...They broached the idea of amalgamating the Americans with more experienced British and French units. But Pershing's orders told him that 'the forces of the United States are a separate and distinct component of the combined forces, the identity of which must be preserved'. This was not just a matter of national pride or public opinion, it was also one of policy: an independent army would enable America to retain a free hand at the peace negotiations...However, there was one major obstacle to its fulfilment: the lack of a sizeable body of proven American commanders and trained staff officers. The British experience had shown that it might be possible to improvise a mass army in comparatively short order, but that, as Haig's director of military intelligence put it, 'It will be a very difficult job for them [the Americans] to get a serviceable staff going even in a year's time'. The allies' military representatives had therefore concluded that some form of inter-allied organization would be required to facilitate this process.
...'Poor provisions, heavy losses and the deepening influenza have deeply depressed the spirits of the men in the III Infantry Division', Rupprecht wrote on 3 August. Postal censors told him that letters home complained of the mounting numbers of American and of British aerial domination, and - even more importantly - called for peace in ways which linked front and rear...
Peace must be a tricky dance to choreograph. There are many links that must be considered, and the whole thing must be chaotic. A huge consideration at any time a soldier returns home, however, must be that of acclimating to "real" life. I never served in the military, but I can certainly appreciate the mixed feelings.
What most people celebrated on 11 November was peace. In the quiet that hushed the front at 11 a.m., some soldiers wondered how they would adjust; the war was their job, their routine; it gave them a feeling of purpose. But for others there was a real awareness of victory.
this summer. Follow the link to my Fort Ticonderoga page for more.