Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain known as Philippe Pétain, Marshal Pétain and The Old Marshal, was a French Nazi collaborator and general officer who attained the position of Marshal of France at the end of World War I, during which he became known as The Lion of Verdun, in World War II served as the Chief of State of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944. Pétain, 84 years old in 1940, ranks as France's oldest head of state. During World War I Pétain led the French Army to victory at the nine-month-long Battle of Verdun. After the failed Nivelle Offensive and subsequent mutinies he was appointed Commander-in-Chief and succeeded in repairing the army's confidence. Pétain emerged as a national hero. During the interwar period he was head of the peacetime French Army, commanded joint Franco-Spanish operations during the Rif War and served twice as a government Minister. With the imminent Fall of France in June 1940 in World War II, Pétain was appointed Prime Minister of France by President Lebrun at Bordeaux, the Cabinet resolved to make peace with Germany.
The entire government subsequently moved to Clermont-Ferrand to the spa town of Vichy in central France. His government voted to transform the discredited French Third Republic into the French State, an authoritarian regime that collaborated with the Nazis and the Axis Powers. After the war, Pétain was convicted for treason, he was sentenced to death, but due to his age and World War I service his sentence was commuted to life in prison and he died in 1951. Pétain was born in Cauchy-à-la-Tour in 1856, his father, Omer-Venant, was a farmer. His great-uncle, a Catholic priest, Father Abbe Lefebvre, had served in Napoleon's Grande Armée and told the young Pétain tales of war and adventure of his campaigns from the peninsulas of Italy to the Alps in Switzerland. Impressed by the tales told by his uncle, his destiny was from on determined. Pétain was a bachelor until his sixties, known for his womanising. Women were said to find his piercing blue eyes attractive. After World War I Pétain married his former girlfriend, Eugénie Hardon, "a beautiful woman", on 14 September 1920.
After rejecting Pétain's first marriage proposal, Hardon had married and divorced François de Hérain by 1914 when she was 35. At the opening of the Battle of Verdun in 1916, Pétain is said to have been fetched during the night from a Paris hotel by a staff officer who knew that he could be found with Eugénie Hardon, she had no children by Pétain but had a son from her first marriage, Pierre de Hérain, whom Pétain disliked. Pétain joined the French Army in 1876 and attended the St Cyr Military Academy in 1887 and the École Supérieure de Guerre in Paris. Between 1878 and 1899, he served in various garrisons with different battalions of the Chasseurs à pied, the elite light infantry of the French Army. Thereafter, he alternated between regimental assignments. Pétain's career progressed as he rejected the French Army philosophy of the furious infantry assault, arguing instead that "firepower kills", his views were proved to be correct during the First World War. He was promoted to captain in 1890 and major in 1900.
Unlike many French officers, he served in mainland France, never French Indochina or any of the African colonies, although he participated in the Rif campaign in Morocco. As colonel, he commanded the 33rd Infantry Regiment at Arras from 1911. In the spring of 1914, he was given command of a brigade. However, aged 58 and having been told he would never become a general, Pétain had bought a villa for retirement. Pétain led his brigade at the Battle of Guise. At the end of August 1914 he was promoted to brigadier-general and given command of the 6th Division in time for the First Battle of the Marne. After leading his corps in the spring 1915 Artois Offensive, in July 1915 he was given command of the Second Army, which he led in the Champagne Offensive that autumn, he acquired a reputation as one of the more successful commanders on the Western Front. Pétain commanded the Second Army at the start of the Battle of Verdun in February 1916. During the battle, he was promoted to Commander of Army Group Centre, which contained a total of 52 divisions.
Rather than holding down the same infantry divisions on the Verdun battlefield for months, akin to the German system, he rotated them out after only two weeks on the front lines. His decision to organise truck transport over the "Voie Sacrée" to bring a continuous stream of artillery and fresh troops into besieged Verdun played a key role in grinding down the German onslaught to a final halt in July 1916. In effect, he applied the basic principle, a mainstay of his teachings at the École de Guerre before World War I: "le feu tue!" or "firepower kills!"—in this case meaning French field artillery, which fired over 15 million shells on the Germans during the first five months of the battle. Although Pétain did say "On les aura!", the other famous quotation attributed to him – "Ils ne passeront pas!" – was uttered by
First Portuguese Republic
The First Portuguese Republic spans a complex 16-year period in the history of Portugal, between the end of the period of constitutional monarchy marked by the 5 October 1910 revolution and the 28 May 1926 coup d'état. The latter movement instituted a military dictatorship known as Ditadura Nacional that would be followed by the corporatist Estado Novo regime of António de Oliveira Salazar; the sixteen years of the First Republic saw nine presidents and 44 ministries, have been described as consisting of "continual anarchy, government corruption and pillage, arbitrary imprisonment and religious persecution". As far as the October 1910 Revolution is concerned, a number of valuable studies have been made, first among which ranks Vasco Pulido Valente’s polemical thesis; this historian posited the Jacobin and urban nature of the revolution carried out by the Portuguese Republican Party and claimed that the PRP had turned the republican regime into a de facto dictatorship. This vision clashes with an older interpretation of the First Republic as a progressive and democratic regime which presented a clear contrast to Salazar’s ensuing dictatorship.
A republican Constitution was approved in 1911, inaugurating a parliamentary regime with reduced presidential powers and two chambers of parliament. The constitution accorded full civil liberties, the religious liberties of Catholics being an exception; the First Republic was intensely anti-clerical. The leaders of the Republic were secularists and, were following liberal tradition of disestablishing the powerful role the Catholic Church once held. Historian Stanley Payne points out, "The majority of Republicans took the position that Catholicism was the number one enemy of individualist middle-class radicalism and must be broken as a source of influence in Portugal." Under the leadership of Afonso Costa, the justice minister, the revolution targeted the Catholic Church: churches were plundered, convents were attacked and clergy were harassed. Scarcely had the provisional government been installed when it began devoting its entire attention to an anti-religious policy, in spite of the disastrous economic situation.
On 10 October – five days after the inauguration of the Republic – the new government decreed that all convents and religious orders were to be suppressed. All residents of religious institutions were expelled and their goods confiscated; the Jesuits were forced to forfeit their Portuguese citizenship. A series of anti-Catholic laws and decrees followed each other in rapid succession. On 3 November, a law legalizing divorce was passed and there were laws to recognize the legitimacy of children born outside wedlock, authorize cremation, secularize cemeteries, suppress religious teaching in the schools and prohibit the wearing of the cassock. In addition, the ringing of church bells to signal times of worship was subjected to certain restraints, the public celebration of religious feasts was suppressed; the government interfered in the running of seminaries, reserving the right to appoint professors and determine curricula. This whole series of laws authored by Afonso Costa culminated in the law of Separation of Church and State, passed on 20 April 1911.
The republicans were anticlerical and had a "hostile" approach to the issue of church and state separation, like that of the French Revolution, the future Mexican Constitution of 1917 and Spanish Constitution of 1931. On 24 May 1911, Pope Pius X issued the encyclical Iamdudum which condemned the anticlericalism of the new republic for its deprivation of religious civil liberties and the "incredible series of excesses and crimes, enacted in Portugal for the oppression of the Church." The PRP had to endure the secession of its more moderate elements, who formed conservative republican parties such as the Evolutionist Party and the Republican Union. In spite of these splits the PRP, led by Afonso Costa, preserved its dominance due to a brand of clientelist politics inherited from the monarchy. In view of these tactics, a number of opposition forces resorted to violence in order to enjoy the fruits of power. There are few recent studies of this period of the Republic's existence, known as the ‘old’ Republic.
An essay by Vasco Pulido Valente should be consulted, as should the attempt to establish the political and economic context made by M. Villaverde Cabral; the Republic repelled a royalist attack on Chaves in 1912. The PRP viewed the outbreak of the First World War as a unique opportunity to achieve a number of goals: putting an end to the twin threats of a Spanish invasion of Portugal and of foreign occupation of the colonies and, at the internal level, creating a national consensus around the regime and around the party; these domestic objectives were not met, since participation in the conflict was not the subject of a national consensus and since it did not therefore serve to mobilise the population. Quite the opposite occurred: existing lines of political and ideological fracture were deepened by Portugal's intervention in the First World War; the lack of consensus around Portugal's intervention in turn made possible the appearance of two dictatorships, led by General Pimenta de Castro and Sidónio Pais.
Sidonismo known as Dezembrismo, aroused a strong interest among historians as a result of the elements of modernity that it contained. António José Telo has made clear the way in which this regime predated some of the political solutions invented by the totalitarian and fascist dictatorship
The German Empire known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation. On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. Berlin remained its capital, Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government; as these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families, they included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.
Prussian dominance was established constitutionally. After 1850, the states of Germany had become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people. A rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country. By 1900, Germany was the largest economy in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States. From 1867 to 1878/9, Otto von Bismarck's tenure as the first and to this day longest reigning Chancellor was marked by relative liberalism, but it became more conservative afterwards. Broad reforms and the Kulturkampf marked his period in the office. Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory, yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
As a colonial state, it sometimes clashed with other European powers the British Empire. Germany became a great power, boasting a developing rail network, the world's strongest army, a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy. After the removal of Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II in 1890, the Empire embarked on Weltpolitik – a bellicose new course that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated; this period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public. In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882, it retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris in the autumn of 1914 failed. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate; the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered; the Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism; the German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, after being alluded to in Article 6 of the 1814 Treaty of Paris.
German nationalism shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the German states, he envisioned a Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War against France in 1870–71; the German Confederation ended as a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other. The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in 1867 by a North German Confederation, comprising the 22 states north of the Main; the patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany in the four stat
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France. The early days of the Third Republic were dominated by political disruptions caused by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, which the Republic continued to wage after the fall of Emperor Napoleon III in 1870. Harsh reparations exacted by the Prussians after the war resulted in the loss of the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine, social upheaval, the establishment of the Paris Commune; the early governments of the Third Republic considered re-establishing the monarchy, but confusion as to the nature of that monarchy and who should be awarded the throne caused those talks to stall. Thus, the Third Republic, intended as a provisional government, instead became the permanent government of France; the French Constitutional Laws of 1875 defined the composition of the Third Republic.
It consisted of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate to form the legislative branch of government and a president to serve as head of state. Issues over the re-establishment of the monarchy dominated the tenures of the first two presidents, Adolphe Thiers and Patrice de MacMahon, but the growing support for the republican form of government in the French population and a series of republican presidents during the 1880s quashed all plans for a monarchical restoration; the Third Republic established many French colonial possessions, including French Indochina, French Madagascar, French Polynesia, large territories in West Africa during the Scramble for Africa, all of them acquired during the last two decades of the 19th century. The early years of the 20th century were dominated by the Democratic Republican Alliance, conceived as a centre-left political alliance, but over time became the main centre-right party; the period from the start of World War I to the late 1930s featured polarized politics, between the Democratic Republican Alliance and the more Radicals.
The government fell during the early years of World War II as the Germans occupied France and was replaced by the rival governments of Charles de Gaulle's Free France and Philippe Pétain's Vichy France. Adolphe Thiers called republicanism in the 1870s "the form of government that divides France least". On the left stood Reformist France, heir to the French Revolution. On the right stood conservative France, rooted in the peasantry, the Roman Catholic Church and the army. In spite of France's divided electorate and persistent attempts to overthrow it, the Third Republic endured for seventy years, which as of 2018 makes it the longest lasting system of government in France since the collapse of the Ancien Régime in 1789; the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 resulted in the defeat of France and the overthrow of Emperor Napoleon III and his Second French Empire. After Napoleon's capture by the Prussians at the Battle of Sedan, Parisian deputies led by Léon Gambetta established the Government of National Defence as a provisional government on 4 September 1870.
The deputies selected General Louis-Jules Trochu to serve as its president. This first government of the Third Republic ruled during the Siege of Paris; as Paris was cut off from the rest of unoccupied France, the Minister of War, Léon Gambetta, who succeeded in leaving Paris in a hot air balloon, established the headquarters of the provisional republican government in the city of Tours on the Loire river. After the French surrender in January 1871, the provisional Government of National Defence disbanded, national elections were called with the aim of creating a new French government. French territories occupied by Prussia at this time; the resulting conservative National Assembly elected Adolphe Thiers as head of a provisional government, nominally. Due to the revolutionary and left-wing political climate that prevailed in the Parisian population, the right-wing government chose the royal palace of Versailles as its headquarters; the new government negotiated a peace settlement with the newly proclaimed German Empire: the Treaty of Frankfurt signed on 10 May 1871.
To prompt the Prussians to leave France, the government passed a variety of financial laws, such as the controversial Law of Maturities, to pay reparations. In Paris, resentment against the government built and from late March – May 1871, Paris workers and National Guards revolted and established the Paris Commune, which maintained a radical left-wing regime for two months until its bloody suppression by the Thiers government in May 1871; the following repression of the communards would have disastrous consequences for the labor movement. The French legislative election of 1871, held in the aftermath of the collapse of the regime of Napoleon III, resulted in a monarchist majority in the French National Assembly, favourable to making a peace agreement with Prussia; the "Legitimists" in the National Assembly supported the candidacy of a descendant of King Charles X, the last monarch from the senior line of the Bourbon Dynasty, to assume the French throne: his grandson Henri, Comte de Chambord, alias "Henry V."
The Orléanists supported a descendant of King Louis Philippe I, the cousin of Charles X who replaced him as the French monarch i
Battle of Saint-Mihiel
The Battle of Saint-Mihiel was a major World War I battle fought from 12–15 September 1918, involving the American Expeditionary Force and 110,000 French troops under the command of General John J. Pershing of the United States against German positions; the U. S. Army Air Service played a significant role in this action; this battle marked the first use of the terms "D-Day" and "H-Hour" by the Americans. The attack at the St. Mihiel salient was part of a plan by Pershing in which he hoped that the Americans would break through the German lines and capture the fortified city of Metz, it was the first and only offensive launched by the United States Army in World War I, the attack caught the Germans in the process of retreating. This meant that their artillery was out of place and the American attack, coming up against disorganized German forces, proved more successful than expected; the St. Mihiel attack established the stature of the U. S. Army in the eyes of the French and British forces, again demonstrated the critical role of artillery during World War I and the difficulty of supplying such massive armies while they were on the move.
The U. S. attack faltered as food supplies were left behind on the muddy roads. The attack on Metz was not realized, as the Supreme Allied Commander Ferdinand Foch ordered the American troops to march towards Sedan and Mézières, which would lead to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Saint-Mihiel is a town in the Meuse department in northeastern France. After the end of the 1870–71 Franco-Prussian War, the town was no longer considered important strategically, military installations were not developed; this changed early with the town inside the battlefront. In 1914, the German command wished to take the Verdun fortifications, which formed a strong point in the French lines. A first attempt, at Bois-le-Pretre, despite violent fighting. During two more attempts, German troops took Saint-Mihiel and the fort at Camp des Romains, but they were stopped at Fort de Troyon to the south of Verdun. During the course of the war the front did not change much in this area. Saint-Mihiel formed a salient inside the French lines, blocking communications between Nancy and Verdun.
The area near St. Mihiel would know much fighting: The Crête des Éparges: February–April 1915. At the Bois d'Ailly and the Tranchée de la Soif: isolated behind German lines, Commander d'André's men fought three days without food or water before surrendering in May 1915. At Bois Brûlé, the French suffered many casualties when German conquered a redoubt in December, 1914, it was here that the sub-officer Jacques Péricard pronounced the famous words: "Debout les morts!" on 8 April 1915. The forêt d'Apremont, the Tête à vache trenches, Calonne trenches…In spite of French attacks, the German forces were able to retain this strategic location until the last months of the war. General John Pershing thought that a successful Allied attack in the region of St. Mihiel and Verdun would have a significant effect on the German army. General Pershing was aware that the area's terrain setting first dictated that the restricted rail and road communications into Verdun be cleared, that a continuation of the attack to capture the German railroad center at Metz would be devastating to the Germans.
For this, he placed his confidence in a young First Infantry Division Major, George Marshall, to move troops and supplies throughout the battle. After these goals were accomplished, the Americans could launch offensives into Germany proper; the American First Army had been taken over the sector of the Allied line. Pershing had to persuade Marshall Foch to permit an American attack on the salient; the weather corps of Corps I Operation Order stated: "Visibility: Heavy driving wind and rain during parts of day and night. Roads: Very muddy." This would pose a challenge to the Americans. In some parts of the road, the men were knee-deep in mud and water. After five days of rain, the ground was nearly impassable to both the American tanks and infantry. Many of the tanks were wrecked by water leaking into their engines, while others got stuck in mud flows; some of the infantrymen developed early stages of trench foot before the trenches were dug. Prior to the American operation, the Germans installed many in-depth series of trenches, wire obstacles, machine-gun nests.
The battlefields' terrain included the nearby premises of three villages: Vigneulles and Hannonville-sous-les-Cotes. Their capture would accelerate the envelopment of the German divisions near St. Mihiel; the American forces planned to breach the trenches and advance along the enemy's logistical road network. The Germans knew many details about the Allied offensive campaign coming against them. One Swiss newspaper had published the date and duration of the preparatory barrage. However, the German Army stationed in the area of St. Mihiel lacked sufficient manpower and effective leadership to launch a counter-attack of its own against the Allies. With Allied offensives to the north, the Germans decided to pull out of the St. Mihiel Salient and consolidate their forces near the Hindenburg Line; the order to evacuate the area was given on 8 September. The Allied forces discovered the information on a written order to Army Group Gallwitz. Although the AEF was new to the French theater of war, it trained hard for nearly a year in preparation for fighting against the German armies.
Battle of St Quentin Canal
The Battle of St. Quentin Canal was a pivotal battle of World War I that began on 29 September 1918 and involved British and American forces operating as part of the British Fourth Army under the overall command of General Sir Henry Rawlinson. Further north, part of the British Third Army supported the attack. South of the Fourth Army's 19 km front, the French First Army launched a coordinated attack on a 9.5 km front. The objective was to break through one of the most defended stretches of the German Siegfriedstellung, which in this sector utilised the St Quentin Canal as part of its defences; the assault achieved its objectives, resulting in the first full breach of the Hindenburg Line, in the face of heavy German resistance. In concert with other attacks of the Grand Offensive along the length of the line, Allied success convinced the German high command that there was little hope of an ultimate German victory. Rawlinson wanted the Australian Corps, under the command of Lieutenant General Sir John Monash, with its well-earned reputation, to spearhead the attack.
Monash was unhappy, because his Australian force was by now short of manpower and many soldiers were showing signs of strain, having been engaged in fighting for several months. There had been some episodes of mutiny by troops. Monash was however pleased when Rawlinson offered him the American II Corps, which still remained at the disposal of the British command, since American divisions were twice the numerical strength of their British counterparts. U. S. Corps commander Major General George Windle Read handed command of his American force for the duration of the action to Monash. However, the American soldiers lacked battle experience. A small group of 217 Australian officers and N. C. O.s was assigned to the U. S. troops for advice and liaison. The British high command considered that German morale was suffering badly and that their capacity to resist was much weakened. Monash believed that the operation would be "more a matter of engineering and organisation than of fighting". Whilst there had been some evidence of poor German morale from previous operations, this proved to be a dangerous assumption.
Monash was tasked with drawing up the battle plan. He would use the Americans to breach the Hindenburg Line and the Australian 3rd and 5th Divisions to follow behind and exploit the breakthrough. Monash intended to attack the Hindenburg Line south of Vendhuile where the St Quentin Canal runs underground for some 5,500 m through the Bellicourt Tunnel; the tunnel was the only location. Where the canal runs underground, the main Hindenburg Line trench system was sited to the west of the line of the canal. Two British corps, III and IX, would be deployed in support of the main assault. To Monash's plan Rawlinson made a significant change: IX Corps would launch an assault directly across the deep canal cutting south of the Bellicourt Tunnel; this plan originated with commander of IX Corps. Monash felt such an assault to be doomed to failure and would never have planned for it himself, believing it to be too risky; this view was shared by many in the 46th Division of IX Corps, tasked with spearheading the assault.
The Germans believed the canal cutting to be impregnable. After the German Spring Offensive, British Empire and American counterattacks during the Hundred Days Offensive brought the Allies back up against the outposts of the Hindenburg Line by the autumn of 1918, close to the village of Bellicourt, where the Battle of Épehy was fought on 18 September 1918. Monash's plan assumed that the Hindenburg outpost line would be in Allied hands by the date set for the start of the battle. Whilst the Australians had captured it in the southern part of the front, the northern section of the line was still in German hands; the 27th American Division was ordered to attack on 27 September, to finish clearing German forces from outposts in front of their line, including the strong points of The Knoll, Gillemont Farm, Quennemont Farm. Commander in Chief Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig opposed using the Americans to take the outpost line, wanting to preserve them for the main attack, he was persuaded by Rawlinson to change his mind.
The British III Corps had failed to capture the outposts, but that failure had been attributed by Rawlinson to the tiredness of the troops. Rawlinson was convinced that the Germans were at breaking point and managed to persuade Haig that this was so; the American soldiers were inexperienced and problems were compounded by a shortage of American officers. The U. S. attack was unsuccessful. Monash asked Rawlinson for permission to delay the main attack due on 29 September, but this was refused because of the priority given to Marshal Ferdinand Foch's strategy of keeping the Germans under the relentless pressure of coordinated assaults along the front; as a result of the confusion created by the failed attack, the battle on 29 September on the American 27th Division front had to be started without the customary close artillery support. The British artillery commander argued that attempting to alter the barrage timetable at this late stage would cause problems and the American divisional commander Maj