Talk:American Expeditionary Forces

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This article needs some further attention. If anyone wants to contribute, I think they should feel free to do so.

Casualties section[edit]

What exactly is the point of this section? It seems like a thinly veiled attempt to suggest the AEF was incompetent. Casualty figures should simply be merged into the main text. (talk) 05:31, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Not only this, but the figures are nearly useless, since, though the numbers of casualties are explicitly reported, the number of total American forces is difficult to find. Oh yeah, and there's the aforementioned bizarre attempt to render the American forces inferior. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 5 October 2010 (UTC)


To biased in favour of US contribution. The AEF did not become combat ready until Oct 1918. The war had already been won by Australian and Canadian forces, British and French troops by then. August 8th saw the capitulation of the German's at the Battler of Amiens. The US essentially performed mop up. The German's had asked for an armistice on Oct 5 1918 and the German Armys still had teeth but was always going to lose once the Hindenburg Line was breached early October (with some US troops in support). The US lost a lot of soldiers due to inexperience and disease.

"The war had already been won by Australian and Canadian forces, British and French troops by then."
This is nationalist nonsense. The Allies were extremely anxious for the arrival of large numbers of U.S. troops, especially with the Spring Offensive of 1918 and the immediate and imminent threat to Paris. No, the AEF did not win the war "single-handedly," and no one with any sense has ever claimed they did. Nevertheless, if the U.S. had stayed out of the War, there's every chance that Germany would have won. They certainly were not already defeated. --Michael K SmithTalk 17:32, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
The AEF was combat ready months earlier. The Germans had run out of offensive plans and were unable to mount any major attacks after their spring losses. The point is that the German leadership realized their position was hopeless when the Allies were adding 10,000 new American soldiers every day (and Germany could not replace its losses.) Furthermore the French were reenergized and were willing to fight again after their mutinies because with the Americans there, they knew victory was certain. It makes a lot of difference in history if you feel certain of victory or defeat.Rjensen 03:32, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes I accept your point. The Americans were bringing in huge numbers of forces which would replenish the Allies. Battlewise the Americans did not contribute as much as they did by force of numbers, i.e. as a potential military force. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the only significant battle that the AEF conducted on its own. The point I was trying to make was that this was very late in the war. The Germans had been smashed earlier in the year with only minor US support. But yes the prospect of millions of US soldiers arriving did accelerate the end of the war. The key battles of 1917/1918 that turned the war though were done by the British/French and significantly ANZACS and Canadians. Whenever the history of WWI is written it comes across that the US singlehandedly is credited with winning the war. The words "10,000 a day in summer 1918 was the decisive factor in restoring the advantage to the Allies" diminishes the importance of the actual battles that were fought.Roonz123 04:52, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
The battles are well covered. The battles were not the reason for german surrender--the reason was total loss of confidence: They knew they would lose. It was not a stab in the back by politicians in Berlin, it was colonels and generals at the front who could see for themselves that total defeat was a matter of weeks/months, with zero chance of any turnaround. That is the war was lost, and the sooner they asked for terms the better terms they would get. Rjensen 05:12, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Also this assertion - "At Pershing's insistence, the AEF refrained from adopting the trench warfare of the time, which Pershing and many others regarded as too costly in lives and morale. Instead, the AEF largely used mobile tactics, charging at entrenched positions with infantry supported by heavy artillery and engaging in close-quarter combat to seize key positions." Surely the "mobile warfare" has already started as fact on the ground spearheaded by Australians and Canadians in the post-Amiens period after 8 August 1918. GermanicusCaesar (talk) 12:55, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

the European's wishes concerning the AEF[edit]

"In addition, Pershing insisted that the American force would not be used merely to fill gaps in the French and British armies. This attitude was resented by the Allied leaders who were short on troops."

This presentation of things is disputable.

French general Joffre supported the idea that the US soldiers would come in the form of an US army/corps.

Here's one source (but there are several others) that support this version.

"To make American troops immediately effective, therefore, Joffre's first inclination was to urge the Americans to furnish the French and British "with men instead of armies." If troops were sent to France organized only into companies and battalions, they could quickly be incorporated into French regiments for training and service at the front. There would therefore, according to Joffre, be "no occasion for training general officers and staff for the larger units, only captains and majors being needed."

Joffre quickly discarded that idea, however, because he knew the Americans could never accept it. No great nation, especially the United States, the prescient old soldier knew, would "allow its citizens to be incorporated like poor relations in the ranks of some other army and fight under a foreign flag." He therefore determined that he would start from that premise as he entered discussions in America. "

Pershing's Memior[edit]

I have a copy of Pershing's memiors for the AEF my Experiences in The World War, which is a blow-by-blow history of the whole experience. The whole article needs to be re-written because it has way too much POV and opinion, and too little fact. SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) 14:01, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Pershing is hardly an unbiased source for U.S. participation in the War, and there are plenty of critics of many of his attitudes and actions, especially when it came to trench warfare and artillery. There are any number of books written by men farther down in the ranks during and after the war, though (naturally) they also include a good deal of pro-Allied propaganda. You should broaden your reading. --Michael K SmithTalk 17:40, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Merge of A.E.F.[edit]

I have proposed merging A.E.F. into this article. I would have been bold and done it myself, but I don't know enough about the topic and it appears the newer A.E.F. article contains information that is not here or is inconsistent. If it is to be merged it should be by an editor who knows more about this than I do. Agent 86 16:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Total number of troops[edit]

Anyone have a source for total number of American troops serving in Europe? I think it would add to the article to have this. CAVincent 09:06, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Uhm... 14 parts?[edit]

It seems a bit ridiculous to split the history up into 14 parts... and even though three or four of those parts are already done, they're WAY too long. Can't this be trimmed considerably? (talk) 23:34, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Research Work of Edith M. Faulstich/Fisher being added[edit]

At this juncture, I ask for all to please consider and execute with great editorial patience ( except for formating and the obvious spelling errors), the volume and comprehnsivenes of the data currently being added and updated, as a direct primary research source.

  • (AMF-1) Edith M. Faulstich/Fisher, The Siberian Sojourn, March 22, 1974, This work went uncopy written was mailed to our direct family members and the families of the AEF Vets she corresponded with after her death in September 1972. This is an otherwise unpublished, uncirculated work also has a book two, which is in a hand type written format (which I have one copy of) Specific AEF references realtive to her specific cited work will be noted first with (AMF-#).Where there is an obvious reference in the text, a foot note has not been added. The original unpublished work of Faulstich is in the personal pocession of Alice M. Fisher.

[ Edith M. Faulstich/Fisher's personal AEF Siberian research records.diaries, photos were donated and are housed at Stanford University.

Who owns the copyright to this work? bd2412 T 05:36, 26 January 2009 (UTC}

My grandmother who wrote the book, but she died in 1972. The book does not have a copyright insertion on it, just a date in the preface she wrote/and a date with a family preface to her preface, and there is a later date in book two which my dead step grandfather wrote the preface with a date. Both have passed away.

Unpublished works by authors who died any time after 1938 are covered by copyright until 70 years after the death of the author (that is, until 2042 in this case). If you are the owner of the copyright by will or by intestacy, then you can release the work into the public domain. Can you demonstrate that the copyright in this work passed to you or was conveyed to you? bd2412 T 20:10, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

What about the Marines?[edit]

This articles does indeed describe the details of the United States Army in the AEF...but what about the Marines that also were in the AEF? Perhaps they should also be recognized since many famous battles were won due to the support of the U.S. Marines, complementing the Army's missions.
RekonDog (talk) 16:20, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

New book for AEF editors to be aware of[edit]

Just a heads-up that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is about to publish a new book by Richard Rubin -- The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War. The author began a project c.2002, interviewing as many centenarian WWI veterans as he could locate, and this book contains the results. Lots of interesting stuff, mostly from a grunt's-eye POV. --Michael K SmithTalk 17:46, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Medical units[edit]

The first American personnel to go into action were actually medical units. In the months leading up to the US entry to the war, medical schools and large hospitals were organizing "field hospitals" which included doctors, nurses, dentists, orderlies and other medical personnel, along with tents and equipment. This made it possible for them to be rapidly absorbed into the US Army Medical Corps, and because of their state of readiness they were immediately sent to Europe. I'll have to look for sources, as it's been nearly 30 years since I read most of them.

I'm not talking about the all-volunteer civilian American Field Service ambulance drivers, though they also were absorbed into the US Army. RogerInPDX (talk) 18:03, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

American Expeditionary Forces or Force?[edit]

The title and text within this article was recently changed from the plural to the singular. This should be discussed. The U.S. National Archives refer to the American Expeditionary Forces (in plural): The Stars & Stripes refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in plural: These are just examples. Wikipedia is encyclopedic and thus should be using the official (not popular) title for the organization. Could someone with more knowledge on the topic weigh in on this? Thanks. Wilson44691 (talk) 15:27, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Further evidence: The "Final Report of Gen. John J. Pershing" (1919) is from the "General Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces". Check it out in Google Scholar.Wilson44691 (talk) 15:44, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

I've undone the renaming. The article title has been American Expeditionary Forces since its creation and there has been no discussion prior to the bold move. Per the points raised just above it would seem the plural form is correct as I'd say Gen. Pershing would know. Seems that more than one military unit was involved so forces fits. Anyway, here is the place to discuss such a change -- the bold move has been undone, now discuss. Vsmith (talk) 02:18, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

It's not a bold move, cut the hysterics. I've read absolutely countless First World War material, and I've never seen it called "American Expeditionary Forces", just "American Expeditionary Force". Could it be possible that some material refers differently to the Forces/Force? Obviously I won't dispute the evidence given above, but I have also seen it called Force singular. Italia2006 (talk) 03:35, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Books which refer to the American forces in Europe as the American Expeditionary Force:
  • Doughboy War: The American Expeditionary Force in World War I
  • Retreat, Hell! We Just Got Here!: The American Expeditionary Force in France 1917-1918
  • The American Expeditionary Force in World War I: A Statistical History, 1917-1919
  • American Expeditionary Force: France 1917-1918
These are just books with "Force" in the title. I could name several others which reference the American Army in Europe from 1917–19 as such as well. However, if official US military material refers to it as "Forces", then I will of course withdraw any complaint, and I apologize for the move. Italia2006 (talk) 03:45, 19 March 2014 (UTC)