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Eighth Army Corps

About the time of the armistice there were organized the Eighth and Ninth Corps, and they functioned until the troops were demobilized. They were made up in part of the units of the old First, Second, Third, and Fourth. The staffs were taken from other staffs, or from line officers who had shown a special aptitude. Each staff expected to furnish officers to new staffs, as fast as they were created, and there were understudies who could take their places promptly.

The Eighth Corps was organized November 29th, 1918, and was commanded by Major General Henry T. Allen. It was composed of the 6th, 77th and 81st Divisions. The insignia is the figure "8" in white on octagonal background of blue.

Major General Henry T. Allen arrived in France, June 22, 1918; where he Organized, trained, and fought the 90th Division. He later organized and commanded 8th Army Corps. Henry T. Allen was April 13, 1859 at Sharpsburg, Kentucky. On graduation from the United States Military Academy he was commissioned a second lieutenant, 2d Cavalry, on June 13, 1882. Among other distinctions he as an army officer did much exploration work in Alaska, represented the United States as a military attache in Russia and Germany, was an officer in the Cuban campaign and in the Philippines, and was organizer and chief of the Philippine Constabulary.

General Allen was very familiar with foreign military systems, having been military attache in Russia from 1890 to 1895, and in Germany in 1897-8. He served in the Santiago campaign as major and adjutant-general. In 1901 General Allen was made chief of the Philippine Constabulary. Later he was chief of the cavalry section of the General Staff. General Allen participated in the Pershing expedition into Mexico as commander of a picked squadron of the 11th Cavalry in the Mexican expedition of 1916 . Later he organized a cavalry brigade at Fort Riley.

Lieutenant Colonel Henry T. Allen was originally sent to Europe as part of a relief commission with the U.S. Assistant Secretary of War, Henry Breckenridge, to coordinate and assist Americans fleeing Europe. This commission successfully completed its mission repatriating over 125,000 Americans in two months.

By 1917, the United States was not secure. If the Germans won, which in 1917 was a strong possibility, they would feel emboldened enough to expand their influence into the Americas. If the stalemate continued, and the European armies ground each other to powder, then the way would be open for an ever more aggressive Japan. As an estimate prepared by one of President Wilson's military advisors (LTC Henry T. Allen) concluded, without U.S. involvement none of the principal nations involved in the European war could be destroyed, meaning that the war could not "reconcile the victors to the vanquished" and that postwar Europe could not escape its troublesome nature.

During the World war Henry T. Allen was first commander of the 30th Division, then was commanding general 90th Division. He was promoted to the rank of major general August 5, 1917. Both French and British officers thought that American Army or Divisional staffs would never attain operational proficiency in time to make significant campaign contributions. General Pershing ordered Col. George C. Marshall to create the operational orders to accomplish the largest American wartime movement of troops and material under difficult combat circumstances. Both Marshal Foch and General Pershing secretly doubted that the movements could be accomplished in time. Marshall's plan brought the 1st Army into line a day ahead of schedule.

After the signing of the Versailles Treaty that ended World War I in June 1919, there was little chance for hostilities to be renewed. On July 2 the Third Army was inactivated, and its remaining personnel and equipment were transferred to the newly created American Forces in Germany (AFG) headquarters, which remained at Coblenz. Major General Henry T Allen, the commander of the 90th Division on the western front, became AFG commander in July, 1919, serving until the AFG itself was inactivated in January 1923. He supervised US military activities in that capacity everywhere in Europe except Russia.

Major General Henry T. Allen was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal "For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services. In command of the Ninetieth Division. He had the most important position of conducting the right flank at the St. Mihiel salient. The brilliant success there gained and later repeated in the Argonne Meuse offensive showed him to be an officer of splendid judgment, high attainments, and excellent leadership. Later he commanded the Eighth Army Corps with skill and judgment." G. O. 12 (January 17, 1919).

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:37:50 ZULU