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Cartographic Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-21

Front Cover, Preliminary Inventory of the Cartographic Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-21 (Record Group 120), 1966.

Front Cover, Preliminary Inventory of the Cartographic Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-21 (Record Group 120), 1966. GGA Image ID # 17df4f9d88

Franklin W. Burch, Preliminary Inventory of the Cartographic Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-21 (Record Group 120),  © 1966, The National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C., Loose Leaf, 70 Pages, National Archives Publication No. 66-4.

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Inventory of WWI Records of the A.E.F. by General Record Categories
  • Appendixes
  • Glossary of Subject Headings
  • Reference Guides to U.S. Maps
  • Reference Guides to Foreign Maps
  • Foreign Topographic and Trench Map Series by Area and Scale

Preliminary Inventory of the Cartographic Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-21 (Record Group 120)

Established: Under the War Department by General Order 1, Headquarters American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), May 26, 1917, pursuant to letter, Secretary of War Newton D. Baker to General John J. Pershing, same date, transmitting Presidential instruction.

Functions: Conducted military operations against Germany during World War I. Conducted military operations in North Russia. Provided medical and sanitary relief in Poland. Occupied Germany after the war.

Foreword

GSA through the National Archives and Records Service is responsible for administering the permanent noncurrent records of the Federal Government.

These archival holdings, now amounting to about 900,000 cubic feet, date from the days of the Continental Congresses; they include the basic records of the three branches of our Government-- Congress, the courts, and the executive departments and independent agencies.

The Presidential Libraries—Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower--contain the papers of those Presidents and many of their associates in office.

Among our holdings are many hallowed documents relating to great events of our Nation's history, preserved and venerated as symbols to stimulate a worthy patriotism in all of us.

But most of the records are less dramatic, kept because of their continuing practical utility for the ordinary processes of government, for the protection of private rights, and for the research use of students and scholars.

To facilitate the use of the records and to describe their nature and content, our archivists prepare various kinds of finding aids. The present work is one such publication. We believe that it will prove valuable to anyone who wishes to use the records it describes.

LAWSON B. KNOTT, JR.
Administrator of General Services

Preface

The first step in the records-description program of the National Archives is the compilation of preliminary inventories of the material in some 380 record groups to which the holdings of the National Archives are allocated.

These inventories are called "preliminary" because they are provisional in character. They are prepared as soon as possible after the records are received without waiting to screen out all disposable material or to perfect the arrangement of the records.

They are compiled primarily for internal use, both as finding aids to help the staff render efficient reference service and as a means of establishing administrative control over the records.

Each preliminary inventory contains an introduction that briefly states the history and functions of the agency that accumulated the records.

The records themselves are described series by series, that is, by units of records of the same form or that deal with the same subject or activity or that are arranged serially. Other significant information about the records may sometimes be given in appendixes.

Several finding aids that give an overall picture of materials in the National Archives have been published. A comprehensive Guide to the Records in the National Archives (1948) and a brief guide, Your Government*s Records in the National Archives (revised 1950), have been issued.

A guide devoted to one geographical area- -Guide to Materials on Latin Américain the National Archives (1961)--has been published. Forty-four Reference Information Papers, which analyze records in the National Archives on such subjects as transportation, small business, and the Middle East, have so far been issued.

Records of the Civil War have been described in Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War (1962) and Civil War Maps in the National Archives (1964), those of World War I in Handbook of Federal World War Agencies and Their Records, 19Í7-1921 (1943), and those of World War n in the two-volume guide, Federal Records of World War n (1950-51).

Genealogical records have been listed in Guide to Genealogical Records in the National Archives (1964). Many bodies of records of high research value have been edited by the National Archives and reproduced on microfilm as a form of publication.

Positive prints of this microfilm, many of which are described in the List of National Archives Microfilm Publications (1965), are available for purchase.

ROBERT H. BAHMER
Acting Archivist of the United States

Introduction

The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, and severed diplomatic relations with Austria-Hungary 2 days later. Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing was ordered to assume command of the American Expeditionary Forces on May 26. and on May 28 he and a small staff sailed from Hoboken on the White Star Liner Baltic.

At General Headquarters, first established at Paris but moved in early September to Chaumont, initial plans were made for a general organization project, a service of the rear project, and a schedule of priority of shipments.

Although these were modified as the war continued, they provided the basic structure for AEF participation in Allied operations against the Central Powers.

The General Staff was organized into sections for Administration (G-1 ), Intelligence (G-2). Operations (G-3), Coordination (G-4), and Training (G-5).

In February 1918 most staff services and departments were grouped for supply purposes under the Commanding General, Services of Supply, with headquarters at Tours.

The selection of the Lorraine front as the American sector of operations put the AEF in position to affect the outcome of the war by threatening the strategic railroad and industrial centers of Metz and Sedan. Division and corps organizations took form as American forces and supplies in France were built up.

Battalions of the 1st Division were in the line in October 1917, but not until January 1918 did the division assume responsibility for an entire sector, the command over which was transferred from the French in February.

American units helped to halt the 1918 German offensives that began on March 21 and participated in the Allied counteroffensives launched the following July.

Plans for an American offensive in the St. Mihiel salient were further developed after Allied successes made possible the creation of the American First Army, formed on August 10.

Between September 12 and 15 the St. Mihiel offensive achieved its objectives, and even before it was completed troops and supplies began moving to the Meuse-Argonne region for a series of offensives carried out by the First Army between September 26 and November 11.

Some American divisions operated with British and French armies on other sectors of the front, and early in November the American Second Army joined the general attack on the right of the First Army.

In accordance with the Armistice terms, British, American, and French armies occupied German territory west of the Rhine River and established bridgeheads, each with a radius of about 18 miles, east of the Rhine at Cologne, Coblenz, and Mainz.

The American Third Army was designated the Army of Occupation on November 14, and its leading troops reached the Rhine on December 9 under the control of Advance General Headquarters at Trier.

The Third Army was dissolved July 2. 1919; the remaining units were called American Forces in Germany, the last of which left in January 1923.

The return of men and materiel to the United States was initiated shortly after the Armistice, and preparations for closing General Headquarters in France were completed during the summer of 1919.

General Pershing's final report was dated Paris, September 1, 1919, although General Headquarters was maintained in Washington, D. C., until August 31. 1920.

Most of the maps in this record group were made, collected, or used at General Headquarters. hut there was no single centralized map file.

The nature of map files in the AEF was diverse and included stock for distribution, compilation and reproduction files, various operations files maintained for intelligence and planning purposes, technical and experimental project material, and products of post-Armistice collecting, copying, and compilation work for reports and historical purposes.

After being returned to the United States, nearly three decades of military archival, intelligence, and historical arrangement preceded their accessioning by the National Archives.

The nearly 24,000 items in the record group fill about 192 drawers, or 72 linear feet, of map cases having a volume of 576 cubic feet. Slightly more than half the items are American in origin, and of these about half are records of the General Staff.

The most numerous foreign records are French, comprising about half, and German, comprising about a third. The most significant records of German origin are annotated and manuscript maps, many captured by American troops during the military action.

This inventory generally follows the arrangement of the records. American maps are described in twelve primary subgroups and thereunder by organization. Allied and enemy records constitute two primary subgroups, in which the records are described by nation and thereunder by organization. Thereafter. American. Allied, and enemy items have been grouped into series based on the subject matter of the maps.

Within the series, items are described as follows:

a) by chronological order for serial publications and maps whose submission was required at stated intervals:

b) by scale and sheet name or number for sets of topographic and trench maps; and

c) for most of the other series by area, broad subject classification, or previously existing numerical classification.

Whenever possible, specific origins at all levels of organization have been determined for the American records; more general organizational origins have been determined for the foreign records.

Additional details concerning the origin and arrangement of the maps will be found in introductory paragraphs to the major subdivisions of this inventory. Mapping activities are described in the introductory paragraphs for GHQ. G-2 and G-2-C.

Within the series, most place names are spelled with the form established by the United States Board on Geographic Names. If the Board has not established a particular spelling form, the place name is spelled as found on the map being described.

Appendix I is a glossary of terms used in appendixes II and III. general reference and subject guides to the series of American and foreign maps, the area coverage of which can be determined approximately by the origin of the series. Appendix IV lists foreign topographic and trench map series by area and scale.

In general, the arrangement of the maps described in this inventory parallels the arrangement of the large volume of textual material which constitutes the main body of AEF records in Record Group 120.

The textual records are described in the National Archives’ Preliminary Checklist Number 35. Records of the Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-1921 (Washington, 1946), and in manuscript drafts of inventories to be published by the National Archives.

Other records created by various units of the AEF are in RG 77. Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers: RG 111, Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer: and RG 156, Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance.

In addition to AEF cartographic and textual records in the National Archives, there are also photographic records. The Catalogue of Official A. E. F, Photographs Taken by the Signal Corps. U.S. A.. published in 1919 by the Historical Branch, War Plans Division, General Staff, lists captions of photographs and indexes them by unit, person, place, and subject. Motion pictures of the AEF are described in the National Archives' Special List Number 14, List of World War I Signal Corps Films (Washington, 1957).

Textual material from AEF files and map illustrations may be found in a 17-volume documentary publication, United States Army in the World War, 1917-1919, prepared by the Historical Division, Department of the Army (Washington, 1948).

In addition to AEF reports published immediately after the war, a number of other works, available in many public and private libraries, contain information that will facilitate the use of AEF records.

They include the studies published between 1918 and 1922 by the Historical Branch, War Plans Division, General Staff, in its "Monograph Series."

These deal with German tactics, economic mobilization and economic agencies in the United States, troop and battle frontage, particular operations, Services of Supply organization, and Signal Corps and Air Service activities.

A compilation of information on command and staff personnel and units, with a summary of events, is contained in the following two volumes prepared by the Historical Section, Army War College: Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War-. American Expeditionary Forces.

General Headquarters, Armies, Army Corps. Services of Supply, and Separate Forces (Washington, 1937) and Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War. American Expeditionary Forces; Divisions (Washington, 1931).

Other volumes in the same series relate to the Zone of Interior. A valuable introduction to AEF operations with useful cartographic material is the American Battle Monuments Commission's American Armies and Battlefields in Europe. A History, Guide, and Reference Work (Washington. 1938). The Commission has also published summaries of divisional operations.

A brief bibliography of other published source material relating to World War 1 may be found in the Department of the Army's Guide to the Writing of American Military History (Washington, 1951).

Table of Contents

  • 120.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 120.2 RECORDS OF GENERAL HEADQUARTERS (GHQ) AEF 1917-21
  • 120.2.1 Records of the office of the commander in chief
  • 120.2.2 Records of the chief of staff
  • 120.2.3 Records of the secretary of the general staff
  • 120.3 RECORDS OF THE GENERAL STAFF, GHQ AEF 1911-27
  • 120.3.1 Records of the First Section, G-1 (Administration)
  • 120.3.2 Records of the Second Section, G-2 (Intelligence)
  • 120.3.3 Records of the Third Section, G-3 (Operations)
  • 120.3.4 Records of the Fourth Section, G-4 (Coordination)
  • 120.3.5 Records of the Fifth Section, G-5 (Training)
  • 120.3.6 Records of the Historical Section
  • 120.4 RECORDS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF, GHQ AEF 1917-26
  • 120.4.1 Records of the adjutant general
  • 120.4.2 Records of the inspector general
  • 120.4.3 Records of the judge advocate general
  • 120.4.4 Records of the chief chaplain
  • 120.4.5 Records of the headquarters commandant
  • 120.5 RECORDS OF THE TECHNICAL STAFF, GHQ AEF 1917-19
  • 120.5.1 Records of the chief of the Air Service
  • 120.5.2 Records of the chief of artillery
  • 120.5.3 Records of the Railway Artillery Reserve
  • 120.5.4 Records of the Anti-Aircraft Service
  • 120.6 RECORDS OF ADVANCE GENERAL HEADQUARTERS 1915-19
  • 120.7 RECORDS OF HEADQUARTERS SERVICES OF SUPPLY 1916-21
  • 120.7.1 Records of the Line of Communication
  • 120.7.2 Records of the Service of the Rear
  • 120.7.3 Records of the commanding general
  • 120.7.4 Records of the general staff
  • 120.7.5 Records of the administrative staff
  • 120.7.6 Records of the chief ordnance officer (technical staff)
  • 120.7.7 Records of the chief surgeon (technical staff)
  • 120.8 RECORDS OF SOS GEOGRAPHICAL SECTIONS 1917-20
  • 120.8.1 Records of Base Sections 1-8
  • 120.8.2 Records of the Intermediate Section
  • 120.8.3 Records of the Advance Section
  • 120.8.4 Records of the District of Paris
  • 120.9 RECORDS OF AEF TACTICAL UNITS 1917-22 (bulk 1917-19)
  • 120.9.1 Records of the First-Third Armies
  • 120.9.2 Records of I-IX Corps
  • 120.9.3 Records of combat divisions
  • 120.9.4 Records of other tactical units
  • 120.10 RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN FORCES IN FRANCE 1919-20
  • 120.11 RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN FORCES IN GERMANY 1918-23
  • 120.11.1 General records
  • 120.11.2 Records of the general staff
  • 120.11.3 Records of the administrative staff
  • 120.11.4 Records of the technical staff
  • 120.12 RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN POLISH RELIEF EXPEDITION 1919-21
  • 120.13 RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES, NORTH RUSSIA
  • 120.14 RECORDS OF U.S. REPRESENTATIVES TO WORLD WAR I INTERNATIONAL BODIES 1917-28
  • 120.14.1 Records of the Supreme War Council
  • 120.14.2 Records of the American Section of the Military Board of Allied Supply (MBAS)
  • 120.14.3 Records of the American Military Mission at British General Headquarters
  • 120.14.4 Records of the American Military Mission at French General Headquarters
  • 120.14.5 Records of the American Military Mission to Italy
  • 120.14.6 Records of the American Section of the Permanent International Armistice Commission (PIAC)
  • 120.14.7 Records of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace
  • 120.15 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL) 1848-1924 (bulk 1917-19) 15,168 items
  • 120.16 STILL PICTURES (GENERAL) 1915-20 4,759 images 1917-19
  • 120.2 RECORDS OF GENERAL HEADQUARTERS (GHQ) AEF 1917-21
  • 120.2.1 Records of the office of the commander in chief
  • 120.2.2 Records of the chief of staff
  • 120.2.3 Records of the secretary of the general staff
  • 120.3 RECORDS OF THE GENERAL STAFF, GHQ AEF 1911-27
  • 120.3.1 Records of the First Section, G-1 (Administration)
  • 120.3.2 Records of the Second Section, G-2 (Intelligence)
  • 120.3.3 Records of the Third Section, G-3 (Operations)
  • 120.3.4 Records of the Fourth Section, G-4 (Coordination)
  • 120.3.5 Records of the Fifth Section, G-5 (Training)
  • 120.3.6 Records of the Historical Section
  • 120.4 RECORDS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF, GHQ AEF 1917-26
  • 120.4.1 Records of the adjutant general
  • 120.4.2 Records of the inspector general
  • 120.4.3 Records of the judge advocate general
  • 120.4.4 Records of the chief chaplain
  • 120.4.5 Records of the headquarters commandant
  • 120.5 RECORDS OF THE TECHNICAL STAFF, GHQ AEF 1917-19
  • 120.5.1 Records of the chief of the Air Service
  • 120.5.2 Records of the chief of artillery
  • 120.5.3 Records of the Railway Artillery Reserve
  • 120.5.4 Records of the Anti-Aircraft Service
  • 120.6 RECORDS OF ADVANCE GENERAL HEADQUARTERS 1915-19
  • 120.7 RECORDS OF HEADQUARTERS SERVICES OF SUPPLY 1916-21
  • 120.7.1 Records of the Line of Communication
  • 120.7.2 Records of the Service of the Rear
  • 120.7.3 Records of the commanding general
  • 120.7.4 Records of the general staff
  • 120.7.5 Records of the administrative staff
  • 120.7.6 Records of the chief ordnance officer (technical staff)
  • 120.7.7 Records of the chief surgeon (technical staff)
  • 120.8 RECORDS OF SOS GEOGRAPHICAL SECTIONS 1917-20
  • 120.8.1 Records of Base Sections 1-8
  • 120.8.2 Records of the Intermediate Section
  • 120.8.3 Records of the Advance Section
  • 120.8.4 Records of the District of Paris
  • 120.9 RECORDS OF AEF TACTICAL UNITS 1917-22
  • 120.9.1 Records of the First-Third Armies
  • 120.9.2 Records of I-IX Corps
  • 120.9.3 Records of combat divisions
  • 120.9.4 Records of other tactical units
  • 120.10 RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN FORCES IN FRANCE 1919-20
  • 120.11 RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN FORCES IN GERMANY 1918-23
  • 120.11.1 General records
  • 120.11.2 Records of the general staff
  • 120.11.3 Records of the administrative staff
  • 120.11.4 Records of the technical staff
  • 120.12 RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN POLISH RELIEF EXPEDITION 1919-21
  • 120.13 RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES, NORTH RUSSIA
  • 120.14 RECORDS OF U.S. REPRESENTATIVES TO WORLD WAR I INTERNATIONAL BODIES 1917-28
  • 120.14.1 Records of the Supreme War Council
  • 120.14.2 Records of the American Section of the Military Board of Allied Supply (MBAS)
  • 120.14.3 Records of the American Military Mission at British General Headquarters
  • 120.14.4 Records of the American Military Mission at French General Headquarters
  • 120.14.5 Records of the American Military Mission to Italy
  • 120.14.6 Records of the American Section of the Permanent International Armistice Commission (PIAC)
  • 120.14.7 Records of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace
  • 120.15 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL) 1848-1924
  • 120.16 STILL PICTURES (GENERAL) 1915-20 4,759 images

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • LC Control No.: a 66007026
  • Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
  • Corporate Name: United States. National Archives and Records Service.
  • Main Title: Preliminary inventory of the cartographic records of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-21 : (Record group 120) / compiled by Franklin W. Burch.
  • Published/Created: Washington : National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1966.
  • Related Names: Burch, Franklin W.
  • Description: 70 p.; 26 cm.
  • Subjects: United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces --Archives --Catalogs. World War, 1914-1918 --Maps --Bibliography --Catalogs.
  • Series: Preliminary inventories / National Archives of the United States; no. 165 National Archives publication; no. 66-4 PI (Series) (United States. National Archives and Records Service); no. 165
  • Other System No.: (OCoLC)854380
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