Replacements

No diary entry today, so instead some mention of the replacement troops that arrived during this time to replenish the 140th following the devastation of the Meuse-Argonne. From Chaplain Edwards in From Doniphan to Verdun:

Here we received a large number of replacements. We had begun to get new clothes and equipment at Marats-la-Grand, and now the regiment was regaining its strength in numbers. 

They were a fine lot of men. From the days at Doniphan this regiment was fortunate in its replacements. All of the men who were sent to us averaged well, and soon became loyal to the traditions of the 140th. 

But these men were, many of them, inexperienced, and one night we had a terrific gas barrage. Either because they were too slow in getting on their masks or because they removed them too soon, we had a large number of casualties.


Sgt. Triplet in A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne:

[He quotes an anecdote about what a British officer had once said about a group of replacement soldiers]

“My Lords, I do not know what effect the recruits you have sent me may have upon the French army but by God they terrify me.”

These poor devils had been in the army only six weeks before they were herded aboard a transport and sent off to the war. They were all big-city boys. By the mournful, hangdog look of them, none of them wanted to be here and most of them were married. They had never fired a weapon. And here they were in the front lines with bayonets fixed.

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Where was Robert today? See the timeline.

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