter comprised the leaders of the various functional offices of the Party (for example, the Reichsleitung or Party Reich Directorate, and the Gauleitung, or Party Gau Directorate), as well as the territorial leaders of the Party (for example, the Gauleiter).

The Politischen Leiter were a distinctive and elite group within the Nazi Party proper and as such were vested with special prerogatives.

They were organized according to the Leadership Principle and were charged with planning, developing, and imposing upon their followers the policies of the Nazi Party. Thus the territorial leaders among them were called Hoheitstrager, or bearers of sovereignty, and were entitled to call upon and utilize the various Party formations when necessary for the execution of Party policies.

Reference is hereby made to the allegations in Count One of the Indictment showing that the Nazi Party was the central core of the Common Plan or Conspiracy therein set forth. The Politischen Leiter, as a major power within the Nazi Party proper, and functioning in the capacities above described and in association as a group, joined in the Common Plan or Conspiracy, and accordingly share responsibility for the crimes set forth in Counts One, Two, Three, and Four of the Indictment.

The Prosecution expressly reserves the right to request, at any time before sentence is pronounced, that Politischer Leiter of subordinate grades or ranks or of other types or classes, to be specified by the prosecution, be excepted from further proceedings in this Case Number 1, but without prejudice to other proceedings or actions against them.

“Die Schutzstaffeln der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (commonly known as the SS) including Der Sicherheitsdienst (commonly known as the SD)” referred to in the Indictment consists of the entire corps of the SS and all offices, departments, services, agencies, branches, formations, organizations, and groups of which it was at any time comprised or which were at any time integrated in it, including but not limited to, the Allgemeine SS, the Waffen SS, the SS Totenkopf Verbande, SS Polizei Regimenter, and the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers SS (commonly known as the SD)

The SS, originally established by Hitler in 1925 as an elite section of the SA to furnish a protective guard for the Fuhrer and Nazi Party leaders, became an independent formation of the Nazi Party in 1934 under the leadership of the Reichsführer SS, Heinrich Himmler. It was composed of voluntary members, selected in accordance with Nazi biological, racial, and political theories, completely indoctrinated in Nazi ideology and pledged to uncompromising obedience to the Führer. After the accession of the Nazi conspirators to power, it developed many departments, agencies, formations, and. branches and extended its influence and control over numerous fields of governmental and Party activity. Through Heinrich Himmler, as Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police, agencies and units of the SS and of the Reich were joined in operation to form a unified repressive police force. The Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers SS (commonly known as the SD), a department of the SS, was developed into a vast espionage and counter-intelligence system which operated in conjunction with the Gestapo and criminal police in detecting, suppressing, and eliminating tendencies, groups, and individuals deemed hostile or potentially hostile to the Nazi Party, its leaders, principles, and objectives, and eventually was combined with the Gestapo and criminal police in a single security police department, the Reich Main Security Office.

Other branches of the SS developed into an armed force and served in the wars of aggression referred to in Counts One and Two of the Indictment. Through other departments and branches the SS controlled the administration of concentration camps and the execution of Nazi racial, biological, and resettlement policies.

Through its numerous functions and activities it served as the instrument for insuring the domination of Nazi ideology and protecting and extending the Nazi regime over Germany and occupied territories. It thus participated in and is responsible for the crimes referred to in Counts One, Two, Three, and Four of the Indictment.

“Die Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police, commonly known as the Gestapo)” referred to in the Indictment consists of the headquarters, departments, offices, branches, and all the forces and personnel of the Geheime Staatspolizei organized or existing at any time after 30 January 1933, including the Geheime Staatspolizei of Prussia and equivalent secret or political police forces of the Reich and the components thereof.
The Gestapo was created by the Nazi conspirators immediately after their accession to power, first in Prussia by the Defendant Gӧring and shortly thereafter in all other states in the Reich.

These separate secret and political police forces were developed into a centralized, uniform organization operating through a central headquarters and through a network of regional offices in Germany and in occupied territories. Its officials and operatives were selected on the basis of unconditional acceptance of Nazi ideology, were largely drawn from members of the SS, and were trained in SS and SD schools. It acted to suppress and eliminate tendencies, groups, and individuals deemed hostile or potentially hostile to the Nazi Party, its leaders, principles, and objectives, and to repress resistance and potential resistance to German control in occupied territories. In performing these functions it operated free from as political soldiers of the Party. It was one of the earliest formations of the Nazi Party and the original guardian of the National Socialist movement.

Founded in 1921 as a voluntary military formation, it was developed by the Nazi conspirators before their accession to power into a vast private army and utilized for the purpose of creating disorder, and terrorizing and eliminating political opponents. It continued to serve as an instrument for the physical, ideological, and military training of Party members and as a reserve for the German Armed Forces. After the launching of the wars of aggression, referred to in Counts One and Two of the Indictment, the SA not only operated as an organization for military training but provided auxiliary police and security forces in occupied territories, guarded prisoner-of-war camps and concentration camps and supervised and controlled persons forced to labor in Germany and occupied territories.

Through its purposes and activities and the means it used it participated in and is responsible for the commission of the crimes set forth in Counts One, Two, Three, and Four of the Indictment.

The “General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces” referred to in the Indictment consists of those individuals who between February 1938 and May 1945 were the highest commanders of the Wehrmacht, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Forces.
The individuals comprising this group are the persons who held the following appointments: legal control, taking any measures it deemed necessary for the accomplishment of its missions.

Through its purposes, activities and the means it used, it participated in and ,is responsible for the commission of the crimes set forth in Counts One, Two, Three, and Four of the Indictment.

“Die Sturmabteilungen der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (commonly known as the SA).” That organization referred to in the Indictment was a formation of the Nazi Party under the immediate jurisdiction of the Führer, organized on military lines, whose membership was composed of volunteers serving Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine (Commander in Chief of the Navy); Chef (and, formerly, Chef des Stabes) der Seekriegsleitung (Chief of Naval War Staff); Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres (Commander in Chief of the Army); Chef des Generalstabes des Heeres (Chief of the General Staff of the Army); Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe (Commander in Chief of the Air Force); Chef des Generalstabes der Luftwaffe (Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force); Chef des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht (Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces); Chef. des Führungsstabes des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht (Chief of the Operations Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces); Stellvertretender Chef des Fuhrungsstabes des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht (Deputy Chief of the Operations Staff of the High Command of the Armed Porces); Commanders-in-Chief in the field, with the status of Oberbefehlshaber, of the Wehrmacht, Navy, Army, Air Force.
Functioning in such capacities and in association as a group at the highest level in the German Armed Forces organization, these persons had a major responsibility for the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of illegal war as set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment and for the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity involved in the execution of the Common Plan or Conspiracy set forth in Counts Three and Four of the Indictment.

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®

SOURCE: International Military Tribunal of War Criminals (LOC)
CONTRIBUTOR: Eddy Toorall

Nuremberg 1945-46: IMTMWC; Appendix A of Indictments

The following is a presentation of the Appendix A to the four counts in the indictment at the International Military Tribunal of Major War Criminals. This Appendix details the defendants; their offices and actions inside the NAZI regime.

APPENDIX A STATEMENT OF INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR CRIMES SET OUT IN COUNTS ONE, TWO, THREE, AND FOUR.

The statements hereinafter set forth following the name of each individual defendant constitute matters upon which the Prosecution will rely inter alia as pursuant to Article 6 establishing the individual responsibility of the defendant:

GÖRING. The Defendant Goring between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, Supreme Leader of the SA, general in the SS, a member and President of the Reichstag, Minister of the Interior of Prussia, Chief of the Prussian Police and Prussian Secret State Police, Chief of the Prussian State Council, Trustee of the Four Year Plan, Reich Minister for Air, Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, President of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich, member of the Secret Cabinet Council, head of the Hermann Goring Industrial Combine, and Successor Designate to Hitler. The Defendant Gӧring used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his intimate connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the military and economic preparation for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment, and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including a wide variety of crimes against persons and property.

RIBBENTROP. The Defendant Ribbentrop between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, a member of the Nazi Reichstag, advisor to the Führer on matters of foreign policy, representative of the Nazi Party for matters of foreign policy, special German delegate for disarmament questions, Ambassador extraordinary, Ambassador in London, organizer and director of Dienststelle. Ribbentrop, Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, member of the Secret Cabinet Council, member of the Fuhrer’s political staff at general headquarters, and general in the SS. The Defendant Ribbentrop used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his intimate connection with the Fuhrer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators as set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the political planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances as set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; in accordance with the Führer Principle he executed and assumed responsibility for the execution of the foreign policy plans of the Nazi conspirators set forth in Count One of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including more particularly the crimes against persons and property in occupied territories.

HESS. The Defendant Hess between 1921 and 1941 was a member of the Nazi Party, Deputy to thee Fuhrer, Reich Minister without Portfolio, member of the Reichstag, member of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich, member of the Secret Cabinet Council, Successor Designate to the Fuhrer after the Defendant Goring, a general in the SS and a general in the SA. The Defendant Hess used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his intimate connection with the Führer in such a manner that;

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the military, economic, and psychological preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the political planning and preparation for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; he participated in the preparation and planning of foreign policy plans of the Nazi conspirators set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including a wide variety of crimes against persons and property.

KALTENBRUNNER. The Defendant Kaltenbrunner between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, a general in the SS, a member of the Reichstag, a general of the Police, State Secretary for Security in Austria in charge of the Austrian Police, Police Leader of Vienna, Lower and Upper Austria, Head of the Reich Main Security Office and Chief of the Security Police and Security Service. The Defendant Kaltenbrunner used the foregoing positions and his personal influence in such a manner that:

He promoted the consolidation of control over Austria seized by the Nazi conspirators as set forth in Count One of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment including particularly the Crimes against Humanity involved in the system of concentration camps.

ROSENBERG. The Defendant Rosenberg between 1920 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, Nazi member of the Reichstag, Reichsleiter in the Nazi Party for Ideology and Foreign Policy, the editor of the Nazi newspaper Volkischer Beobachter, or “People’s Observer”, and the NS Monatshefte, head of the Foreign Political’ Office of the Nazi Party, Special Delegate for the entire Spiritual and Ideological Training of the Nazi Party, Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories, organizer of the “Einsatzstab Rosenberg”, a general in the SS and a general in the SA. The Defendant Rosenberg used the foregoing positions, his personal influence and his intimate connection with the Fuhrer in such a manner that:

He developed, disseminated, and exploited the doctrinal techniques of the Nazi conspirators set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the psychological preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the political planning and preparation for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including a wide variety of crimes against persons and property.

FRANK. The Defendant Frank between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, a general in the SS, a member of the Reichstag, Reich Minister without Portfolio, Reich Commissar for the Coordination of Justice, President of the International Chamber of Law and Academy of German Law, Chief of the Civil Administration of Lodz, Supreme Administrative Chief of the military district of West Prussia, Poznan, Lodz, and Krakow, and Governor General of the occupied Polish territories. The Defendant Frank used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his intimate connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including particularly the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity involved in the administration of occupied territories.

BORMANN. The Defendant Bormann between 1925 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, member of the Reichstag, a member of the Staff of the Supreme Command of the SA, founder and head of “Hilfskasse der NSDAP”, Reichsleiter, Chief of Staff Office of the Fuhrer’s Deputy, head of the Party Chancery, Secretary of the Führer, member of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich, organizer and head of the Volkssturm, a general in the SS, and a general in the SA. The Defendant Bormann used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his intimate connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Thuringia, a member of the Reichstag, General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor under the Four Year Plan, Joint Organizer with the Defendant Ley of the Central Inspection for the Care of Foreign Workers, a general in the SS, and a general in the SA. The Defendant Sauckel used the foregoing positions and his personal influence in such manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the economic preparations for wars of aggression and wars in violation of treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment, and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including particularly the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity involved in forcing the inhabitants of occupied countries to work as slave laborers in occupied countries and in Germany.

SPEER. The Defendant Speer between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, Reichsleiter, member of the Reichstag, Reich Minister for Armament and Munitions, Chief of the Organization Todt, General Plenipotentiary for Armaments in the Office of the Four Year Plan, and Chairman of the Armaments Council. The Defendant Speer used the foregoing positions and his personal influence in such a manner that:

He participated in the military and economic planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including more particularly the abuse and exploitation of human beings for forced labor in the conduct of aggressive war.

FUNK. The Defendant Funk between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, Economic Adviser of Hitler, National Socialist Deputy to the Reichstag, Press Chief of the Reich Government, State Secretary of the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Reich Minister of Economics, Prussian Minister of Economics, President of the German Reichsbank, Plenipotentiary for Economy, and member of the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich. The Defendant Funk used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his close connection with the Fuhrer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the military and economic planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including more particularly crimes against persons and property in connection with the economic exploitation of occupied territories.

SCHACHT. The Defendant Schacht between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, a member of the Reichstag, Reich Minister of Economics, Reich Minister without Portfolio and President of the German Reichsbank. The Defendant Schacht used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; and he participated in the military and economic plans and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression, and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment.

PAPEN. The Defendant Papen between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, a member of the Reichstag, Reich Chancellor under Hitler, special Plenipotentiary for the Saar, negotiator of the Concordat with the Vatican, Ambassador in Vienna, and Ambassador in Turkey. The Defendant Papen used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his close connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and participated in the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; and he participated in the political planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment.

KRUPP. The Defendant Krupp between 1932 and 1945 was head of Friedrich KRUPP A. G., a member of the General Economic Council, President of the Reich Union of German Industry, and head of the Group for Mining and Production of Iron and Metals under the Reich Ministry of Economics. The Defendant Krupp used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparation for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the military and economic planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including more particularly the exploitation and abuse of human beings for labor in the conduct of aggressive wars.

NEURATH. The Defendant Neurath between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, a general in the SS, a member of the Reichstag, Reich Minister, Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs, President of the Secret Cabinet Council, and Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia. The Defendant Neurath used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his close connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the political planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; in accordance with the Fuhrer Principle he executed, and assumed responsibility for the execution of the foreign policy plans of the Nazi conspirators set forth in Count One of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including particularly the crimes against persons and property in the occupied territories.

SCHIRACH. The Defendant Schirach between 1924 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, a member of the Reichstag, Reich Youth Leader on the Staff of the SA Supreme Command, Reichsleiter in the Nazi Party for Youth Education, Leader of Youth of the German Reich, head of the Hitler Jugend, Reich Defense Commissioner, and Reichsstatthalter and Gauleiter of Vienna. The Four of the Indictment, including a wide variety of crimes against persons and property.

FRICK. The Defendant Frick between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, Reichsleiter, general in the SS, member of the Reichstag, Reich Minister of the Interior, Prussian Minister of the Interior, Reich Director of Elections, General Plenipotentiary for the Administration of the Reich, head of the Central Office for the Reunification of Austria and the German Reich, Director of the Central Office for the Incorporation of Sudetenland, Memel, Danzig, the Eastern Occupied Territories, Eupen, Malmedy, and Moresnet, Director of the Central Office for the Protectorate of Bohemia, Moravia, the Government General, Lower Styria, Upper Carinthia, Norway, Alsace, Lorraine, and all other occupied territories, and Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia. The Defendant Frick used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his intimate connection with the Fuhrer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including more particularly the crimes against persons and property in occupied territories.

LEY. The Defendant Ley between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, Reichsleiter, Nazi Party Organization Manager, member of the Reichstag, leader of the German Labor Front, a general in the SA, and Joint Organizer of the Central Inspection for the Care of Foreign Workers. The Defendant Ley used the foregoing positions, his personal influence and his intimate connection with the Fuhrer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany as set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparation for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment, and in the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including particularly the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity relating to the abuse of human beings for labor in the conduct of the aggressive wars.

SAUCKEL. The Defendant Sauckel between 1921 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter of Defendant Schirach used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his intimate connection with the Fuhrer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the psychological and educational preparations for war and the militarization of Nazi dominated organizations set forth in Count One of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count F a r of the Indictment, including, particularly, anti-Jewish measures.

SEYSS-INQUART. The Defendant Seyss-Inquart between 1932 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, a general in the SS, State Councilor of Austria, Minister of the Interior and Security of Austria, Chancellor of Austria, a member of the Reichstag, a member of the Reich Cabinet, Reich Minister without Portfolio, Chief of the Civil Administration in South Poland, Deputy Governor-General of the Polish occupied territory, and Reich Commissar for the occupied Netherlands. The Defendant Seyss-Inquart used the foregoing positions and his personal influence in such a manner that:

He promoted the seizure and the consolidation of control over Austria by the Nazi conspirators set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the political planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including a wide variety of crimes against persons and property.

STREICHER. The Defendant Streicher between 1932 and 1945 Was a member of the Nazi Party, a member of the Reichstag, a general in the SA, Gauleiter of Franconia, editor in chief of the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer. The Defendant Streicher used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his close connection with the Fuhrer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he authorized, directed, and participated in the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including particularly the incitement of the persecution of the Jews set forth in Count One and Count Four of the Indictment.

KEITEL. The Defendant Keitel between 1938 and 1945 was Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces, member of the Secret Cabinet Council, member of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich, and Field Marshal. The Defendant Keitel used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his intimate connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the military preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the political planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; he executed and assumed responsibility for the execution of the plans of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including particularly the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity involved in the ill-treatment of prisoners of war and of the civilian population of occupied territories.

JODL. The Defendant Jodl between 1932 and 1945 was lieutenant colonel, Army Operations Department of the Wehrmacht, Colonel, Chief of OKW Operations Department, major general and Chief of Staff OKW and colonel general. The Defendant Jodl used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his close connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators and the consolidation of their control over Germany set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the military planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment, including a wide variety of crimes against persons and property.

RAEDER. The Defendant Raeder between 1928 and 1945 was Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, Generaladmiral, Grossadmiral, Admiralinspekteur of the German Navy, and a member of the Secret Cabinet Council. The Defendant Raeder used the foregoing positions and his personal influence in such a manner that:

He promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the political planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; he executed, and assumed responsibility for the execution of the plans of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment, including particularly War Crimes arising out of sea warfare.

DONITZ. The Defendant Donitz between 1932 and 1945 was Commanding Officer of the Weddigen U-boat Flotilla, Commander-in-Chief of the U-boat arm, Vice-Admiral, Admiral, Grossadmiral, and Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, advisor to Hitler, and successor to Hitler as head of the German Government. The Defendant Donitz used the foregoing positions, his personal influence, and his $intimate connection with the Führer in such a manner that:

He promoted the preparations for war set forth in Count One of the Indictment; he participated in the military planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment; and he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment, including particularly the crimes against persons and property on the High Seas.

FRITZSCHE. The Defendant Fritzsche between 1933 and 1945 was a member of the Nazi Party, editor-in-chief of the official German news agency, “Deutsches Nachrichten Büro”, head of the Wireless News Service and of the Home Press Division of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda, Ministerialdirektor of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda, Head of the Radio Division of the Propaganda Department of the Nazi Party, and Plenipotentiary for the Political Organization of the Greater German Radio. The Defendant Fritzsche used the foregoing positions and his personal influence to disseminate and exploit the principal doctrines of the Nazi conspirators set forth in Count One of the Indictment, and to advocate, encourage, and incite the commission of the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment and the Crimes against Humanity set forth in Count Four of the Indictment including, particularly, anti-Jewish measures and the ruthless exploitation of occupied territories.

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®

SOURCE: International Military Tribunal of Major War Criminals (LOC)
CNTRIBUTOR: Eddy Toorall

World War One: Meuse-Argonne; Attacks East of the Meuse 8-27 Oct. 1918

The Attacks East of the Meuse: 8–16 October 1918

After the III and V Corps endured weeks of heavy shelling from German artillery located on the Heights of the Meuse, Pershing ordered the French XVII Corps to launch an attack east of the Meuse River to clear the enemy from the hills. Général de Division Henri Claudel, a decorated and respected officer with four years of experience battling the Germans, commanded the corps. Claudel committed two French divisions, the 18th and 26th, and two American divisions, the 29th and 33d, to the assault. Their mission was to attack on line at 0500 on 8 October from just west of Consenvoye on the left to Beaumont on the right, seize the Heights of the Meuse, and push the enemy back roughly eight kilometers to Sivry-sur-Meuse and Flabas. Facing this Franco-American attack were the Austrian 1st Infantry Division and the German 15th Division. The Austrians’ morale was shaky, but shortages of manpower on the front had left Group Meuse East with no other option than to keep the unit in the line.

At first, the French XVII Corps’ attack went well. Under heavy enemy shellfire, the 33d Division crafted bridges across the Meuse and moved across the river to take Consenvoye. The division then pressed northeast nearly four kilometers toward the western tip of the Bois de Consenvoye and the Bois de Chaume. The 29th Division also rapidly advanced north three kilometers toward the center of the Bois de Consenvoye. The concerted attack by the American divisions all but crushed the Austrian division. The veteran French divisions east of the Americans moved much slower. The Americans would later complain that their French comrades failed to cover the doughboys’ flanks and left the hard fighting to U.S. divisions. The soldiers themselves failed to appreciate that four years of fighting with heavy losses had taught the French to be more cautious and judicious than the Americans in their attacks. Even so, the French 18th Division took Haumont-près-Samogneux and moved forward to Ormont Farm, while the French 26th Division gingerly advanced through the Bois des Caures.

In the afternoon of 8 October, the Allied attack began to slow as the troops entered the hills and woods of the Heights of the Meuse. The German commander rushed his only ready reserve, an infantry regiment reinforced with two battalions, to steady the wavering Austrian line with a counterattack on Hill 371. The Group Meuse East commander also began moving three more divisions toward the threatened sector of the front. After German resistance stiffened, the fighting in the Bois de Consenvoye and the Bois de Chaume quickly came to resemble the vicious fighting in the Argonne.

For six more days, the French XVII Corps battered away at the German defenses on the Heights of the Meuse. Gains by the 29th and 33d Divisions at Molleville Farm, the Bois de Consenvoye, the Bois de Chaume, and the Bois de la Grande Montagne were met with fierce German counterattacks and heavy enemy artillery and gas barrages. By 16 October, both American divisions were exhausted and the corps’ attack ground to a halt well short of clearing the heights and taking Sivry-sur-Meuse. Three years after the war, the chief of staff of the German XVI Corps, Maj. Hermann von Giehrl, argued that the French XVII Corps’ attack “was much too slight to have any influence on the situation on the western bank.” Although Giehrl’s assertion had much truth to it, the Franco-American drive nonetheless forced the Germans to displace some of their batteries from the heights, redirect the fires of many of their remaining batteries east of the Meuse against the French XVII Corps, and devote more of their dwindling reserves to the battle.

A Change of Command for the First Army

By the middle of October, the First Army’s bloody assaults still had not carried the Americans to their initial first-day objectives. No one felt the stress of this perceived lack of progress more than Pershing. Not merely under immense pressure from Foch to show more gains in the Meuse-Argonne, Pershing also desperately wanted to show the world that the AEF was a competent and capable force that was worthy of a true world power. In what was perhaps his wisest decision as the AEF’s commander, he admitted that commanding the large and far-flung AEF while also directing the operations of the First Army was too much for one man.

On 12 October, Pershing ordered the reorganization of the AEF. He relinquished direct command of the First Army and divided it into two smaller armies. Pershing turned over the First Army, which would continue to direct operations in the Meuse-Argonne sector and the area of the French XVII Corps, to Hunter Liggett. The new Second Army, under Robert Bullard, would be responsible for the eastern end of the American sector from Fresnes-en-Woëvre to Port-sur-Seille. Pershing was now free to oversee the larger business of the AEF and to direct its combat operations through his two trusted army commanders. The elevation of Liggett and Bullard led to the transfer of Maj. Gen. Joseph T. Dickman to command the I Corps and the promotion of General Hines to command the III Corps.

Pershing also used the reorganization to conduct a house cleaning of the AEF’s senior commanders. He believed that operation had contributed to the First Army’s doleful situation, and thus sacked General Cameron. Pershing hoped that Cameron’s replacement, Maj. Gen. Charles P. Summerall, would bring to the V Corps the same drive and tactical acumen that he had exhibited as the commander of the 1st Division. Cameron was not the last general to fall. Pershing had established a reputation for not suffering fools or failure lightly. As early as 28 December 1917, Bullard noted in his diary, “He is looking for results. . . . He will sacrifice any man who does not bring them.” Within four days of the AEF’s reorganization, Pershing removed 3d Division commander Maj. Gen. Beaumont B. Buck after Buck nearly battered the division to pieces in six days of ill-supported attacks against the Bois de Cunel and its adjacent heights. Similarly, he dismissed 5th Division commander Maj. Gen. John E. McMahon, who had mishandled assaults on the Bois des Rappes and the Bois de la Pultière. On 22 October, Pershing also relieved the commander of the 26th Division, Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Edwards, with whom he had long had a contentious relationship. These removals helped to create a climate of fear within the AEF’s senior ranks that sometimes led commanders to push their attacks long after the hope of success had passed.

Breaking the Hindenburg Line: 14–27 October 1918

When Liggett took command, the First Army was in crisis. The grinding attritional struggle to clear the Argonne, capture the Heights of the Meuse, and break through the German defensive belts had cost the Americans nearly a hundred thousand casualties. Liggett estimated that another hundred thousand men were straggling behind the lines. Although some of these men had deliberately removed themselves from the fighting, most of the straggling resulted from systemic problems with the army’s training, mobilization, and organization. The huge 250-man infantry companies proved difficult for the army’s inadequately trained officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) to control in the region’s challenging terrain. The failure of the AEF’s logistics system all too often meant that the soldiers in combat subsisted on a diet of hard bread, corned beef, or canned salmon. Many of the soldiers who left the line did so to search for food after they had eaten all of even these meager rations. Adding to this misery, in early October the weather had turned cold and rainy, and increasing numbers of doughboys came down with influenza and dysentery. For example, during the month of October, the 82d Division’s chief surgeon reported that an average of 700 soldiers from his unit were being hospitalized per day due to influenza, diarrhea, or exhaustion.

To make matters worse, the AEF’s unexpectedly high casualties in the summer and fall of 1918 led the army to ship large numbers of soldiers to France before they had completed their instruction. An officer of the Army General Staff Training and Instruction Branch was shocked to report on 2 October, that “enlisted men have had to be placed in overseas units before being trained; many of them receive only three weeks’ training,” which included one week spent in the detention camp for quarantine. It is no surprise that officers and NCOs in France often complained that their replacements lacked the basic skills to fight, much less survive, in battle. The commander of the 307th Infantry informed the First Army’s inspector general in October that 90 percent of the 850 to 900 replacements that his unit received just before going into the Argonne had never fired a rifle or thrown a grenade. Several officers reported that they had to teach their new men how to load their weapons and don their gas masks just before the novices went into combat. The poor preparation of replacements often led directly to tactical failure and unnecessarily high casualties.

In addition to the issues with the infantry, the fighting in the Meuse-Argonne also revealed problems with the AEF’s supporting arms. At the end of the St. Mihiel Offensive, the French reassigned many of the air squadrons that they had attached to the Americans for that operation. This left General Mitchell with far fewer aircraft to cover the much larger region of the Meuse-Argonne. Mechanical problems quickly pared the aircraft available for the operation from 840 down to 670 planes. The departure of the French further meant that three-fourths of Mitchell’s planes were flown by Americans. Many of these men were novices to flying, let alone combat. Throughout the campaign, poor weather and rugged terrain further hampered air operations. American air observers found the weather clear enough to accurately spot or target the enemy on only ten of the forty-seven days of the campaign. These issues meant that Mitchell’s decision to focus most of the American air operations against targets in the enemy’s rear area met with only limited success and drew the ire of many American soldiers. Although the airmen had some success in air interdiction, they could not prevent German air attacks on American ground forces.

This is not to say that the American pilots did not try to ease the doughboys’ burdens. In the ten sorties flown between 12 and 29 September 1918 over the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne sectors, 2d Lt. Frank Luke Jr. shot down fourteen German observation balloons and four enemy airplanes. As observation balloons were heavily defended and dangerous to destroy, his accomplishments were no mean feat. On his last mission, Luke shot down three balloons near Dun-sur-Meuse before being wounded and forced down behind enemy lines. After landing, he reportedly used his pistol to hold off a party of Germans advancing to take him prisoner before dying from his wound. For his skills and bravery in the air, Luke became the first American aviator to win the Medal of Honor.

Luke was not the only American aviator to gain fame in the skies above the Meuse-Argonne. Capt. Edward “Eddie” Rickenbacker, the commander of the 94th Aero Squadron, entered the campaign with eleven aerial victories to his credit. Between 28 September and 30 October, Rickenbacker shot down five additional German balloons and ten airplanes during his flights over the Meuse-Argonne. His twenty-six total kills made him the highest-scoring American ace of the war. However, despite the valor of aviators such as Luke and Rickenbacker, the Air Service obtained mixed results from its air operations throughout October.

The First Army also experienced problems with some of the new weapons of ground warfare. Although the army’s tankers had provided needed support to the infantry from time to time in the opening weeks of the campaign, their lack of training and experience in infantry-armor cooperation hobbled their efforts. Few infantry commanders understood the new vehicles’ capabilities and limitations, or how to work with them to overcome German resistance while providing mutual protection for both types of units. The fact that many of the American divisions had been supported by French tank battalions in the first week of the battle only exacerbated these difficulties. American infantrymen could at least communicate with their countrymen in an ad hoc form of coordination, but the language differences between the Americans and French made this almost impossible. High losses and mechanical breakdowns also limited the effectiveness of the tanks. When Liggett took over the First Army, half of his tanks were inoperable, a circumstance not uncommon in those early days of armored warfare.

The tankers’ inability to advance put even greater pressure on the artillery to support the infantry. Unfortunately, many divisions continued to wrestle with the challenge of properly coordinating artillery fires with infantry attacks. This often meant that while the AEF’s guns were able to suppress the Germans with preplanned fires, the time lag between the bombardment and the American infantry attacks generally gave the enemy enough time to emerge from their shelters and reestablish their defenses. When faced with unexpected enemy resistance, the infantry had difficulty communicating with artillery and arranging needed fire support.

Liggett and his staff worked hard to overcome these problems by sorting out the American logistical tangle and by putting divisions rotating from the line through hasty training programs intended to correct shortcomings in the AEF’s tactical skills and doctrine. The AEF GHQ also attempted to rectify some of the Americans’ shortcomings by publishing Notes on Recent Operations to pass on the army’s tactical lessons. The Notes on Recent Operations No. 3 that the AEF GHQ released on 12 October offered unit commanders from the platoon to the division level directions on how to best employ their tanks, artillery, machine guns, and logistical assets based upon the experiences at St. Mihiel and the first week of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. For example, it noted that much of the army’s difficulties in tank-infantry coordination stemmed from the fact that infantry commanders had failed to give their tanks specific objectives that would support the infantry’s operations. Some of the pamphlet’s advice, however, demonstrated that the AEF high command was still far too wedded to the notions of war that had dominated the tactical thinking of 1914. The publication chided commanders for being too concerned with avoiding casualties and too reliant on artillery fire to destroy enemy machine guns when they should have been using rifle fire to overcome this menace. Reflecting Pershing’s belief that the Americans needed to be more aggressive, it stressed, “It is seldom wrong to go forward. It is seldom wrong to attack. In the attack it is much better to lose many men than to fail to gain ground.” Given the pace of the First Army’s operations, it is unclear how many commanders had the opportunity to read the Notes on Recent Operations series, but combat experience and Liggett’s efforts to fix what he could in his army’s training and operations did lead to slow and steady improvements in how the Americans fought.

Despite Liggett’s best efforts, some of the army’s problems remained intractable. By early October, Foch’s decision to redirect the AEF to the Meuse-Argonne was beginning to have a negative impact on the First Army’s operations. Even though the men in the SOS worked diligently to keep up with the supply demands of combat units, the First Army’s railheads were still too far removed from the fighting. It was difficult to move supplies, ammunition, and units to the front, and the autumn rains and heavy traffic continued to overtax the region’s limited road network and to reduce logistical operations to a crawl. Most of the army’s supply wagons and artillery were horse-drawn, as were many of its ambulances. By 8 October, the First Army was short 50,000 horses and mules. Sickness, enemy action, and the exhaustion caused by pulling heavy loads through muddy roads and difficult terrain added to this shortfall in draft animals as the campaign dragged on.

Unfortunately, the First Army could not pause while it worked out these issues. Liggett understood that he must get the American offensive back on track by breaking through the Hindenburg Line. The army’s renewed attack began on 14 October. The objective was to rupture the German lines between St. Georges and the Romagne Heights in a double envelopment conducted by units of the V and III Corps. After the corps pierced the German defenses, they would exploit their success by pushing on to seize the Bois de Bantheville. Pershing and Liggett believed that taking the heights in the center of the enemy line would render the remainder of the Hindenburg Line within the sector untenable for the Germans. The I Corps’ mission during the attack was to protect the left flank of the V Corps by driving the Germans back to a line running from Imécourt in the east to the high ground in the Bois de Bourgogne in the west.

The left wing of Liggett’s envelopment was the V Corps’ seasoned 42d Division. The “Rainbow” Division was to advance through the Bois du Romagne and take the heights running from St. Georges to the Côte de Châtillon, and then swing east into the Bois de Bantheville. On the right wing of the envelopment, the III Corps’ 3d and 5th Divisions were to clear the Germans from the heights of Cunel and the hills east of Romagne before moving to the northwest to assist the V Corps in seizing the Bois de Bantheville. The 32d Division was positioned at the center of the envelopment. Its mission was to attack the Côte Dame Marie to prevent the Germans from shifting forces to block the wings of the main assaults. To draw attention away from the main attacks and ensure that the Germans remained in place, the 32d Division was to launch its attack three hours prior to the assaults of the 5th and 42d Divisions.

The attack did not go off as planned. To reach St. Georges and Landres-et-St. Georges, the 42d Division’s left flank unit, the 83d Infantry Brigade, had to cross a mile of open ground and work its way through belts of uncut barbed wire. Repeated surges against the enemy line soon decimated the brigade. Even with the desperate valor of its soldiers, the German defenses of Landreset-St. Georges proved too strong for the 83d Brigade to overcome. On the 42d Division’s right flank, Brig. Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s 84th Infantry Brigade managed to fight its way to the base of the machine-gun-studded slopes of the Côte de Châtillon and La Tuilerie Farm by the end of the first day’s fighting. MacArthur later claimed that on the eve of the attack the V Corps commander, General Summerall, had warned him, “Give me Châtillon, or a list of five thousand casualties.” Although MacArthur may have exaggerated this exchange, he understood the importance of taking the high ground in his sector. Between 15 and 16 October, MacArthur’s men painfully clawed the hill out of the grip of its resolute German defenders.

The 42d Division’s attack had secured Liggett an opening in the Hindenburg Line, but this success had come at a great price. In three days of fighting, the division suffered 2,895 casualties. A further indication of the intensity of the fighting was the fact that in those three days, three soldiers of the division won Medals of Honor. One famous recipient was Lt. Col. William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan, a battalion commander in the 165th Infantry and the future head of the World War II Office of Strategic Services. During his regiment’s fight to take Landres-et-St. Georges, Donovan personally led repeated sorties against enemy positions. Despite being wounded below the knee by a machine gun bullet, he refused to be evacuated, and he organized the withdrawal of his remaining troops from their precarious forward positions.

On the right wing of the First Army’s envelopment, the 5th Division also encountered grave challenges in carrying out its mission. The unit’s march to the front and its relief of the 80th Division occurred under constant German artillery fire from the high ground around Cunel and Romagne and from the stillunconquered Heights of the Meuse. Worse yet, poor planning and the confusion of battle resulted in the 5th Division’s 14 October attack lacking sufficient artillery support to cover the infantry’s advance. The absence of any meaningful suppressive fires allowed the Germans to rain machine gun and artillery fires down on the Americans from the front and from both flanks. Yet even in the face of this galling assault from above, the division managed to capture Cunel and push into the southern edge of the Bois de la Pultière.

During the attack, one act of heroism stood out. A soldier involved in the 5th Division’s assault, 1st Lt. Samuel Woodfill, had served for over sixteen years in the Regular Army’s enlisted ranks and had fought in the Philippine Insurrection before earning a commission in 1917. Before the division’s main attack, Woodfill led his company on a reconnaissance patrol to Cunel. After his unit came under fire from multiple machine guns, Woodfill used his marksmanship skills to kill the crews of one gun after another. He proceeded to methodically clear the area of Germans, all while suffering from the effects of mustard gas. In taking out the last machine gun nest, Woodfill killed two gunners with a pick after his pistol jammed during the melee. For his conspicuous act of valor, Woodfill was awarded the Medal of Honor.

The bravery of men like Woodfill, however, could not rescue the 5th Division from its dilemma. On the morning of 15 October, the division resumed its attacks, but again the artillery failed to adequately support the infantry’s advance. The division managed to fight through the Bois de la Pultière and, after hard and costly fighting, its 9th Infantry Brigade reached the northern edge of the Bois des Rappes by nightfall. Unfortunately, later that night the division commander, General McMahon, received a false report that panic had swept the troops of the 9th Brigade, sending the unit into a full retreat. McMahon ordered the division to abandon their gains and pull back to the Bois de la Pultière without bothering to confirm the veracity of the report. Hundreds of soldiers would fall over the next four days as the 5th Division battled to take back what McMahon had so easily surrendered on 16 October. By the time the division pulled out of the line on 22 October, it had lost 779 men killed in action, 3,108 wounded, and 562 gas casualties.

On the 5th Division’s left, the 32d Division’s attack on 14 October highlighted the fickle nature of war. Although the unit’s advance was intended only as a holding action, its attack succeeded beyond expectations and the division cut another breach in the Hindenburg Line. Despite being repulsed in several attacks on the Côte Dame Marie between 9 and 13 October, strokes of good luck accompanied by acts of bravery and tactical good sense allowed the 32d Division to not only capture the deadly hilltop on 14 October, but also surge ahead to seize Romagne. Although the 14 October attack initially stalled on the left flank and in the center, on the right the 128th Infantry, supported by effective artillery fires, outflanked the German positions at Romagne and allowed the Americans to seize the defenses that had long held up the First Army’s advance. The 128th Infantry’s attack unhinged the German defenders in the division’s sector and caused a domino effect along their lines.

In the division’s center, a small party of eight soldiers from the 3d Battalion, 126th Infantry, discovered a gap in the enemy defenses at Hill 258 on the Côte Dame Marie ridge. This detachment, led by Capt. Edward B. Strom, skillfully used the terrain to flank the German positions and captured ten machine guns. Here, the fog of war worked to the Americans’ advantage. Unaware of the small size of Strom’s force, and fearing that they had been surrounded by the advance of the 126th and 128th Infantry, many other Germans facing Strom’s detachment surrendered or abandoned their positions. The slackening of the enemy’s fire on the ridge allowed the rest of the 126th Infantry to surge up the hill. The 126th and 128th Infantry’s successes in weakening the German defenses also allowed the stalled 127th Infantry to move forward on the 32d Division’s left flank. The division exploited these successes and pushed over two kilometers farther into the German lines before the end of the day. Subsequent attacks on 15 October cleared most of the Bois de Chavignon and secured the division a lodgment for later attacks against the Bois de Bantheville.

Although Liggett now had his breach in the Hindenburg Line, much fighting remained to clear the enemy from the rest of the line and finally secure the objectives that the First Army had intended to reach on 26 and 27 September. To continue the attack, Liggett’s first order of business was to rotate fresh units into the fight. The 4th, 33d, and 77th Divisions had been in the line since the beginning of the offensive and were in desperate need of relief. Furthermore, hard fighting had reduced the 3d, 5th, 32d, 42d, and 82d Divisions to under half their authorized strength of combat soldiers.

While these units were rotated out of the line for rest and refit, the First Army launched a series of local attacks both east and west of the Meuse from 18 to 27 October to gain relative positions of advantage across its area of operation. In the I Corps’ sector, the fresh 78th Division fought its way into Grandpré, the Bois de Bourgogne, and the Bois des Loges. At the same time, the V Corps battled to expand its breach of the German line by launching a series of local attacks to clear the Bois de Bantheville, the Bois du Romagne, and the Bois de Chavignon. Along the Meuse, the III Corps fought a brutal series of engagements to capture the Bois des Rappes and Les Clairs Chênes. East of the Meuse, the French XVII Corps attempted to restart its stalled effort to capture the Heights of the Meuse by launching attacks between Sivry-sur-Meuse and Crépion from 23 to 28 October. Despite these efforts, the corps’ doughboys and poilus made little headway against the area’s stubborn defenders.

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®

SOURCE: U.S. Army Campaigns World War I; United States Army Center of Military History
CONTRIBUTOR: Cade Pommeraan

World War One: Meuse-Argonne; 1 Oct. – 12 Oct. 1918

Reorganizing While in Contact: 1–4 October 1918

With the advance stalled and the First Army’s rear area in disarray, by the end of September it had become clear to Pershing that he must make adjustments in his organization to reinvigorate the First Army’s offensive. His first act was to replace many of his corps’ tattered and combat-ineffective divisions with the veteran units that had redeployed and recuperated from the St. Mihiel drive. The V Corps underwent a short tactical pause while all three of its attack divisions were relieved by the 3d and 32d Divisions.  In the I Corps, the 1st Division replaced the 35th Division. Only the III Corps’ organization remained unchanged.

Pershing planned to resume a general attack across the First Army’s front on 4 October. While the reorganization of the army and the planning for the 4 October advance were underway, the I and III Corps continued to launch attacks within their sectors. The Germans, however, also had used the lull in the fighting to replace their worn divisions and send reinforcements to the Meuse-Argonne. Even though they were under attack along virtually the entire Western Front, by 4 October the better part of twelve German divisions would confront the Americans. In the face of this hardening resistance, the I and III Corps attacks made little headway.

This slow advance was doubly the case with the 77th Division as it continued to grind its way through the Argonne. During the fighting on 2 October, Maj. Charles W. Whittlesey’s 1st Battalion, 308th Infantry; companies from the 2d Battalion; and elements of the 307th Infantry and the 306th Machine Gun Battalion found a seam in the enemy lines and pushed deep into the enemy defenses toward Charlevaux Mill. Whittlesey had followed orders from his regimental commander, Col. Cromwell Stacey, to press the attack with vigor and not to worry about his flanks. Unfortunately, the units on his battalion’s flanks had not kept pace with his advance, nor had other elements of the division followed up behind Whittlesey’s drive. After Whittlesey halted his attack on the evening of 2 October, the Germans infiltrated around his men and cut them off from the rest of the 77th Division. By the morning, Whittlesey and roughly 550 doughboys were isolated in a small pocket surrounded by the enemy. The men of what would come to be known as the “Lost Battalion” dug in on a hillside to hold their ground and wait for relief.

The Attack Resumes: 4–12 October 1918

In the waning days of September, Pershing was under immense pressure from Foch to show more results in the Meuse-Argonne. After the impenetrable traffic jams in the First Army’s rear area prevented him from visiting the American front, French premier Georges Clemenceau concluded that Pershing was not up to the challenge of commanding an army. He pressed Foch to relieve the American commander in chief and even threatened to write to President Wilson to request a new leader for the AEF. Although Foch managed to dissuade Clemenceau from taking such a drastic step, he also held reservations about Pershing’s ability to manage such a massive undertaking. On 30 September, he proposed to Pershing that the U.S. I Corps be placed under French command for clearing the Argonne region. Pershing, unsurprisingly, rejected the scheme out of hand, but he also understood Foch’s warning. The somewhat rested First Army would redouble its efforts in the Meuse-Argonne with a broad frontal attack beginning at 0530 on 4 October with the goal of cracking the Hindenburg Line.

The First Army’s plan for the resumed attack was clear-cut and uncomplicated. Clearing the hills of the Barrois Plateau was the key to breaking through the main German defense line. The V Corps again received the most difficult mission. The corps was to take the Romagne Heights and the high ground in the Bois du Moncy and Bois du Romagne. The I and III Corps would assist the V Corps in its endeavors by threatening the enemy’s flanks on the plateau while also clearing the enemy from their own sectors. The I Corps would continue to push through the Argonne and the Aire Valley to seize the hills in the vicinity of Cornay, Châtel-Chéhéry, and Exermont; clear the forest of troublesome enemy artillery; and establish unbroken liaison with the French Fourth Army. By taking the hills north of Exermont, the I Corps would weaken the German defenses that the V Corps faced on the Romagne Heights. At the same time, the III Corps was to capture the heights northwest of Cunel and move on to assist the V Corps in seizing the hills north of Romagne. Pershing hoped that the infusion of hardened and proven units, such as the 1st and 3d Divisions, would provide the impetus that the First Army needed to jump start the offensive.

What followed were two of the bloodiest weeks in American history. Faced with a nearly unbroken line of German defenses strengthened by the arrival of fresh reinforcements, the American assault degenerated into a series of costly frontal attacks. The Germans contested every American advance and often deprived the doughboys of their hard-won gains with counterattacks that were well supported by artillery. American drives in the I and III Corps sectors continued to be hamstrung by German artillery fire from the Argonne and the Heights of the Meuse. Bullard later described the struggle as “an exhausting, heart-breaking, discouraging, ever-continuous operation that lasted all the time.” Losses in the back-and-forth fighting were heavy. In the first week of October, the First Army suffered 6,589 battlefield deaths. By the end of the second week of October, over 12,600 Americans had been killed since the offensive began. These losses were greater than those suffered by both Grant’s and Lee’s armies in the first two months of the Overland Campaign in 1864, and were nearly double the nation’s combined losses in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2017.

Although the Germans stymied the III and V Corps’ attacks by tenaciously clinging to the Romagne and Cunel heights, the I Corps made steady if painful progress in its sector. In savage fighting from 4 to 7 October, the 28th Division took the high ground of Le Chêne Tondu and Châtel-Chéhéry. During the same period, the fresh 1st Division drove five kilometers into the German defenses and captured Exermont. Unfortunately, the 77th Division remained stalled in the machine-gun-swept thickets of the Argonne Forest.

The success of the 1st Division’s attacks presented Liggett with an opportunity to change the fortunes of the I Corps and the First Army. The division had driven far enough down the Aire Valley to carve out sufficient maneuver space for Liggett to wedge the corps’ reserve, the 82d Division, into a position south Fléville and north of the 28th Division’s positions at Châtel-Chéhéry. Liggett’s plan was to use the 82d Division to drive due west into the northeastern edge of the Argonne Forest at Cornay and Hill 223. At the same time, the 28th Division would shift the direction of its attack from the north to the west to seize Hill 244.

Liggett’s goal was to threaten simultaneously the eastern flank and the rear of the main German defenses in the Argonne. If the plan succeeded, the Germans would be forced to abandon the forest or face the eventual encirclement and destruction of Group Argonne. In either case, the I Corps attack would relieve enemy pressure on the 77th Division, reestablish an unbroken line with the French Fourth Army, and aid in the relief of the Lost Battalion. However, the plan was not without its risks, as the right flank of the 82d Division would be exposed to enemy fire and counterattacks throughout the operation.

The I Corps gave the 82d Division less than a day to plan the assault and move the division’s roughly 28,000 soldiers nearly thirteen kilometers through the congested roads that led from its assembly areas to its attack positions. Although the unit had to make the difficult move at night during a steady rain, the 82d was in position to launch the attack at the designated time of 0500 on 7 October. Both the 82d and the 28th Divisions faced the daunting task of assaulting across the open expanse of the Aire Valley to capture high ground defended by a resolute, well-entrenched enemy. The assault units lost hundreds of men as they slogged across the bottomlands to reach the heights of the Argonne, but by the end of the day the 28th Division had claimed Hill 244 and the 82d had taken Hill 223.

In the midst of this terrible contest, a smaller drama played out in the little pocket defended by the Lost Battalion. For nearly five days, Whittlesey’s encircled men had endured both American and German artillery fire and fought off a series of enemy attacks. Fortunately, Liggett’s assault into the German flank had the intended effect of unhinging the enemy’s position in the Argonne. For the Lost Battalion, the Germans withdrew just in the nick of time: when the enemy abandoned their siege of Whittlesey’s position on the afternoon of 7 October, 107 of the 550 men in the pocket had been killed and another 249 were wounded or missing in action. For their courage and leadership during the battle, Major Whittlesey, Capt. George G. McMurtry, and Capt. Nelson M. Holderman were awarded the Medal of Honor. Two American aviators, 1st Lt. Harold E. Goettler and 2d Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley, also received posthumous Medals of Honor after being shot down on 6 October while attempting to resupply the pocket from the air.

The relief of the Lost Battalion was a welcome development, but the I Corps’ attack had not yet run its course. By nightfall on 7 October, the 82d Division still had not taken Cornay or cut the light rail line that supplied the Germans in the southern portion of the Argonne. Although the division fought off repeated German attempts to recapture Hill 223, the enemy was still able to use heavy machine gun and artillery fires to pin down the Americans on the hill and in the lowlands east of Cornay.

When the 82d resumed the attack on the morning of 8 October, the soldiers were met with a torrent of fire. To eliminate some of the machine gun nests holding up his advance, the commander of Company G, 2d Battalion, 328th Infantry, Capt. Edward C. B. Danforth maneuvered to attack the German positions. In the confusion, the commander of Danforth’s 1st Platoon, Sgt. Harry M. Parson, lost contact with the company and on his own initiative ordered acting Sgt. Bernard Early to take a reinforced squad of three corporals and thirteen privates to flank the enemy machine guns. Initially, Early successfully surprised and captured a number of Germans, but an alert enemy machine gun crew spotted the Americans and opened fire. When the German fusillade killed one corporal and severely wounded Early and another corporal, the command of the small detachment fell to Cpl. Alvin C. York. Under intense machine gun and rifle fire, York ordered his surviving squad members to remain under cover while he crawled to a position where he could enfilade the German defenders. The Tennessee marksman managed to kill fifteen to twenty-five of the enemy facing his squad before leading his detachment back to the American lines. Along the way, York’s squad forced the surrender of additional enemy units and the Americans returned to their regiment with 132 German prisoners. York also captured or destroyed thirty-five of the enemy machine guns that were holding up the advance of his battalion. For these actions, York was awarded the Medal of Honor and soon became the most famous doughboy in the AEF.

Similar acts of valor and perseverance by the soldiers of the I Corps began to pay off. Faced with the growing threat of being cut off by the advance of the 28th and 82d Divisions, and under increasing pressure from the French Fourth Army to the west, the Germans began to withdraw from the Argonne on the night of 8 and 9 October. On 10 October, Liggett relieved the battered 28th Division and ordered the 77th and 82d to redouble their attacks. Liggett wanted to exploit his success in the Argonne by pressing his divisions to rapidly pursue the retreating Germans, but the enemy’s rearguard defense and his own men’s exhaustion thwarted his desires. Pvt. Fred Takes, an infantryman in the 82d Division’s 325th Infantry, recorded that his company went into the Meuse-Argonne Campaign with 250 men, but nine days of continuous combat had reduced the unit to three five-man squads. Despite these challenges, the I Corps continued to push back the Germans, and by 11 October, Liggett’s doughboys occupied a line running from Sommerance in the east to the southern outskirts of Grandpré in the west.

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®

SOURCE: U.S. Army Campaigns World War I; United States Army Center of Military History
CONTRIBUTOR: Cade Pommeraan

This Day in History: World Food Day, October 16, 1945

World Food Day

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme.

Origins
World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO’s Member Countries at the Organization’s 20th General Conference in November 1945. The Hungarian Delegation, led by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pál Romány has played an active role at the 20th Session of the FAO Conference and suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide. It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.

Themes
Since 1981, World Food Day has adopted a different theme each year, in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus.

Most of the themes revolve around agriculture because only investment in agriculture – together with support for education and health – will turn this situation around. The bulk of that investment will have to come from the private sector, with public investment playing a crucial role, especially in view of its facilitating and stimulating effect on private investment.

In spite of the importance of agriculture as the driving force in the economies of many developing countries, this vital sector is frequently starved of investment. In particular, foreign aid to agriculture has shown marked declines over the past 20 years.

1981: Food comes first
1982: Food comes first
1983: Food security
1984: Women in agriculture
1985: Rural poverty
1986: Fishermen and fishing communities
1987: Small farmers
1988: Rural youth
1989: Food and the environment
1990: Food for the future
1991: Trees for life
1992: Food and nutrition
1993: Harvesting nature’s diversity
1994: Water for life
1995: Food for all
1996: Fighting hunger and malnutrition
1997: Investing in food security
1998: Women feed the world
1999: Youth against hunger
2000: A millennium free from hunger
2001: Fight hunger to reduce poverty
2002: Water: source of food security
2003: Working together for an international alliance against hunger
2004: Biodiversity for food security
2005: Agriculture and intercultural dialogue
2006: Investing in agriculture for food security
2007: The right to food
2008: World food security: the challenges of climate change and bioenergy
2009: Achieving food security in times of crisis
2010: United against hunger
2011: Food prices – from crisis to stability
2012: Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world

Events
Events take place in over 150 countries to mark World Food Day. Below are example of events held across the world in recent years.

United States of America
World Food Day has been a tradition in the USA since the first World Food Day in 1982. In the United States the endeavor is sponsored by 450 national, private voluntary organizations.[1] One example for World Food Day events is the World Food Day Sunday Dinners that Oxfam America sponsors in collaboration with several other non profits.[2] Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu[3] and author Francis Moore Lappe[4] have teamed up with Oxfam America to promote World Food Day Sunday Dinners. The Iowa Hunger Summit has been held on or near World Food Day since 2007, and is organized by the World Food Prize in conjunction with their annual symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.[5]

Europe
In Italy, ministries, universities, research agencies, international agencies and NGOs have organized many conferences as well as exhibitions and symposia. The Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Policies organized a meeting which focused on women’s rights in rural areas in 2005.

In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture have all become involved via press conferences. Spanish television has been active in broadcasting events. FAO Goodwill Ambassador – Spanish soccer star Raul – has taken part in events and helped highlight food-security issues across his country.

The UK Food Group has also been active through conferences and media broadcasts. In the emerging economies of Eastern Europe – i.e., Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovak Republic – a variety of activities have been held.

In Hungary, renowned experts have given presentations in the Hungarian Agricultural Museum and FAO, and WFD medals have been awarded to well-known Hungarian experts by the FAO Sub-Regional Representative.

On behalf of the Holy See, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have sent an annual message for food producers and consumers on World Food Day.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

Africa
Angola celebrated WFD in 2005 through the 4th Forum on Rural Women, while in Burundi the second Vice-President planted potatoes to provide a symbolic example about food production. In Central African Republic, the President of the Republic has inaugurated a bridge at Boda to coincide with World Food Day, making the agricultural production area more accessible.

In Chad, thousands of people have attended debates, conferences and activities including theatre, films, folk dance, visits to project sites and visits by agricultural companies.

In Ghana, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has hosted a food security conference, while Namibia has run an awareness campaign through national media.

Egypt has hosted a Forum on nutrition issues. Morocco and Tunisia have held seminars and exhibitions.

Asia
The Government of Bangladesh has been involved through organizing a food festival; in China in 2005, celebrations were organized in Qujing City, where numerous ethnical minorities live, by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Qujing City, with the participation of a number of senior officials of the Government.

In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, seminars have been held and visits made to various project sites. The Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia has in the past organized a major Food Expo in Bandung, West Java, while a Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Workshop of NGOs was held in Bali.

In Armenia, staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, non-governmental organizations, Armenian State Agriculture University, the donor community, international organizations, and the mass media have participated in the World Food Day ceremony. In Afghanistan, representatives of Ministries, embassies, UN agencies, International Financial Organizations, National and International NGOs and FAO staff have attended the World Food Day ceremony.

In Cyprus, special ceremonies have been organized in primary and secondary schools, where teachers explained the significance of World Food Day.

Latin America
In Chile, exhibitions of indigenous food products have been prepared by local communities. In Argentina, senior officials of the Government, academics, international organizations and the press have participated in the main ceremony. In Mexico in 2005, a National Campaign for a “Mexico Without Hunger” was held, with the involvement and support of civil society and students. In Cuba, producers have been able to exchange views and experiences at an agricultural fair. The media strongly supports awareness campaigns on World Food Day; for example in Venezuela there has been national coverage of events.

 

References

World War One: Meuse-Argonne; 27 Sept. – 1 Oct. 1918

Initial Phase of the Battle: 26 September–1 October 1918
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive began at 0230 on 26 September 1918 when the 2,711 artillery guns supporting the attack between the Argonne Forest and the Meuse River began three hours of preparatory fires. The First Army’s fire plan was to pave the way for the infantry by obliterating barbed-wire obstacles, suppressing artillery batteries, crushing field fortifications, and killing or neutralizing the defenders. The bombardment was impressive.

Future U.S. president Capt. Harry S. Truman, an artillery battery commander in the 35th Division, admitted to being awed by the sight of the barrage, noting that, “the sky was red from one end to the other from the artillery flashes.” The continual firing was so intense that Truman and his artillerymen were rendered temporarily “deaf as a post from the noise.”

At H-hour, 0530, the infantry assault began. The day’s fighting was a mixed bag for the First Army. Some divisions performed well in battle, while others brought to light the many shortcomings in the U.S. Army’s mobilization and training. The First Army experienced its greatest success on the first day of the battle in the III Corps’ sector. Here, the artillery preparation disrupted the German defense. That morning, fog blanketed the front. Although the poor visibility hindered the Americans’ command and control, it also provided vital concealment from the German defenders as doughboys slogged across the marshlands of the Meuse valley to reach their objectives. Despite the artillery support, the infantry still had to overcome the surviving enemy machine gun nests in the Bois de Forges, Bois Jure, and Septsarges.

On the army’s right, Maj. Gen. John L. Hines’ veteran 4th Division made the III Corps’ greatest gains of the day, pushing eight kilometers into the German defenses before halting on the corps’ objective line. The division’s western brigade even advanced nearly a mile past Montfaucon and was in a position to envelop the German defenses holding up the V Corps by sweeping into Nantillois. At approximately 1400, Hines requested permission from the III Corps headquarters to cross into the 79th Division’s sector and attack the vulnerable flanks of the German 117th Infantry Division. But it was here that the friction of war intervened. To better manage the advance of its green units, the First Army attempted to impose strict control over the operation. According to the army’s orders, once its corps reached their intermediate objective phase lines, they were to obtain permission from First Army headquarters before moving any farther.

Furthermore, the army directed that the corps boundaries should not be crossed.
In response to Hines’ request to cross the corps boundary, at approximately 1530 the III Corps Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Alfred W. Bjornstad, directed the 4th Division to “send out strong patrols to the west to seize strong points” in the 79th Division’s sector. This push might force the Germans to abandon the defenses that were holding up the 79th Division’s advance. By 2000, Hines moved his 8th Infantry Brigade into position to launch an attack to the west early on the morning of 27 September. Unfortunately, as streams of often incomplete or inaccurate reports from the front buffeted headquarters at all levels, confusion and uncertainty hobbled commanders across the sector. Shortly after midnight on 27 September, the III Corps ordered Hines to cancel the 8th Brigade’s attack, and the opportunity to outflank the German defenses quickly passed.

The V Corps needed all of the help that it could get. All three of its assault divisions experienced their first taste of battle on 26 September. The 79th Division faced the difficult task of taking Montfaucon. The approach to the heights was covered with thick undergrowth, fallen trees, and shell holes from the previous years of fighting in the sector. The Germans had added to these obstacles by emplacing barbed wire, pillboxes, and dugouts on the heights. The 79th Division would have to carry these defenses in a frontal attack. This was much to expect from a unit that had arrived in France only in late July 1918. The 79th had been rushed by the AEF General Headquarters (GHQ) through less than a month of unit training and only ten days of service in the trenches of the quiet Avocourt sector before the V Corps committed the division to the initial assault in the Meuse-Argonne. Soon after the start of the operation, the green unit lost touch with its rolling barrage while picking its way through wooded slopes, and its regiments were caught in the open when the early morning fog lifted. A storm of German fire soon assailed the 79th Division’s men. One of the division’s officers, Maj. Charles A. DuPuy, discovered that his efforts to outflank the German positions only led his doughboys into the path of another well-concealed enemy machine gun. He confessed that “it was necessary a great many times to simply charge a gun from the front and both flanks, and take it regardless of our losses, which, per gun captured, averaged ten to twenty men.” Early on, the shell holes, bogs, and woods of the sector had stalled the French tanks intended to support the infantry. Without effective artillery or tank support, the 79th Division’s strength ebbed over the course of the day.

The corps’ other two divisions made better progress. The 37th Division managed to clear the Bois de Montfaucon and pushed to the southern outskirts of Ivoiry and the western slope of Montfaucon itself by the afternoon, but exhaustion and the disorder of battle prevented it from offering assistance to the beleaguered 79th Division. In the west of the V Corps sector, the 91st Division advanced eight kilometers, fought through the Bois de Cheppy, and briefly took Épinonville before being pushed back by enemy counterattacks. Despite these accomplishments, by nightfall Montfaucon remained in German hands, and the V Corps was far short of its objectives for the day.

In the First Army’s left sector, the I Corps also experienced a day of mixed success. On the corps’ eastern flank, the 35th Division captured Cheppy and the formidable mine-cratered Butte du Vauquois after fierce fighting. Throughout the day, tanks from Patton’s brigade aided the division’s attacks. Patton himself was wounded during the action around Cheppy while organizing an attack on a group of German machine gun nests. After taking Cheppy and Vauquois, the 35th Division pushed on to the southern environs of Charpentry before nightfall; heavy casualties, and leadership problems halted its advance. Five days before the battle, the division commander, Maj. Gen. Peter E. Traub, had relieved all of his infantry regimental and brigade commanders.

The replacements were virtually unknown to their soldiers and officers when the battle began. To make matters worse, in the midst of the first day’s fighting, two regimental commanders were incapacitated during the battle. Col. Clad Hamilton of the 137th Infantry was found immobile in a shell hole while Col. Henry Howland of the 138th—who had been appointed to command the regiment only the day before—was injured by German shellfire and spent much of the morning sheltering in a crater before being evacuated. Both units were essentially without direction for much of the day. The desperate fighting had undermined the division’s effectiveness, and ultimately its morale.

On the corps’ left flank, the 77th Division slowly and painfully fought its way through the labyrinth of ravines, tangled vegetation, and German defenses of the Argonne Forest. By nightfall, the division had progressed less than two kilometers, lagging far behind the other units in the corps, and it had lost contact with the French Fourth Army to the west. Liggett had planned that the advance in the corps’ center of the veteran 28th Division down the Aire Valley would force the Germans from their defenses in the Argonne and allow the 77th Division to quickly clear the forest. However, while the 28th Division overran Varennes, it faced stiffening enemy resistance north and west of the town as the day progressed. German artillery fire from positions hidden in the hills and draws of the Argonne slowed the division’s advance to a crawl and dashed Liggett’s hope for a rapid maneuver down the valley.

Just west of the I Corps boundary in the French Fourth Army sector, the U.S. 92d Division’s 368th Infantry was also fighting to break the German hold on the Argonne. This regiment, like the rest of the division, was composed of African American enlisted men and junior officers, and white field-grade and general officers. Liggett had detached the regiment to the French to plug a gap in the Franco-American line and to maintain liaison between his forces and those of the French Fourth Army. The remainder of the 92d Division served as the I Corps reserve. Although far removed from the regiment, the 92d Division still had to provide logistical support to the unit while it was under French command. The division also suffered from Army policies and prejudices that had hampered its effectiveness from the outset. Unlike other American divisions, the 92d’s units had been spread across several camps while it was undergoing mobilization and training in the United States.

This hindered instruction and the development of unit cohesion while the division was in its formative stages. Furthermore, the command’s white senior officers often held the racial prejudices of Jim Crow–era America, with obvious negative effects on morale.
The French ordered the 368th Infantry to maintain contact with the U.S. 77th Division and to seize Binarville as part of the French 1st Dismounted Cavalry Division. Much of the zone of the regiment’s attack lay within the Argonne Forest. As with the 77th Division, the 368th Infantry faced a determined enemy entrenched in difficult terrain. Unlike the 77th Division, however, the 368th Infantry’s operation in the Argonne was the unit’s first true exposure to combat. During its four-day struggle in the Argonne, the regiment’s logistics and command and control structure broke down under the strain of combat and the unit became ineffective in the fight. The French returned control of the regiment back to the U.S. First Army on 30 September. Although the four African American infantry regiments (the 369th, 370th, 371st, and 372d) of the U.S. 93d Division fought with distinction with the French Army throughout the war, the AEF leadership used the perceived failure of the 368th Infantry as an excuse to keep the 92d Division out of the fighting for the remainder of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign.

At the end of the first day, Pershing knew that the American attack had fallen well short of his expectations. The First Army’s staff was still pondering how to control and support a huge force engaged in a complex operation. At this point, the frustrated Pershing could do little more than to exhort his corps and division commanders to redouble their efforts in the coming days to get the operation back on track. To drive home the need to press the attack, he threatened his subordinates with relief if they failed to accomplish their tasks or did not show the degree of aggressiveness he expected.

As the Americans prepared to renew the offensive on 27 September, the Germans moved to prop up their wavering defenses. The 1st Guards Division had taken a beating on the first day of the battle, and Einem had been forced to commit his reserve, the 5th Guards Division, to restore the front of Group Argonne. Further to the east, Marwitz likewise had found it necessary to push the 5th Bavarian Reserve Division forward to stabilize the front of the battered 117th and 7th Reserve Divisions. Although the Germans’ situation was dire, they had been able to prevent the Americans from reaching their objectives and had bought enough time to rush reinforcements into the beleaguered sector. By the morning of 27 September, three full enemy divisions and part of a fourth were on their way to the Meuse-Argonne front.

As the Americans and Germans adjusted their forces, flaws in the First Army’s original plan continued to hinder its operations from 27 to 30 September. Repeating German General Erich von Falkenhayn’s mistake during the opening phase of the battle of Verdun, Pershing had not seen the necessity of clearing the Heights of the Meuse of enemy artillery. Instead, the First Army commander expected that counterbattery fire from the French XVII Corps would neutralize the German guns on the high ground east of the river. During the first two weeks of the offensive, the XVII Corps failed to accomplish this mission, and, in the absence of any threat of a ground attack the German artillery on the heights pounded both the III and V Corps sectors, helping to stall the American advance. The failed assumption that the French Fourth Army and the U.S. I Corps would unhinge the German defenses in the Argonne also hobbled the American drive. The Germans massed thirteen artillery batteries in the hills of the Argonne, and fire from those guns constantly interdicted the American advance through the Aire Valley.

In the face of stiffening enemy resistance, the First Army continued to grope forward in the waning days of September in an attempt to break through the German lines and reach its initial objectives. The 79th Division finally captured Montfaucon, and the 35th Division took Charpentry and briefly held Exermont before a strong German counterattack pushed it back to the Bois de Montrebeau. Unfortunately, both divisions suffered heavy casualties in the first three days of the offensive and lost much of their cohesion and combat effectiveness in the process. Although the I Corps continued to make a slow and costly advance through the Aire Valley and the Argonne, the V Corps made little headway against the German defenses on the Barrois Plateau. In the east, the missed opportunities of the first day of the battle now came back to haunt the III Corps. The Germans had taken advantage of the pause in the III Corps’ advance to restore their defenses and reinforce their wavering units. When the American attack resumed, the commander of the 80th Division’s 320th Infantry observed, “The enemy intrenchments [sic] afforded every advantage in position, concealment and for enfilade fire. Time and again rushes were made from the front and flank against the nests only to be met by a curtain of lead that was absolutely impassable. . . . Here lives were needlessly lost in trying to rush through this curtain of lead.” As the III Corps’ divisions battered their way through the Bois des Ogons and the Bois du Fays, the fighting, as in the other parts of the First Army’s front, assumed a seesaw nature as American advances ran into heavy artillery fire and German counterattacks.

Across the front, the American infantry routinely did not receive adequate support from artillery and tanks. The artillerymen had difficulty providing responsive fires given the limitations of the era’s tactical communications and the fluid and confused nature of the fighting. In the case of the tanks, the absence of support was the result of their own vulnerabilities. By the end of the first day’s fighting, the 1st Tank Brigade lost over a third of its strength to enemy action and mechanical breakdowns. The French tankers suffered similar losses in the V Corps sector.

All was also not well in the First Army’s rear area. The Meuse-Argonne region had an underdeveloped road network, and after four years of fighting and constant traffic the few existing roads were cratered and ill-maintained. Heavy rains throughout September and October exacerbated the problem. Each corps had only one major road artery in its sector to move and sustain its massive formations. Poor road discipline, few military police units, and inadequate staff work added to the problem, resulting in monumental traffic jams behind the front that nearly brought the First Army’s logistics operations to a standstill. As a result, the frontline soldiers often complained of being short of rations and water, and the wounded faced long and torturous waits before receiving medical attention. American medical personnel estimated that it took ten to twelve hours for the wounded to arrive at the field hospitals. The 79th Division’s inspector general reported that it was taking his unit’s ambulances fifteen hours to make the five-kilometer trip to the division field hospitals, which resulted in “hundreds” of unnecessary deaths.

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®

SOURCE: U.S. Army Campaigns World War I; United States Army Center of Military History
CONTRIBUTORS: Cade Pommeraan

Nuremberg 1945-46: IMTMWC; Count Four

The following presentation is Count Four- Crimes against Humanity from the International Military Tribunal of Major War Criminals.

COUNT FOUR-CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, Charter, Article 6, especially 6 (c)
X. Statement of the offense.
All the defendants committed Crimes against Humanity during a period of years proceeding 8 May 1945, in Germany and in all those countries and territories occupied by the German Armed Forces since 1 September 1939, and in Austria and Czechoslovakia and in Italy and on the High Seas.
All the defendants, acting in concert with others, formulated and executed a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit Crimes against Humanity as defined in Article 6 (c) of the Charter. This plan involved, among other things, the murder and persecution of all who were or who were suspected of being hostile to the Nazi Party and all who were or who were suspected of being opposed to the common plan alleged in Count One.
The said Crimes against Humanity were committed by the defendants, and by other persons for whose acts the defendants are responsible (under Article 6 of the Charter) as such other persons, when committing the said War Crimes, performed their acts in execution of a Common Plan and Conspiracy to commit the said War Crimes, in the formulation and execution oi which plan and conspiracy all the defendants participated as leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices.
These methods and crimes constituted violations of international conventions, of internal penal laws, of the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal law of all civilized nations, and were involved in and part of a systematic course of conduct. The said acts were contrary to Article 6 of the Charter.
The Prosecution will rely upon the facts pleaded under Count Three as also constituting Crimes against Humanity.
(A) Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against civilian populations before and during the war.
For the purposes set out above, the defendants adopted a policy of persecution, repression, and extermination of all civilians in Germany who were, or who were believed to, or who were believed likely to become, hostile to the Nazi Government and the Common Plan or Conspiracy described in Count One. They imprisoned such persons without judicial process, holding them in “protective custody” and concentration camps, and subjected them to persecution, degradation, despoilment, enslavement, torture, and murder.
Special courts were established to carry out the will of the conspirators; favored branches or agencies of the State and Party were permitted to operate outside the range even of Nazified law and to crush all tendencies and elements which were considered “undesirable”.
The various concentration camps included Buchenwald, which was established in 1933, and Dachau, which was established in 1934. At these and other camps the civilians were put to slave labor and murdered and ill-treated by divers means, including those set out in Count Three above, and these acts and policies were continued and extended to the occupied countries after the 1st September 1939 and until 8th May 1945.
(B) Persecution on political, racial, and religious grounds in execution of and in connection with the common plan mentioned in Count One.
As above stated, in execution of and in connection with the common plan mentioned in Count One, opponents of the German Government were exterminated and persecuted. These persecutions were directed against Jews. They were also directed against persons whose political belief or spiritual aspirations were deemed to be in conflict with the aims of the Nazis.
Jews were systematically persecuted since 1933; they were deprived of liberty, thrown into concentration camps where they were murdered and ill-treated. Their property was confiscated.
Hundreds of thousands of Jews were so treated before the 1st September 1939.
Since the 1st September 1939 the persecution of the Jews was redoubled; millions of Jews from Germany and from the occupied Western Countries were sent to the Eastern Countries for extermination. Particulars by way of example and without prejudice to the production of evidence of other cases are as follows:
The Nazis murdered amongst others Chancellor Dollfuss, the Social Democrat Breitscheid, and the Communist Thalmann. They imprisoned in concentration camps numerous political and religious personages, for example, Chancellor Schuschnigg and Pastor Niemoller.
In November 1938, by orders of the Chief of the Gestapo, anti-Jewish demonstrations all over Germany took place. Jewish property was destroyed; 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps and their property confiscated.
Under paragraph VIII (A), above, millions of the persons there mentioned as having been murdered and ill-treated were Jews.
Among other mass murders of Jews were the following: At Kislovodsk all Jews were made to give up their property; 2,000 were shot in an anti-tank ditch at Mineralniye Vodi; 4,300 other Jews were shot in the same ditch; 60,000 Jews were shot on an island on the Dvina near Riga; 20,000 Jews were shot at Lutsk; 32,000 Jews were shot at Sarny; 60,000 Jews were shot at Kiev and Dniepropetrovsk.
Thousands of Jews were gassed weekly by means of gas-wagons which broke down from overwork.
About 70,000 Jews were exterminated in Yugoslavia.
XI. Individual, group and organization responsibility for the offense stated in Count Four.
Reference is hereby made to Appendix A of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the individual defendants for the offense set forth in this Count Four of the Indictment. Reference is hereby made to Appendix B of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the groups and organizations named herein as criminal groups and organizations for the offense set forth in the Count Four of the Indictment.

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®

SOURCE: International Military Tribunal of Major War Criminals
CONTRIBUTOR: Eddy Toorall