Слике страница
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors]

entire military situation. The original plan of maintaining an army only in the United States, as a reserve, permitted the questions of camps, supplies, equipment, munitions, and training to be undertaken at comparative leisure. But if a large army was to be placed in France by 1918, these problems must be solved immediately and upon an emergency basis. Hence resulted the confusion and expense which nearly led to the breakdown of the whole programme in the winter of 1917–18. The War Department faced a dilemma. If it waited until supplies were ready, the period of training would be too short. On the other hand, if it threw the new draft armies immediately into the camps, assuming that the camps could be prepared, the troops would lack the wool uniforms and blankets necessary for protection, as well as the equipment with which to drill. The second alternative appeared the less dangerous, and in September the first draft calls were made and by December the camps were filled.'

The size of the army raised in 1917 demanded the building of enormous cantonments. Within three months of the first drawings sixteen complete cities of barracks had sprung up, each to accommodate 40,000 inhabitants. They had their officers' quarters, hospitals, sewage systems, filter plants, and garbage incinerators, electric lighting plants, libraries, theaters. By the 4th of September the National Army cantonments were ready for

« ПретходнаНастави »