September 18, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Marched 7 miles. Loaded in French trucks.
When we ride in trucks that means that the 35th is needed bad somewhere. I hope so.”
I’ve written at length about transportation via train, but this is one of the first times I get to explore the truck convoy. This is from Heroes of the Argonne:
The soldiers never knew how palatial were the French box cars until they took their first long ride in a truck Francaise. There is room for twelve men in a French truck. The number was doubled, minus two, and the men told to sit on each other’s heads and stomachs.
The division, before leaving Foret de Haye, was marched to a point in the vicinity of Five Trenches where the 200 French trucks were lined up on the roadway. There was ten miles of them. The truck method of convoy was very common in the French army.
Chaplain Edwards’ account in From Doniphan to Verdun is remarkably consistent:
After a week of mud and misery, on September the 18th the entire Division was moved by an almost endless truck train which was reached by the usual march by the usual longer route, through the usual mud; a French train, rented from the French. The men were so closely crowded that rest was impossible.
I think these were actually Australian troops, but the picture is too good not to use here.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.