File No. 763.72/13345

The Secretary of War ( Baker ) to President Wilson


I have returned to Paris and leave tonight for visit to Italian headquarters. Will sail for home April 1.

The situation here is very grave but seems better this morning than at any time since the offensive began. The French have taken over substantial part of the British line and reserves of both armies are now concentrated near chief point of attack which seems to be Amiens which is rail head for supplies of British front; its capture would be serious. A part of the German plan is to drive in between [Page 177] the French and British forces and for a while they were out of touch with [one] another. Communication was reestablished last night and the line of defense is now unbroken.

General Pershing is in full accord with General Pétain and General Haig and is placing all our men and resources here at their disposal. Our engineer troops are being brought up from the line of communications to aid Haig in the construction of new defensive positions and Pétain is placing four of our divisions in the line thus freeing divisions for use as battle reserves. This is the best use to be made of them, all agree. They will be in action but not as a corps as they have not had corps experience except in association with French divisions and under French corps commanders.

Both British and French people calm but serious. British have control of air but enemy is still able to use air service effectively.