View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Sat May 26th, 2012 08:52 am
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Hellcat
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BHR62 wrote:
At the start of WW 1 we built an army from scratch like the Civil War.  Germans found out at Chateau Theirry/Belleau Wood that we weren't bad soldiers. 


Technically we never built an army from scratch at the start of WWI or at any time during the war. The US didn't get involved in the war until April 1917 by which time the war had been going on for nearly three years (it would have been in the summer of 1917 that the third anniversary of the war's beginning would have occured). Just like during the Civil War, we had a standing army at the time the war started. According U.S. Army: A Complere Hisotry from the Army Historical Foundation, By April 6, 1917 the Regular Army was at fewer than 200,000 troops. In 1916, about two weeks after the passage of the National Defense Act, Wilson authorized 10,000 Regulars under Pershing to take part in the Punitive Expedition to track down Pancho Villa. Apirl 8th saw Pershing marching 400 miles into Mexico with about 7,000 Regulars under his command and by May 11th he called up 5,260 National Guardsmen to protect the boarder (actually, he called them up May 9th but it took 48 hours before they headed towards the boarder). Even before that Funston had taken his command of 3,607 soldiers and 3,446 Marines against Vera Cruz in 1914.

And our intial troops in Europe came from the National Guard. By the time we entered the war in April, 1917 there were some 66,594 Guardsmen on active duty on the Mexican border, many of these men would be shipped to Europe ahead of the regulars as part of the 16 divisions of 379,700 Guardsmen who were the initial American troops in Europe.

Also, I'm not exactly sure it's wise to compare the Federal and Confederate armies to the armies of WWI as it seems to be suggested when you say that the Germans learned at Belleau Wood. Things had changed quite a bit by that time, even for Marines. Even by the late 19th century things were quite different than they had been during the Civil War and I dare say only the weakest European armies would have stood a chance of being defeated by any Civil War era American Army, North or South. Comparing European armies from the same period is one thing but to bring up those from WWI makes no sense to me.

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