John J. Pershing and the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, 1917-1919
April 7-September 30, 1917
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
General of the Armies John J. Pershing (1860–1948) had a long and distinguished military career, but he is most famous for leading the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. He published a memoir, My Experiences in the World War, and has been the subject of numerous biographies, but the literature regarding this towering figure and his enormous role in the First World War deserves to be expanded to include a collection of his wartime correspondence.
Meticulously edited by John T. Greenwood, volume 1 of John J. Pershing and the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, 1917–1919 covers the period of April 7 through September 30, 1917. The letters speak to such topics as Pershing's appointment to command the US expeditionary force, his initial preparations, and early meetings with Allied civilian and military leaders, including Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig and General Henri Philippe Pétain. Drawing heavily on Pershing's extensive personal papers, this collection includes his letters and cablegrams exchanged with Secretary of War Newton D. Baker and Chiefs of Staff Hugh L. Scott and Tasker H. Bliss. Extracts from the large volume of rarely referenced cablegrams represent an important contribution to Pershing's wartime story.
Two appendices provide the reader with details of Pershing's relations with the Allied governments and armies (as he reported them in an unpublished part of his Final Report of Gen. John J. Pershing in 1920) and his personal appraisal of Marshal Ferdinand Foch as he knew him during the war. These volumes of wartime correspondence provide new insight into the work of a legendary soldier and the historic events in which he participated, and offer a valuable resource for any serious Pershing or World War I scholar.
List of Illustrations
Introduction to the Collection
Introduction to Volume I
Appendix 1: Relations with Allied Governments and Armies. Extract from the Final Report of General John J. Pershing, September 1, 1919
Appendix 2: John J. Pershing: Foch
Bibliography for Volume I
Casual readers will find the details of the correspondence between Pershing and others a fascinating insight into leadership and management at what today would be termed the "C" level suite. The narrative aids in understanding how Pershing translated strategic goals into tasks for his subordinates. If subsequent entries in the series hold to the high standard on display in this volume, the series will be a welcome addition to the history of the U.S. Army during the First World War.~Ray Garbee, Armchair General