PERSHING'S ARMY TO HOLD 5 MILE WIDE POSITION ON WESTERN FRONT
St. Quentin, France (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, June 22, 1917, it was learned that General John J. Pershing's American army would occupy "a position south of St. Quentin* between the French and British armies."
This position had been recommended by the French war mission to the United States. Two reasons given for the selection of this position were the need for an independent command and for an independent source of supply.
The Americans would have their own transportation and lines of communication to its bases. The American base was expected to be located about 50 miles south of St. Quentin.
The American line initially would be 5 miles wide but would be expanded over several months to 10 to 15 miles. 5000 men would be positioned along every mile of trench.
General Pershing would have supreme command of his troops but would consult with the French.
*Saint-Quentin is a commune in northern France which was named after the saint who is said to have been martyred there in the 3rd century. The city was founded by the Romans during the Augustean period.
During WWI, SQ was overrun by the Germans & endured a harsh occupation. It lay in the heart of the war zone & suffered destruction of 80% of its buildings.
"Gen. Pershing To Hold Center of Long Battle Line, Sector Near St. Quentin Picked for Troops from America", The Chicago Daily Tribune, June 23, 1917.