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of Latin poets. The coördination that resulted from the creation of the Supreme Council, however, proved insufficient to meet the crisis of the spring of 1918.
On the 21st of March, the Germans attacked in overwhelming force the southern extremity of the British lines, near where they joined the French, and disastrously defeated General Gough's army. The break-through was clean and the advance made by the endless waves of German shock-troops appalling. Within eight days the enemy had swept forward to a depth of fifty-six kilometers, threatening the capture of Amiens and the separation of the French and British. As the initial momentum of the onslaught was lost, the Allied line was re-formed with the help of French reserves under Fayolle. But the Allies had been and still were close to disaster. Complete unity of command was essential. It was plain also, in the words of Pershing's report, that because of the inroads made upon British and French reserves, “defeat stared them in the face unless the new American troops should prove more immediately available than even the most optimistic had dared to hope.” The first necessity was satisfied early in April. The extremity of the danger reinforced the demand long made by the French, and supported by President Wilson through Colonel House, that a generalissimo be appointed. The British finally sank their objection, and on the 28th of March it was agreed that General Ferdinand Foch should be made commander-in-chief of all the Allied armies with the powers necessary for the strategic direction of all military operations. The decision was ratified on the 3d and approved by President Wilson on the 16th of April.
General Foch had long been recognized as an eminent student of strategy, and he had proved his practical capacity in 1914 and later. It was he who commanded the French army that broke the German line at the marshes of St. Gond, in the battle of the Marne, thus assuring victory to Joffre, and he had later in the year secured fresh laurels in the first battle of the Yser. At the moment of extreme danger to Italy, after Caporetto, in 1917, he had been chosen to command the assisting force sent down by the French. Unsentimental and unswayed by political factors, he was temperamentally and intellectually the ideal man for the post of supreme Allied commander; he was furthermore supported by the capacity of General Pétain, the French commander-in-chief, and by a remarkable group of army commanders, among whom Fayolle, Mangin, and Gouraud were to win particular fame. But he lacked troops, the Germans disposing of 200 divisions as against 162 Allied divisions.
Hence the hurry call sent to America and hence the heavy sacrifice now forced upon Pershing. Much against his will and only as a result of extreme pressure, the American commander-in-chief agreed to a temporary continuance of the brigading of American troops with the British and the French. He had felt all along that “there was every reason why we could not allow them to be scattered among our Allies, even by divisions, much less as replacements, except by pressure of pure necessity." He disliked the emphasis placed by the Allies upon training for trench warfare; he feared the effect of the lack of homogeneity which would render the mixed divisions “difficult to maneuver and almost certain to break up under the stress of defeat,” and he believed that the creation of independent American armies “would be a severe blow to German morale.” When the pinch of necessity came, however, Pershing sank his objections to amalgamation and, to his credit, agreed with a beau geste and fine phrase which concealed the differences between the Allied chiefs and won the heartiest