Sie sind auf Seite 1von 7

THE WORLD WAR

VOLUME I

ILLINOIS IN

THE
HISTORYOFTHE 33rd DIVISION
A. E.

F.

BY

FREDERIC LOUIS HUIDEKOPER


Former Lieutenant Colonel, Adjutant General,
United States Armt, and Division Adjutant,
33rd Division, Author of 'Military Studies/ 'The
Military Unpreparedness of the United States.'

Published by the

ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL LIBRARY


SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS
1921

THE 33RD DIVISION

188

By

contrast,

Monday, November

4,

1918, was character-

Apart from the

ized by a number of episodes of importance.

daily routine, the division P. C. sent out Confidential

randum No. 34

prescribing the precautions to be taken against

aerial observation

and the securing of proper protection by

means of camouflage, and

a training circular dealing with the

subject of casualties resulting


also dispatched to the

the 122nd
to

the

from mustard

commanders of

Machine Gun Battalion

Camp

Fort du

Paroches

des

reenforcement

as

Memo-

Orders were

gas.

the 66th Brigade and

to send certain

Romains and

to

garrisons. ^^

At

detachments

the Fort des


P.M.

7 :45

order was received from the Corps

"secret, urgent"

Com-

mander directing that reconnaissances strong enough to penetrate the

enemy's outposts zone be launched against well-

chosen points with a view to securing prisoners. ^^

As

of fact, during that day and the ensuing night^^


patrols were

between

St.

made which scoured most

matter

numerous

of the plain, especially

Hilaire and Jonville, captured or killed a number

of the enemy, and secured some important identifications.^'^

At 8:30

P.M. the

commanding general of

the 65th In-

fantry Brigade issued orders for a raid against the Chateau et

Ferme d'Aulnois

to be

made by two companies

of the 130th

G-3 of
Wednesday

Infantry and, in transmitting a copy of this order to


the division, announced: "If able to pull

morning

will

do

it

off

so."^^

That Monday a notable contribution to human history


was made. At 3 p.m. the Austrian plenipotentiaries signed an
armistice

embodying

all

the terms imposed by the Allies and a

cessation of hostilities between the forces of the Allies and

those of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Govern-

ment on land and sea and in the air was officially announced^^
and on the following day went into actual effect on the various
fronts.

TROYON-SUR-MEUSE
On

Tuesday, November

5,

189

1918, at 8:25 A.M. there was

received at the message centre of the 33rd Division at Troyon-

sur-Meuse a communication from General Blondlat, the corps


commander, emphasizing the necessity for maintaining close
contact with the enemy In the event of his withdrawal and
specifying the dispositions which he wished
insure this

was

there

desideratum. ^"

to be

Beyond the usual

daily routine,

substantially no event of Importance that

division P.

C,

taken to

day

at the

except that the complete plan of defense of the

Troyon-Chaillon sector was finished and delivered to the


Corps Headquarters at St. Mihlel.^"^ At 6 P.M. the 33rd
Division passed from the 2nd Colonial

17th French

Army

Corps,

Army Corps

to the

although the actual notification

^*^-

of this transfer was not received until the following morn-

Yhe fire of the divisional artillery was reduced to a


minimum owing to the fact that the front was covered by
jj^g 103

patrols, ^"^ but these

nine

had scant

men belonging

success in their operations and^''^

to one patrol sent out

fantry were surrounded by the

by the 130th In-

enemy and captured. ^"^

Thp

troops devoted a large part of the day to the training prescribed, ^"

and the raid against the Chateau

et

Ferme d'AulnoIs

130th Infantry was fixed for


5 :45 A.M. on November 6 but was subsequently revoked. Later
in the day the commanding general of the 65th Brigade,

by two companies

of

the

having completed the arrangements to his satisfaction, ordered


it

on Thursday, November 7, at 5 :45 A.M.^"^


and 3rd Battalions of the 132nd Infantry in the front
were relieved by the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 131st

to be carried out

The
lines

1st

Infantry during the

night of

November

56,^*^''

when

th^

unusual activity of the enemy machine guns and the number of


flares

displayed

in

various

parts

of

the

opposing

lines

betokened either nervousness on the part of the foe or the


occupation of the sector by new troops. As a matter of fact,
the great

amount of

circulation observed tended to establish

^^*^
the correctness of the latter supposition.

IN THE TROYON-SUR-MEUSE SECTOR WITH


THE SECOND AMERCAN ARMY AND THE
17TH FRENCH ARMY CORPS

VIII.

On Wednesday, November
in the P. C.

dential

6,

of the 33rd Division were the issuing of Confi-

Memorandum No. 36

which announced

of the division to the 17th French

November

1918, the principal events

and

Army Corps

the transfer
at 6 p.m.

the arrival of letters for the

on

commanders

of the three brigades and the 108th Field Signal Battalion


requesting them to submit the names of

men

to attend the

school of liaison between aviation and line troops which had

been newly established at Saizerais.^

Preparatory to the raid on the morning of November 7

two companies of the reserve battalion of the 130th Infantry


were moved up to reenforce the 1st Battalion, which occupied
the positions of the
similarly,

Company D, 123rd Machine Gun

ceeded from
all its

two companies destined for the

its

guns were

raid- and,

Battalion, pro-

reserve position to Fresnes-en-Woevre, where


in

readiness before daylight.^

the 130th Infantry narrowly escaped being

A patrol

ambushed

from

in the

copse at the extremity of the Tranchee du Moulin de Saulx,

but took revenge by killing twelve and capturing one of the

enemy, luckily without suffering any loss


a patrol

itself.^

On

the right

from the 131st Infantry penetrated the plain almost

met no resistance anywhere.^ Such inforhad been obtained at that time indicated that the

to Butgneville but

mation

as

troops immediately in front of the 33rd Division were principally

machine gunners but

all signs

190

pointed to the fact that

TROYON-SUR-MEUSE
the

intention of withdrawing at that time.^

enemy had no

The Machine Gun Company,


Longeau Ferme and the
132nd

talion of the

191

131st

1st Battalion relieved the

which rejoined

Infantry''^

the

occupied

Infantry,

2nd Bat-

regiment

its

in

the rest arca.^

Thursday, November

ment of considerable
until 2 A.M.

7,

was ushered

From

activity.

in to the

on the following day the enemy

large area around St.

Remy and

accompani-

11 :30 P.M. on the sixth


artillery

thus greatly

gassed a

hampered

the

bringing up of ammunition for the 55th Field Artillery Bri-

The 113th

gade.

Field Artillery

was the

since the gassing of the terrain in its

principal sufferer,

immediate

vicinity pre-

vented three batteries from obtaining the smoke shells needed


for the raid and Battery

making

shells

At 2;40

direct hits

C was
on

its

completely neutralized by gas


casemates.^

morning the "T. S. F." at the P. C. of the


33rd Division picked up the following wireless message from
Marshal Foch to the German High Command:
The German plenipotentiaries desire to meet Marshal
Foch to ask him for an armistice.
They will have to present themselves at the French
outposts coming by the road Chimay-Formies-La Capellethat

Guise.

Orders have been given to receive them and to direct

them

to the point of rendezvous.^

At 5 :45 A.M. occurred the raid against the Chateau et


Ferme d'Aulnois, in which Companies A and C, 130th Infantry, participated.

Starting

from the trenches

east of Fres-

nes-en-Woevre under cover of a heavy fire from seven batteries


of 75s and four of 155s under the immediate command of Colonel Lea^^ and supported by the guns of

Company D, 123rd

Machine Gun Battalion, ^^ Company A on the right and Company C on the left of the road running north to Ville-en-

Woevre advanced

rapidly against the chateau, which

is

situ-

THE 33RD DIVISION

192

ated in the midst of the farm of the same name, east of the

road just mentioned and about three hundred yards south of


the highroad

from Verdun through Haudiomont,

and Harville

to

Metz.

The Chateau

Pintheville,

d'Aulnois was occupied

by a force of approximately a platoon from the 60th Land-

wehr Regiment of the 13th German Division, and these


defenders were quickly overpowered, nine were killed, one
officer

and twenty-one men were made prisoners, and two

heavy and four

light

machine guns were captured. ^^

6 :25 A.M. the raiding companies were safely back in their


trenches, after an operation

crowned with success

due to the fact that the carefully prepared plan for

At
own

doubtless

this affair

had been carried out with extraordinary precision.^"* In this


raid only one man was slightly wounded; indeed the principal
losses fell upon the artillery, which suffered seventeen casualties from gas shelling.^^

That same morning two

patrols

from the

131st

In-

fantry^^ scoured the plain northeast of Doncourt-aux-Templiers but,

was

although one remained out until nightfall, neither

successful in locating the enemy.

^'^

Aside from the issuance of Training Circular No. 193


announcing the establishment of a course of training

between aviation and

line

in liaison

troops at Saizerais, the P. C. of the

33rd Division sent out two very important

instructions.^^ Field

Order No. 32 announced:


Pursuant to orders from the Second Army, the IV Corps
by reconnaissances in force by attacking on D day at
hour, with 2 Brigades of Infantry, in the
direction of Bois de Warville.

will develop the situation

The

65th Brigade was accordingly directed to attack

Marcheville at the appointed time with one battalion, having


another battalion

in

support, and the 66th

Brigade was to

attack the Bois d'Harville in like manner, while the division

BRIDGE, ST. HILAIRE,

BRIDGE

BETWEEN

ST.

TROVOX SECTOR

HILAIRE

AND BUTGNEVILLE