Chapter I: 
The War Department From Root To Marshall
The basic structure of the War Department and the Army down to 1903 was established after the War of 1812 by Secretary of War John C. Calhoun in an effort to assert centralized control over their operations. There were and are essentially two separate elements-a departmental staff, serving directly under the Secretary of War, and the Army in the field, divided into geographical districts under professional military commanders.
The departmental staff from the beginning was called the War Department General Staff, but it was not a general staff in the modern sense of an over-all planning and co-ordinating agency. It consisted instead of a group of autonomous bureau chiefs, each responsible under the Secretary for the management of a specialized function or service. By the 1890s the principal bureaus were the judge Advocate General's Department, the Inspector General's Department, the Adjutant General's Department, the Quartermaster's Department, the Subsistence Department, the Pay Department, the Medical Department, the Corps of Engineers, the Ordnance Department, and the Signal Corps.
While the Judge Advocate General's and Inspector General's Departments were staff advisers to the Secretary of War, the other agencies combined both staff and command functions. They acted as advisers to the Secretary of War and also directed the operations and the personnel involved in performing their assigned functions. Each had its own budget appropriated, specified, and monitored in detail by Congress.1
The Army in the field, known as the line as opposed to the

staff in the War Department, was organized in tactical units and stationed at posts throughout the country. The regiment was normally the largest unit and was often scattered over a large area. The posts were grouped geographically into "departments" commanded by officers in the rank of colonel or higher. Above the geographical departments in the field the chain of command was confused and, in fact, fragmented. The titular military head of the line Army was the Commanding General, a position created by Secretary Calhoun but without Congressional authorization prescribing its duties and functions or defining its relations with the bureaus, the Secretary, and the President.
The Commanding General did not in fact or in law command the Army. Successive incumbents asserted repeatedly that in a proper military organization authority should be centralized in one individual through a direct, vertical, integrated chain of command. Instead the bureau chiefs in Washington were constantly dealing directly with their own officers in the field at all levels of command, acting they insisted under the authority and direction of the Secretary of War. When the Commanding General protested such actions as violating the military principle of "unity of command," the Secretary of War generally supported the bureau chiefs.
The President was constitutionally the Commander in Chief, and many including James Madison, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Abraham Lincoln at times exercised their command personally or through the Secretary of War rather than the Commanding General. By the end of the Civil War Lincoln had established unity of command in the field under General Ulysses S. Grant, but the extent of the latter's control over the bureaus was not clear, and, in any case, after the war the old system of divided control was revived.2
As prescribed formally in Army regulations the division of functions seemed reasonably clear. All orders and instructions from the President or the Secretary of War relating to military operations, control, or discipline were to be promulgated through the Commanding General. On the other hand, fiscal

affairs were to be conducted by the Secretary of War through the several staff departments:
The supply, payment, and recruitment of the Army and the direction of the expenditures of appropriations for its support, are by law entrusted to the Secretary of War. He exercises control through the bureaus of the War Department. He determines where and how particular supplies shall be purchased, delivered, inspected, stored and distributed.3
This theoretical clarity did not exist in practice. An informal alliance developed between the civilian secretaries and the bureau chiefs which hamstrung the Commanding General's control over the Army. The departmental staff's responsibility for logistics and support also diluted his authority over the territorial departments. Several commanding generals in protest moved their headquarters from Washington. Since secretaries came and went, power gravitated to the bureau chiefs, who, in the absence of any retirement system, remained in office for life or until they resigned.
The secretaries were unable as a consequence to exercise any effective control over the bureau chiefs upon whom they had to rely for information. The bureaus operated as virtually independent agencies within their spheres of interest. These spheres often overlapped and conflicted, demonstrating what Roscoe Pound, dean of the Harvard Law School, described as "our settled American habit of non-cooperation.4 The whole system was sanctioned and regulated in the minutest detail also by Congressional legislation, and any changes almost invariably involved Congressional action. Bureau chiefs in office for life also had greater Congressional influence than passing secretaries or line officers.
In effect, the War Department was little more than a hydra-headed holding company, an arrangement industrialists were finding increasingly wasteful and inefficient.5

One War Department committee seeking means of improving its methods of operation concluded:
The fundamental trouble was in the system of administration a system that was the gradual growth of many years, and founded upon the idea that the bureau chiefs in Washington and the Secretary of War were the only ones who could be trusted to decide either important or trivial matters in a manner to properly protect the interests of the Government; a system that necessarily resulted in congesting the paper work in Washington, in multiplying the number of clerks required to handle and record the papers, and finally in so overloading the chiefs of bureaus . . . by attention to unimportant details, that they had not sufficient time for the consideration of more important matters. 6
This legacy of bureau autonomy and Congressional control in managing the affairs of the Army and the War Department was passed on from the nineteenth century to the twentieth and constituted a principal problem of Army organization.
Creation of the New General Staff, 1900-1903
When Elihu Root became Secretary of War on 1 August 1899 the moment was opportune to assert greater executive control over the War Department's operations. During the Spanish-American War the absence of any planning and preparation, the lack of co-ordination and co-operation among the bureaus, and the delay caused by red tape had become a public scandal.
President William McKinley appointed a commission headed by retired Maj. Gen. (of Volunteers) Grenville M. Dodge, a Civil War veteran and railroad promoter, to investigate the problem. After intensive hearings and investigation the Dodge Commission reported that most of the trouble stemmed from the red tape and inefficiency of the War Department's operations generally and in the Quartermaster's and Medical Departments in particular. Congress, it said, was partially to blame because of its insistence upon monitoring departmental administration in detail. Everywhere officials were forced by regulations spawned in Congress to devote too much

Picture - Secretary Root
time to paper work and not enough to substantive matters. "No well regulated concern or corporation could transact business satisfactorily under such regulations as govern the staff departments." The commission particularly recommended investigating the question of combining all supply operations in one agency and transportation in another, following the example of modern industrial organizations. 7
After studying the Dodge Commission report, Secretary Root told Congress that unless drastic changes were made in War Department organization and administration to provide for greater executive control the department would be unable to operate effectively in any war. It would break down again,

and in its place a "jury-rigged, extempore" organization would be thrown together on an emergency basis. As a corporation lawyer he asserted that "in the successful business world" work was not done in the disorganized manner of the War Department. "What would become of a railroad, or a steel corporation, or any great business concern if it should divide its business in that way? What would become of that business?" 8
A modern army, Mr. Root said, required intelligent planning for possible future military operations and effective executive control over current ones. Intelligent planning required an agency similar to the General Board of the Navy or the Great German General Staff. Control over current operations required a professional military adviser to act as the department's general manager with a staff to assist him along the lines of modern industrial corporations. Mr. Root proposed that Congress provide by law for a Chief of Staff as general manager with a General Staff which would assist him both in planning future operations and in supervising and co-ordinating current ones.
Mr. Root's proposal represented a major break with War Department tradition. He was the first Secretary of War to abandon the alliance between the Secretary and the bureau chiefs, replacing it by an alliance with line officers through the Office of the Chief of Staff. The alliance was deliberate because Root did not see how it was possible for any Secretary to exercise effective control over the department unless he had the active support of professional soldiers whose interests, expressed in terms of their traditional insistence on unity of command, were similar. 9
To achieve these goals Mr. Root first had to abolish the

position of Commanding General. He made it clear to Congress that the Chief of Staff would act under the authority and direction of the Secretary of War and the President as constitutional Commander in Chief. He would not "command" the Army or be designated as the Commanding General because command implied an authority independent of the Secretary and the President. This change in title would avoid the repeated conflicts that had arisen between successive commanding generals and the Secretary or the President during the previous century. At the same time he wanted the Chief of Staff to be the principal military adviser of the Secretary and President. There was under the Constitution only one Commander in Chief, the President, acting through the Secretary of War, and there should be only one principal military adviser for the Army, the Chief of Staff, to whom all other Army officers would be subordinate. 10
The need for firm executive control over the bureaus, Mr. Root told Congress, was obvious. The bureaus overlapped and duplicated one another's functions up and down the line. Their traditional mutual antagonism caused disagreements, no matter how petty, to come all the way up to the Secretary personally for resolution. Supplying electricity for new coastal defense fortifications provided a glaring example. In those days, fifty years before anyone ever heard of project management, at least five overlapping bureaus were involved in supplying some part of the electricity needed to build or operate the fortifications, the Engineers in construction, the Quartermaster for lighting the posts, the Signal Corps for communications, the Ordnance for ammunition hoists, and the Artillery which had to use the guns. If the Secretary acted on the request of one bureau, the others immediately complained of interference with their work. The only thing he could do was to call in the bureau chiefs concerned and spend half a day thrashing out a decision. The Secretary simply could not spend all his time on such details, and the result was that the bureaus were continually stepping on each other's toes. 11
In Mr. Root's scheme the Chief of Staff, assisted by the

General Staff, would investigate and recommend to the Secretary solutions to such technical problems. Root further recommended consolidating all Army supply operations in one bureau along the lines suggested by the Dodge Commission. This was the way modern industrial corporations did business, and it did seem a pity, he thought, "that the Government of the United States should be the only great industrial establishment that could not profit" from the lessons and experiences of modern industry. 12
Mr. Root's proposal to combine responsibility for both current and future operations in the General Staff created serious management problems from the start. Neither the General Board of the Navy nor the German General Staff, which he cited as examples of what he had in mind, had administrative responsibilities. In the government as well as in industry responsibility for current operations has always tended to drive future planning into the background. Co-ordinating bureau activities also involved the General Staff in bureau administration, especially where the bureaus came into conflict with one another as they frequently did. In practice the distinction between supervision or co-ordinating and direction or administration was largely theoretical. What was supervision to the General Staff the bureaus objected to as interfering with their traditional autonomy. They also naturally resented their proposed subordination to the Chief of Staff which would remove them from their traditional direct access to the Secretary.
A study of just this question of divided authority over and among the bureaus was the subject of a lengthy, penetrating analysis by the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff submitted on 28 February 1919. It noted how the British and German practice was to keep the planning functions of the General Staff completely separate from administration. It asserted that before 1903 there were two distinct weaknesses in the War Department, "the lack of a powerful permanent coordinating head," solved by creating the Office of the Chief of Staff, and "the lack of a sufficient number of

properly delimitated administrative services" organized to perform one function only. As Mr. Root's own experience indicates, the overlap and duplication of functions among the traditional bureaus had the effect of forcing the General Staff into administrative details because there was no other agency, short of the Chief of Staff or the Secretary of War, to resolve the recurrent conflicts among the bureaus over even the pettiest of details. If there was any fault in the General Staff becoming involved in administration it was because the bureaus refused to agree among themselves. The General Staff in the latter part of World War I attempted just such a functional division of labor among the bureaus. 13
Mr. Root's own actions demonstrated the difficulty of trying to distinguish between these two functions. So urgent in his opinion was the need to control and co-ordinate bureau operations that he did not wait for Congress to provide for a permanent organization. In 1901 he appointed an ad hoc War College Board to develop plans, theoretically, for an Army War College, which actually acted as an embryonic General Staff. Its members spent most of their time assisting Root in co-ordinating current operations and little on planning. 14
Accepting Mr. Root's recommendations, Congress in the Act of 14 February 1903 provided for a Chief of Staff assisted by a General Staff, but it did not consolidate the supply bureaus. The General Staff itself, as initially organized, consisted of three committees designated as divisions, the first charged generally with administration, the second with military intelligence and information, and the third with various planning functions.

Then in November 1903 Mr. Root established the Army War College. Its main function was to train officers for General Staff duties on the principle of learning by doing as part of a general reformation of the Army's school system. In practice learning by doing meant that instead of becoming exclusively an academic institution the War College became part of the General Staff, concentrating on military intelligence, Congressional liaison, and war planning. That left the rest of the General Staff to supervise the bureaus.
Students at the War College prepared most of the Army's war plans. They were geared closely to current contingency and operational requirements, including the occupation of Cuba in 1906-09, the Japanese war scare arising from the 1907 San Francisco School Crisis, and President Wilson's various Mexican forays. There was none of the high-level, long-range strategic thinking and planning which the War College's opposite number, the General Board of the Navy, performed. 15
The Early Years of the General Staff, 1904-1917
The new Chief of Staff and the General Staff were immediately attacked by traditionalists in the bureaus who were opposed to any attempts to assert control over their autonomy.

The question was whether future Secretaries of War would support the bureaus or the rationalist reformers seeking to modernize the Army along the lines of industry. The President or Congress could undercut the Chief of Staff's position, but it was the Secretary in the first instance who would have to decide what position to take.
Mr. Root resigned as Secretary of War on 31 January 1904 with his work unfinished. His successor, William Howard Taft, lacked the inclination and ability to make the new dispensation stick in the face of bureau opposition. He was distressed at having to referee disputes between the Chief of Staff and the bureau chiefs, particularly Maj. Gen. Fred C. Ainsworth, the new Military Secretary and subsequently The Adjutant General. "The Military Secretary in many respects is the right hand of the Chief of Staff," Taft vainly pleaded, "and they must be in harmony, or else life for the Secretaries and all others in the Department becomes intolerable. Let us have peace, gentlemen." 16
Under the influence of Ainsworth, Taft abandoned Mr. Root's alliance with the Chief of Staff for the traditional Secretary-bureau chief alliance. Convinced the Chief of Staff and General Staff were too involved in administrative details, he restricted the General Staff's activities in April 1906 to purely "military" matters. On "civil" affairs the bureau chiefs were to report directly to the Secretary. It was Taft's belief that the Chief of Staff was Chief of the General Staff only and served in a purely advisory capacity.
At about the same time President Theodore Roosevelt designated the Military Secretary (later The Adjutant General) as Acting Secretary of War in the absence of the Secretary or Assistant Secretary. Taft was frequently absent for long periods on political junkets, leaving Ainsworth in charge. The Chief of Staff thus became subordinate to The Adjutant General instead of the reverse as Mr. Root had intended and as the law clearly stated. 17
All this changed when Henry L. Stimson, a law partner and

Picture - Secretary Taft Picture - General Ainsworth
protégé of Mr. Root's, became Secretary of War on 22 May 1911. Taking up where Root had left off, he reasserted the principle of executive control and embarked on an ambitious program to rationalize the Army's organization from the top down along sound military and business lines. He reformed Mr. Root's alliance with the Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood, who thought along the same lines.
General Wood, the Army's first effective Chief of Staff, had been in office a year when Stimson became Secretary. He was a brilliant administrator with a much broader background in managing large-scale, multipurpose organizations than his predecessors or immediate successors. He could distinguish between the important and the unimportant. Wood could make prompt decisions. He knew how to select competent subordinates, and he freely delegated authority to them. He abolished the "committee system" within the General Staff, eliminating one source of delay. Wherever possible he sought to streamline departmental procedures in the interests of greater efficiency. He also made enemies, especially in Congress.18

The Stimson-Wood reorganization called for consolidating the scattered Army into four divisions with uniform training programs, supplemented by the National Guard and an Army Reserve directly under the Army's control. To provide adequate control over the new Army General Wood reorganized the General Staff into Mobile Army, Coast Artillery, War College, and later Militia Affairs Divisions. The Mobile Army Division, the heart of the Stimson-Wood reorganization, was further broken down into Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Miscellaneous sections. When Mr. Stimson left office he was able to send a short five-line telegram to mobilize one of the new divisions along the Texas border. Under the "traditional" system, he asserted, he would have had to scrabble together an improvised task force, sending out fifty to sixty telegrams in the process. 19
In their reforms Stimson and Wood were simply applying principles employed by contemporary industrial managers in rationalizing and integrating previously fragmented, large-scale organizations. These coincided, as mentioned earlier, with the desire of professional soldiers for unity of command over the department. They were handicapped because, unlike their industrial counterparts, they had little control over funds, the ultimate weapon in industrial reorganization, and they required Congressional action for most of their program.
The 1910 elections returned a Democratic House of Representatives, and the new chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee, James Hay of Virginia, was a rural Jeffersonian opposed on principle both to a large standing army and the idea of a General Staff. From 1911 until his retirement from Congress in September 1916, Hay did his best to limit the size and activities of the General Staff with substantial assistance from War Department traditionalists, chiefly General Ainsworth.

Picture - Secretary Stimson Picture - General Wood
The principal complaint of the traditionalists was that Wood and the General Staff continually interfered in strictly administrative details. As Wood told Congress some years later what often appeared to be an issue of "mere administrative detail . . . was nothing of the kind." Who was to decide, for example, how much ammunition should be carried by each artillery caisson? When the Chiefs of Ordnance and Artillery disagreed, as they often did, the General Staff had to find some means of resolving the dispute. Mr. Root had earlier cited similar disagreements which had become frustrating, time-consuming daily reality within the War Department. Wood preferred to issue orders rather than engage in protracted discussions. 20
The ideological gap between Hay and Stimson and between Ainsworth and Wood, reflected in their opposing views on Army organization, was enormous. In the face of Congressional opposition, Stimson and Wood were forced to accept half a loaf as better than none. In their proposed reorganization of the field army they wished to consolidate Army units scattered about in forty-nine separate posts, many of them no longer

serving useful military purposes, into eight large posts to facilitate uniform training and mobilization. Congress vetoed this plan. On the other hand, Congress approved the long-standing proposal of Army reformers to consolidate the Quartermaster, Subsistence, and Pay Departments into a single Quartermaster Corps.21
Streamlining the administration of the War Department was one, major area in which Stimson and Wood were free to assert firm executive control. It was this program that brought about a direct confrontation between Generals Wood and Ainsworth. Personalities aside, the immediate issue was who should control the administration of the department under the Secretary-the Chief of Staff or The Adjutant General.
Simplifying the department's paper work was a constant problem for the secretaries and the General Staff. President Roosevelt had asserted that departmental administration was an executive function. On 2 June 1905 he appointed a commission headed by Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Charles Hallam Keep to study and make recommendations on how to improve the "conduct of the executive business of the government . . . in the light of the best modern business practices." Among other things he asked particularly that some means be found to cut back the useless proliferation of paper work in the Army and the Navy because "the increase of paper work is a serious menace to the efficiency of fighting officers who are often required by bureaucrats to spend time in making reports which they should spend in increasing the efficiency of the battleships or regiments under them." 22
Congress took no action on the Keep Commission report, but it approved the later appointment by President William Howard Taft of a Committee on Economy and Efficiency under Dr. Frederick A. Cleveland, a leader in the new field of public administration, who wished to rationalize public administration along businesslike lines. The committee concentrated on administrative details. They "counted the number of electric

bulbs in the Federal Building in Chicago. They counted the number of cuspidors in the corridors of Federal buildings elsewhere." Such attention to minute details was customary procedure in this early period when Frederick W. Taylor's Scientific Management with its time and motion studies was the vogue among industrial reformers.23
The Cleveland Commission found much to criticize in the War Department's administration. Among other things, the members thought the muster roll, a cumbersome service biography in multiple copies for each soldier, should be abolished and simpler means found to accomplish the same end. Secretary Stimson and General Wood agreed. General Ainsworth insisted the muster roll was one of the most vital documents in the Army, leaving the distinct impression that the Army could not function effectively without it. Forgetting himself, Ainsworth behaved in such a manner toward General Wood and Secretary Stimson that Mr. Stimson had no choice but to order him court-martialed for insubordination. Ainsworth's Congressional supporters persuaded the Secretary to allow him to retire instead.24
With General Ainsworth gone, Secretary Stimson and later Stimson's successor, Lindley M. Garrison, were able to carry out a number of the administrative reforms inspired by the Cleveland Commission. Resistance to abolishing the muster roll within The Adjutant General's Office led to compromises which kept the document alive until the huge expansion of the Army during World War I forced its abandonment. Vertical files were introduced at a great saving in space and time. Beginning in January 1914, the Dewey decimal classification was gradually substituted for General Ainsworth's cumbersome, triplicate numerical files. During this same period the Chief of Ordnance, Brig. Gen. William Crozier, with Secretary Stimson's support, sought to introduce Taylor's scientific management principles into Ordnance arsenals. Determined opposition

from labor unions persuaded Congress to prohibit the use of Taylor's time and motion studies within the Army and Navy and later the entire federal government, a law which remained on the statute books until 1949.25
General Ainsworth after retirement had not given up his fight against the General Staff. He had simply shifted the base of his operations to the House Committee on Military Affairs where James Hay welcomed his assistance as an unofficial adviser. Secretary Stimson and later Secretary Newton D. Baker detected what they felt was Ainsworth's influence in seemingly minor but very hostile provisions of legislation coming from that committee.26
President Taft, urged by Secretary Stimson and now Senator Elihu Root, parried legislative thrusts by Hay, assisted apparently by Ainsworth, aimed at General Wood and the General Staff. Hay succeeded, however, in putting through a provision that reduced the General Staff by 20 percent, to thirty-six members. While increasing it to fifty-five four years later in the National Defense Act of 1916 he so limited the number of officers that could be assigned to the General Staff in Washington that only nineteen were on duty there when the United States entered World War I. (By contrast over 1,000 were so assigned by the end of the fighting. Yet, of these, only four had had previous General Staff experience, and all four were general officers.) 27
The National Defense Act of 1916 was the most comprehensive legislation of its kind Congress had ever passed. It defined the roles and missions of the Regular Army, the Na-

tional Guard, and the Reserves, placing the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and the Plattsburg idea of summer training on a firm basis. It prescribed in detail the organization, composition, and strength of all units in the Army, National Guard, and Reserves.28
These provisions were a compromise between the General Staff and Secretary Garrison who favored expanding the Regular Army with Reserves under direct federal control and traditionalists like James Hay who opposed a large standing army and insisted upon a greater and independent role for the National Guard. President Wilson was convinced that with Congress and the nation at large deeply divided on the issue of preparedness such a compromise was politically necessary. Secretary Garrison, opposed to compromise, resigned, and the President appointed a pacifist, reform Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Newton D. Baker, in his place in March 1916.29
The provisions of the act affecting the General Staff and the bureaus were largely the work of James Hay and General Ainsworth. Hay wrote later that without Ainsworth's "vast knowledge of military law, his genius for detail, his indefatigable industry in preparing the legislation and meeting the numerous arguments which were argued against it," the bill could not have been passed.30
In addition to nearly forcing the General Staff out of existence Hay and Ainsworth inserted provisions limiting its activities essentially to war planning functions and expressly prohibiting it from interfering with the bureaus and their administration. War College personnel, who had been acting as the military intelligence and war planning agencies of the General Staff, were prohibited from performing any General Staff functions. The effect was to cut back the size of the General Staff even further. The Mobile Army Division was abolished and its functions assigned to The Adjutant General's Office and other bureaus. To underline these restrictions, Hay and Ainsworth inserted a further provision decreeing that the

"superior" officer whose subordinate should violate them would forfeit his pay and allowances. 31
From 1916 onward the bureau chiefs regarded the National Defense Act as their "Magna Carta." It legally guaranteed their traditional independence of executive control by specifying the office of each chief as a statutory agency and designating them as commanding officers of their assigned corps or departments. No President could abolish or change these provisions without Congressional approval. 32
When war did come, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge thought "Mr. Hay by his policy did more injury to this country at a great crisis than any one man I have ever known of in either branch of Congress." 33
World War I: The Bureau Period, 1917-1918
The apparent intent of Hay, Ainsworth, and other traditionalists was to revive through the National Defense Act the organization of the War Department that had broken down in 1898. At least Secretary Baker thought so. As soon as Mr. Hay was no longer chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee and General Ainsworth had considerably less influence, Baker announced that so far as he was concerned "The Chief of Staff, speaking in the name of the Secretary of War, will coordinate and supervise the various bureaus . . . of the War Department; he will advise the Secretary of War; he will inform himself in as great detail as in his judgment seems necessary to qualify himself adequately to advise the Secretary of War." 34
After declaring war against Germany on 6 April 1917 Congress passed emergency legislation reversing the policies of Hay

Picture - Secretary Baker
and Ainsworth by providing that the Chief of Staff should have "rank and precedence over all other officers of the Army" and increasing the size of the General Staff to nearly 100.35 With this authority Mr. Baker could have asserted firm executive control over the bureaus through the Chief of Staff in the manner of Root and Stimson. Instead for nearly a year he went back to the traditional policy of allowing the bureaus to run themselves, with results similar to those in the War with Spain, only far more serious.
Believing he was following the confederate philosophy of Jefferson Davis, Baker asserted that "civilian interference with commanders in the field is dangerous." He applied the same principle in dealing with the bureau chiefs. President Wilson also sought to run the war along traditional lines with as little executive control as possible. Both he and Secretary Baker exercised their authority by delegating it freely. The President left the running of the Army and much of the industrial mobilization program to Mr. Baker who in turn delegated his authority freely to his military commanders and the bureau chiefs.

Overseas, the President and the Secretary delegated this broad authority over military matters to General John J. Pershing and later to Maj. Gen. William S. Graves who commanded the small expeditionary force in Siberia. In line with their Jeffersonian philosophy of limited government both men also opposed controls over the national economy even during war.
There were serious political problems also. Both the President and Congress ducked the issues of economic mobilization wherever and whenever possible because of serious political disagreements throughout the country over the role the government should play in the economy. It was a lot easier to meet each specific issue or crisis as it came up and devise what Mr. Root had referred to as a "jury-rigged extempore" solution. Only the near collapse of the economy in the winter of 19171918 forced the President and Congress to act. 36
Consequently, soldiers like General Pershing regarded Baker as a great Secretary of War because he left them alone, while business leaders like Bernard M. Baruch were critical of him because he failed to exert effective control over the War Department. Unlike Root and Stimson, Baker had had little contact with the management of large-scale enterprises where the necessity for firm executive control was taken for granted. When urged to adopt such programs, he took refuge in procrastination because as a southern gentlemen he instinctively avoided controversy. Without effective leadership the War Department bumped its way from one crisis to another toward disaster.
As Assistant Secretary of War Frederick P. Keppel saw it, "Baker has learned only too well the lesson that if you leave them alone many things will settle themselves .... Newton D. Baker succeeds in getting to first on balls oftener than any other

Picture - General Pershing
man in public life. Sometimes he is called out on strikes . . . with no evidence he has lifted the bat from his shoulders." 37
The broad delegation of authority by the President and Secretary Baker to General Pershing resurrected the position of Commanding General which had caused so much trouble in the nineteenth century and which Mr. Root had deliberately abolished for this reason. Mr. Baker apparently failed to appreciate Mr. Root's purpose in replacing the Commanding General by the Chief of Staff as the Secretary's principal military adviser. The divided authority created by the President and Mr. Baker inevitably led to serious friction between General Pershing and General Peyton C. March, the Chief of Staff after May 1918. March was the first to assert vigorously his 1917 statutory "rank and precedence over all other officers of the Army." In ignoring Mr. Root's advice Mr. Baker was in large measure responsible for the troubles that arose.38
Another issue Baker ducked repeatedly was War Depart-

Source: Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War (1917-19): Zone of the Interior, pp. 16-17.
Note: Provost Marshal General Appointed 22 May 1917. The Ordnance and Fortifications Board, Ward Department, considered and recommended projects for fortifications and examined and reported upon ordnance and other inventions submitted to the department.
ment red tape, which became as serious a problem as in 1898. Tradition and regulations dictated that a great many trivial matters required the signature of either the Secretary or the Chief of Staff personally, especially when they involved accountability for funds. Maj. Gen. Tasker H. Bliss, when Assistant Chief of Staff during the early part of the war, continually urged drastic pruning of the department's paper work, complaining:
In time of peace, it is possible that the Chief of Staff had time to give some consideration to the question as to whether the allotment would be made to repair a roof on a set of quarters, to repair a stable that had fallen down, etc . . . . It is entirely impossible to do so now, and the signature of the Chief of Staff on such papers means nothing. 39  
Traditionalists in the bureaus opposed any changes in the system, and Mr. Baker sided with them. Consequently, by September 1917, the paper work in the department was in serious disorder. Important documents were being delayed, lost, or mislaid. Red tape again threatened to slow down the war effort, ". . . that governmental tradition of shifting decisions about detail to higher rank, that `passing of the buck,' which often wagged a paper along its slow course with its tail of endorsements, was to persist through the early months after our entry into the war." 40 Criticism of the Secretary increased in Congress and business circles, but the President's strong personal support and confidence enabled Baker to survive repeated crises. 41
Mr. Baker administered the War Department during the first year of the war along the lines indicated in Chart 1. Despite his own earlier interpretation of the National Defense Act he acted during this period without an effective Chief of Staff, dealing with the bureaus directly in the traditional manner. He

treated his first two Chiefs of Staff, Maj. Gen. Hugh L. Scott and General Bliss, as chiefs of the War Department General Staff only. Abroad much of the time on special missions, Scott in Russia with the Root mission and Bliss with the new Supreme War Council in Paris, they exercised little influence in Washington. Nearing retirement, they also lacked "that certain ruthlessness which disregards accustomed methods and individual likings in striking out along new and untrodden paths." So did Secretary Baker.42
The War Department General Staff, at that time primarily the War College Division, during this period was not a coordinating staff but simply the department's war planning agency, as some critics indicated it should have been all along. Mr. Baker looked to the Chief of Staff and the General Staff for advice and plans on raising, training, and equipping the Army. He ignored their advice on the need for more effective control over the bureaus through the Chief of Staff until the issue could no longer be postponed. 43
There were other factors which made it difficult for the General Staff to act effectively. Fearing Congressional reaction Baker ordered that line officers only, and not War Department staff officers, should be promoted. General Pershing was allowed to select any War Department officers he wanted for his own headquarters staff. Finally experienced civil servants in the bureaus could not be commissioned and continue to serve in their former civilian capacities. They had to be transferred out of Washington.
As a result both the General Staff and the bureaus lost experienced and valuable personnel at a time when their services were needed most. Such key figures as Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn, Chief of the War College Division, and Lt. Col. John

McAuley Palmer left for overseas as soon as possible. From July to the end of September the War College Division lost over a third of its staff, leaving only twenty-four inexperienced staff officers on duty. The bureaus suffered comparable casualties. As one critic privately wrote General Pershing, "The policy you have adopted in your General Staff should have been adopted in Washington. The highest type of men should have been selected and kept in Washington on the General Staff without prejudice to their advancement. That would have given us greater continuity of policy." 44
The War College Division had become the General Staff in fact because of the abolition by Congress of the Mobile Army Division. Retaining its prewar organization the War College Division was divided into five functional committees and a separate Military Intelligence Section. The committees concentrated on raising the new Army in terms of organization and recruitment, military operations, equipment, and training. The fifth committee dealing with legislation and regulations, prepared the necessary administrative and legal support.
The Military Operations Committee was responsible for operational planning, including the defense of the United States and its overseas possessions. It drew up the plans for sending troops to Europe, prepared studies on the amount of shipping available, and issued troop movement schedules. The Equipment Committee was responsible for supplying troops, preparing standard tables of equipment for each unit, distributing supplies among the troops, procurement planning, and maintaining liaison with the supply bureaus. It had no authority over the bureaus. It could merely request action from them.
A serious drawback was the General Staff's awkward loca-

tion across town in the War College which inevitably created delay and ungenerous remarks that it had become a dead-letter office. Consequently, both the Military Operations and Equipment Committees moved from the War College to the main War Department building in the fall of 1917 to perform their functions more effectively and expeditiously. At that time they became known collectively as the War Department Section of the War Department General Staff. 45  
The territorial departments of the Army were reorganized and increased from four to six after the declaration of war to assist the War Department in the administration of the Army and to mobilize the National Guard and Reserve forces. The departments were the Northeastern, Eastern, Southeastern, Central, Southern, and Western. The Southern Department was responsible for coping with the continued depredations of warring Mexican factions along the border, tying down between 30,000 to 130,000 men at various times in over 255 small posts. It was a major operation and supplying these men was an added strain on the already overburdened war economy. Overseas there were the Hawaiian and Philippine Departments to which a new Panama Canal Department was added in July 1917. The Philippine Department included a small detachment of 1,500 men stationed in China with headquarters at Tientsin. It was also responsible for assembling the 2,700 men assigned to General Graves' Siberian expedition in the summer of 1918. These departments all reported to the War Department. General Pershing reported directly to Secretary Baker also, not through the Chief of Staff. 46
The General Staff planned, scheduled, and co-ordinated its programs for mobilizing, training, and transporting the Army overseas. So far as the supply bureaus were concerned there was little planning and no co-ordination. At the outbreak of war,

Secretary Baker simply issued "hunting licenses" to the bureaus and turned them loose on an unprepared economy. Baker and other responsible officials should have anticipated the chaos that inevitably followed. By July more than 150 War Department purchasing committees were competing with each other for scarce supplies in the open market.
Anticipating shortages, agencies and their personnel aggressively sought to corner the markets for critical items. The Adjutant General rubbed Mr. Baker's nose into the problem personally one day by boasting that he had cornered the American market for typewriters. "There is going to be the greatest competition for typewriters around here, and I have them all." 47
Similarly the commander of the Rock Island Arsenal cornered the market for leather. "Well, that was wrong, you know," he later told Congress, "but I went on the proposition that it was up to me to look after my particular job, and I proceeded to do so." 48
Simply expressed this maxim has been part of the traditional American dogma of individualism. It applies to large organizations and small, government and private. It worked satisfactorily in a thinly populated, expanding rural America, but as many responsible industrialists had foreseen earlier competition could mean disaster during war in a mass urban industrial society. 49
As one severe critic bluntly put it, "The supply situation was as nearly a perfect mess as can be imagined . . . . It seemed a hopeless tangle." 50 Among the bureaus were five, later nine, separate, independent systems for estimating requirements with no inventory controls to determine the

amount of supplies available in various depots. Some depots had more space to store supplies than they needed, while others did not have enough. There were five different sources of supply and property accountability, always a source of time-consuming red tape, five different accounting systems, and as many incompatible statistical and reporting systems which were of use only to the bureau or depot concerned. For example, the War Department, according to Bernard Baruch, could not find out from the bureaus how much toluol, a basic ingredient of TNT, it needed.
There were no agencies anywhere in the department, or even within some bureaus, for determining industrial and transportation priorities similar to those the General Staff prepared for troop movement schedules. Competition among the bureaus for transportation caused bottlenecks that, by December 1917, imperiled the fuel supplies of war industries. Finally, the bureaus dealt directly with the War Industries Board, other civilian war agencies, and with Allied purchasing missions, but there was no one to represent the department as a whole. As Maj. Gen. George W. Burr, Director of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic, after the war told Congress, "The Bureau System did not work in an emergency, and it never will work." 51
Despite the growing evidence of impending Industrial disaster Mr. Baker persisted throughout the fall of 1917 in opposing controls over industry, transportation, and over the bureaus. Ultimately in December a mammoth congestion of rail and ocean traffic developed in the New York area and the northeast generally. A particularly severe winter, which froze rail-switches and even coal piled out in the open, and the menace to Atlantic shipping of German submarines made matters worse.
For lack of effective controls a vast amount of freight clogged yards in Atlantic ports and eastern industrial areas with

literally thousands of rail cars, which could not be unloaded for lack of space and labor or even located for lack of identification. A similar rail tie-up in New York had occurred just a year before.
The terminals in Philadelphia, for example, were filled with carloads of lumber from Washington and Oregon destined for the Navy's Hog Island site long before there were any rail facilities there for unloading the cars. In the end ships built with these materials were not completed until the war was over. 52
For lack of adequate warehousing, wharves and docks were used, even ships, which were badly needed for transporting troops and supplies. Freight cars of coal, frozen or not, could not get through or were lost in the congestion, threatening paralysis of war industry and holding up bunkering of ships. By December more than 45,000 carloads were backed up as far as Pittsburgh and Buffalo. 53
World War I: The March Period, 1918-1919
The crisis in December 1917 came at a time when Allied fortunes in Europe were at their lowest ebb. The British campaign in Flanders had bogged down ingloriously in mud. The Italian Army had suffered a disastrous defeat at Caporetto, the French Army was still recovering from the effects of the mutinies six months earlier, and the new Bolshevik regime in Russia was discussing peace terms with the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk.
Industrialists, particularly those associated with the War Industries Board (WIB) , continually warned President Wilson and others of impending disaster if firm controls over the economy were not established. Thomas N. Perkins, a Boston corporation lawyer serving with the WIB, in December wrote a memorandum calling for a civilian supply department, such

as Britain had created, which would take over such functions from the War Department and other agencies. 54
The paralysis of rail and ocean traffic in New York, the threat of war industry in the East shutting down for lack of coal, and similar evidence in December prompted Senator George E. Chamberlain, chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee, to investigate the problem. His hearings uncovered evidence of much waste and inefficiency among the War Department bureaus, and he concluded, like Mr. Perkins of the War Industries Board, that a separate civilian supply department should be created on the British model. Senator James W. Wadsworth of New York summed up the attitude of his colleagues on the committee and of industrialists generally by asserting that "the bureaus' hide-bound traditions were fouled up in red-tape." Procurement and supply was not, he said, properly a military function at all and could not be performed adequately by military men. It was a job for businessmen. 55
These events, particularly the Perkins recommendation for a separate supply department, finally prodded Baker into attempting to centralize control over the department's disparate and fragmented supply operations. The process had actually begun in the summer of 1917 when responsibility for construction and for ports of embarkation had been transferred from the Quartermaster Corps to two new agencies under the direct supervision of the War College Division.56  In November he replaced Assistant Secretary of War William M. Ingraham, a nonentity appointed in May 1916 along with Baker, with Benedict Crowell, a Cleveland industrialist with a Reserve Quartermaster commission and an exponent of firm executive control over the bureaus.57
Responding to pressure from Congress, the War Industries Board, and events .themselves, Baker accepted a War College

proposal in December for centralizing the department's supply system along functional lines in the General Staff. His first act was to recall from retirement Maj. Gen. George W. Goethals of Panama Canal fame, making him Acting Quartermaster General on 20 December and a week later on 28 December also appointing him "director" of a new General Staff agency, the Storage and Traffic Division. The intent in creating this agency was to establish control over such functions among the bureaus along with the Embarkation Service which was placed under its direct supervision. Next on 11 January 1918 a separate Purchasing Service was created to co-ordinate these activities in the War Department.58
Mr. Crowell, Goethals' immediate superior, said, "When a nation is committed to a struggle for existence, only a man impatient of hampering actions is likely to carry a great project through to success." General Goethals was such a man, he thought, and his "lack of previous intimate contact with the red tape and machinery" of the bureaus plus his judgment and a determination to succeed made him a good executive. He readily accepted responsibility and did not drive his superiors "to distraction by continual requests for authority to act." 59
When Goethals first took charge of the Quartermaster Corps he thought the only way to control the disruptive, wasteful competition among the bureaus was to create a civilian supply department as Mr. Perkins of the WIB and Senator Chamberlain's committee recommended. Since President Wilson and Secretary Baker opposed this idea, Goethals determined to consolidate and integrate War Department purchases internally to eliminate competition.
General Goethals also shared the views of industrialists and the War Industries Board that the Quartermaster Corps was essentially a huge purchasing organization and not a military operation. Consequently he proceeded to staff it with civilians who he thought knew more about purchasing than military men. One of his first appointments was Harry M. Adams, vice

Picture - General Goethals
president in charge of traffic for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, whom he made Director of Inland Traffic, later called the Inland Traffic Service, on 11 January 1918. At about the same time Mr. Baker appointed Edward R. Stettinius, a partner in J. P. Morgan and Company. Surveyor of Supplies to work under Goethals.
Goethals most valuable civilian assistant was Robert J. Thorne, president of Montgomery Ward, who came to work on 1 January 1918 as a volunteer civilian aide to Goethals. On 8 March Goethals assigned him as Assistant to the Acting Quartermaster General. Instructions and directives from Mr. Thorne in performing his duties under General Goethals "will have the force and effect as if performed by the Acting Quartermaster General himself." 60  
It would be difficult to overestimate the contribution made by representatives of industry and business, including those

apostles of Frederick W. Taylor, the efficiency experts, in attempting to rationalize the Army's supply system. They infiltrated the department's supply organization at all levels of command, some in uniform, some not, some volunteer civilian advisers, others appointed officially. The War Industries Board, for example, loaned Mr. Baker's nemesis, Thomas N. Perkins, in April to Mr. Crowell who appointed him a member of a Committee of Three to plan a reorganization of the Army's supply system along rational businesslike lines.61
There were other military officers like General Goethals who believed the Army's supply system needed drastic reorganization. Brig. Gen. Robert E. Wood, an Engineer officer who had served as General Goethals' "good right arm" in building the Panama Canal, was one.62 At Goethals' request he was recalled from France and on 10 May made Acting Quartermaster General under General Goethals who had just become Director of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic. Wood left the Army on 1 March 1919 to join Mr. Thorne at Montgomery Ward as vice president and general merchandise manager.63
Another was Col. Hugh S. Johnson. As Deputy Provost Marshal General he had been responsible for planning and executing the Selective Service Act. In March 1918 Assistant Secretary Crowell appointed him chairman of the Committee of Three to devise a plan for reorganizing the Army's supply system. Promoted to brigadier general on 15 April, Johnson became Director of Purchase and Supplies under General Goethals with Gerard Swope, vice president of Western Electric, as his assistant director. Johnson, brilliant, young, inpatient, and abrasive, was determined to consolidate and integrate the Army's supply system despite the opposition of

the bureau chiefs who, he said, jealously guarded their "protocol, prerogatives, and functions." 64  
He was soon in hot water with many of his military colleagues, including the Chief of Staff. Disgruntled, he left for a field command in October and left the Army after the war to become an official of the Moline Plow Company. During the New Deal he gained notoriety as head of the National Recovery Administration.65  
Secretary Baker in the meantime reorganized his own office and staff. In April Congress authorized a Second and Third Assistant Secretary of War. The Second Assistant at first was Edward R. Stettinius who was responsible for purchases and supplies under Mr. Crowell. The Third Assistant Secretary was Frederick P. Keppel, on leave as dean of Columbia University, who had been a general troubleshooter in Mr. Baker's office for some time. Now he became responsible for civilian relations and nonmilitary aspects of Army life, including relations with the Red Cross, YMCA, and Army chaplains.66  
Mr. Stettinius went overseas in July 1918 and in August became the American representative on the Inter-Allied Munitions Council. His successor as Second Assistant Secretary was John D. Ryan, a mining engineer whom President Wilson had appointed Director of Aircraft Production in April. He now became Assistant Secretary of War and Director of the Air Service. 67  
Mr. Crowell at the same time was given additional duties as Director of Munitions. General Goethals reported both to him and to the Chief of Staff in his various capacities.
Much earlier, in October 1917, Mr. Baker had appointed Emmett Jay Scott, secretary of Tuskegee Institute, as Special

Assistant to the Secretary of War on matters affecting black soldiers.68
The first wholesale reorganization of the General Staff itself took place on 9 February 1918. Instead of being an operational planning staff based on the old War College Division it was now to be, at least on paper, a directing staff responsible for supervising all War Department activities not falling under Mr. Crowell. The Chief of Staff was specifically directed to supervise and co-ordinate "the several corps, bureaus and all other agencies of the Military Establishment . . . to the end that the policies of the Secretary of War may be harmoniously executed." 69
The General Staff, as reorganized along functional lines, consisted of the Chief of Staff and five Assistant Chiefs of Staff: one, an Executive Assistant responsible for administration, control, and intelligence; the president of the War College as head of a War Planning Division which absorbed the functions of the old War College Division; a Director of Operations who took over the functions of the Operations and Equipment Committees; the new Director of Storage and Traffic; and the Director of Purchases and Supplies, Brig. Gen. Palmer E. Pierce. The latter reported to Crowell and also served as liaison with the War Industries Board.
The War Industries Board created in the summer of 1917 was responsible on paper for economic mobilization, but it lacked the authority to make its decisions stick. Its first two chairmen, Frank Scott and Daniel Willard, quit, Scott in October 1917 because his health had broken down under the frustration of accomplishing nothing, while Willard, president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, left on I1 January 1918 in disgust, during the administration's crisis with the Chamberlain Committee. 70
Finally President Wilson, despite the continued opposition of Secretary Baker, on 4 March 1918 appointed Bernard Baruch chairman of the War Industries Board with effective executive control over the nation's war industry and agencies of the government, including the War Department. Instead of nego-

Picture - General March
tiating directly with industries the services would now have to submit their requirements for items in short supply with detailed justifications to the WIB. The War Industries Board would then determine allocation of scarce commodities and transportation priorities. This forced a major reorganization of the War Industries Board itself based on centralized authority and decentralized operations, which in turn required a parallel reorganization of the War Department's supply system under General Goethals.71
Baker's appointments of Benedict Crowell and General Goethals were made with the aim of establishing control over the War Department's supply system. Important as these choices were even more important was Mr. Baker's appointment of Maj. Gen. Peyton C. March, whom he recalled from France to replace General Tasker H. Bliss as Chief of Staff, who now became the American representative on the Supreme War Council in Paris. General March became Acting Chief of Staff on the same day, 4 March, that Mr. Baruch obtained the authority he needed to make the War Industries Board effective.

March's official designation as Chief of Staff with the rank of general came on 20 May 1918.72
March, who believed the shortest distance between two points was a straight line, was a hard-working ruthless executive. He made a lot of enemies in the process, especially in Congress.73
March had one supreme goal, to establish effective executive control over the War Department's operations under the Chief of Staff subject to the Secretary's direction. He accepted General Goethals' special relations with Mr. Crowell, and, in fact, the two got along very well because in the area of supply they both agreed. For example, both Goethals and March agreed that General Pierce was not very effective as Director of Purchases and Supplies. March abruptly fired Pierce and replaced him with Colonel Johnson who was promoted by the President to brigadier general.
When Mr. Baker returned from France in mid-April he found General March had already instituted a thorough house cleaning in the department, eliminating red tape and getting rid of deadwood. From that moment on Baker supported March loyally in his efforts to establish effective unity of command over the department just as strongly as he had earlier opposed such controls. It meant abandoning his previous traditionalist approach of working through the bureau chiefs for the Root Stimson policy of allying himself with the Chief of Staff.
One of March's first projects was to prune back the red tape which had snarled the department's operations. The center of this program was the new Office of the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff. At first this was Maj. Gen. William S. Graves, who was assigned in July to command the American expeditionary force in Siberia. Maj. Gen. Frank McIntyre, then Chief, Bureau of Insular Affairs, replaced him until January 1919. Graves had been Secretary of the General Staff, and in that capacity Col. Percy P. Bishop replaced him until he went overseas in September and was then replaced by Col. Fulton Q. C. Gardner. 75 Both the Executive Assistant and the Secretary of

the General Staff worked to improve the business methods of the General Staff. The Executive Division became a control division for co-ordinating departmental operations. A Cable Section was responsible for routing and ensuring prompt action on all communications to and from the General Staff as well as coding and decoding them. A new Statistics Branch, transferred from the War Industries Board, prepared a detailed weekly report on the progress of the war and economic mobilization for the Chief of Staff, the Secretary, and the President. As a result the Secretary and Chief of Staff could make decisions based on relatively accurate data instead of guesswork. Armed with these statistics the department could also present more effectively its requirements to the War Industries Board.
A Coordination Branch was responsible for studying and supervising "the organization, administration, and methods of all the divisions of the General Staff and the several bureaus, corps or other agencies of the War Department, to the end that the activities of all such agencies may be coordinated, duplication of work avoided, harmonious action secured, and unnecessary machinery of organization may be eliminated. 76
General March replaced Maj. Gen. Henry P. McCain, an adherent of the Ainsworth school, as Adjutant General with Maj. Gen. Peter C. Harris, an infantry officer rather than a deskman. Harris continued the efforts begun under Stimson and Wood to simplify the department's paper work. He reduced the number of separate records kept on enlisted men by company commanders from nine to two, eliminating the celebrated, but cumbersome, muster roll. The War Department and the Army could no longer afford the luxury of such documents whose cost in time and manpower far exceeded their usefulness.77

The change from decentralized operations through the bureaus to centralized control along functional lines followed a path strewn with many obstacles. One major obstacle was that the bureaus were still solidly entrenched in power by Section 5 of the National Security Act of 1916 which Ainsworth and Hay had deliberately inserted to hamstring the General Staff. For the same reason the new authority of the War Industries Board rested on dubious legal grounds. The WIB succeeded primarily because the attitude in Congress, thanks to the Chamberlain Committee, had changed toward the bureaus whose destructive competition, red tape, and delay seriously threatened the war effort. Only the enactment on 20 May 1918 of the Overman Act, granting the President authority to reorganize government agencies in the interest of greater efficiency for the duration of the war, gave the WIB legal authority over industrial mobilization and the General Staff authority necessary to reorganize the Army's fragmented supply system.78
In practice the changes in organization toward a centralized supply system were a gradual process of trial and error made without interrupting the production and supply of material needed at the front; it was "like constructing Grand Central Station without disrupting train schedules." 79
Continuing their opposition the bureaus fought consolidation and change every step of the way. As General Johnson saw it, "We did by rough assault" consolidate purchase activities but not "without agonized writhings and enmities, some of which have never entirely disappeared." 80
Until the Overman Act's passage, the reorganization of the General Staff under General Order 14 had been really only a paper reorganization. The Directorates of Storage and Traffic and of Purchase were little more than holding companies with operations still fragmented among the still-independent, competing bureaus.
When Mr. Baruch reorganized the War Industries Board, a parallel reorganization of the War Department's supply system followed. Stettinius, Crowell, Goethals, and March

agreed to appoint Johnson chairman of the Committee of Three on 2 April to examine the problems of the Army's supply system and propose a solution. Johnson's colleagues were Thomas N. Perkins of the WIB and Charles R. Day, a well-known Philadelphia engineer and efficiency expert. 81
The Committee of Three, as it was known, noting the inefficiency of the existing bureau system, asserted in its report that any reorganization must unify and integrate the several bureaus on functional lines. At the top its organization should parallel that of the recently reorganized WIB to provide single War Department representatives instead of five in the areas of commodities, priorities, clearances, and requirements as well as purchase, production, finance, standardization of control, and replacement of Allied war supplies. It should transmit the military supply requirements from the Operations Division of the General Staff to the supply bureaus as the basis of their own requirements.82
Unification of the Army's supply system meant effective centralized control over the bureaus. The committee's report went through several revisions, but they all insisted that the fundamental issue of controlling the bureaus demanded standardizing their statistics. "There will never be effective action by the Office of Purchase and Storage until it has developed statistical control over the bureaus . . . . The whole organizational pattern is clipped out of statistics." 83
Bureau statistics, the committee insisted, should be uniform to provide the Director of Purchases with reports on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. He must also have complete access to bureau statistics for purposes of auditing them. Without such direct control it would be better to forget the whole thing. "The office is built upon a foundation of statistics or it had far better not exist." 84

The obstacles to gaining control over bureaus' statistics were enormous. At the bottom were the bureaus whose statistics were often inadequate and unreliable. For instance, The Quartermaster General's Office lacked information on the inventory in its depots across the country. Each depot had its own statistics which were unrelated to those of other depots. 85  The bureaus fought bitterly all the way against changing their traditional methods.86
Second, under the reorganization of the General Staff of 9 February the Statistical Branch established in the Executive Division of the General Staff was clearly assigned responsibility for collecting, compiling, and analyzing statistics "from all the areas of the Military Establishment." Headed by Dr. Leonard P. Ayres of the Russell Sage Foundation, it had been transferred from the War Industries Board because the War Department simply had no central statistical organization of its own. 87
While the Central Statistical Branch could compile and collect, it could not standardize the bureaus' statistics. For this reason the Committee of Three insisted that the Division of Purchase and Supply should be responsible for this function.
March's response to the report of the Committee of Three was a general order of 16 April which consolidated the Purchase and Supply and the Storage and Traffic Divisions into one Directorate of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic (PS&T) under Goethals who still continued to function as Acting Quartermaster General. The order also abolished the Office of Surveyor General of Supplies held by Mr. Stettinius, who then became, as mentioned above, Second Assistant Secretary of War for Purchase and Supplies. In May General Wood returned to become Acting Quartermaster General, while General Johnson had dual responsibilities as War Department representative on the WIB Priorities Board and as Director of Purchase and Supply. Gerard Swope, vice president of Western Electric, became assistant director. 88

When the Overman Act became law, functionalizing the Army's supply bureaus began in earnest on the principle urged by industrialists of centralized control. and decentralized operations. The argument over statistical control continued. Col. Rodney Hitt, Chief of the Statistics and Requirements Branch, PS&T, wrote after the war that there was "an animated and protracted discussion on this whole subject of a statistical organization for the Purchase and Supply Division, with the final result that the Chief of Staff did not approve the proposition of transferring control over the Statistical Branch of the General Staff to the Purchase and Supply Division." 89 This seems to have been the basis for the growing mutual disenchantment between March and Johnson which led to the latter's departure from the General Staff in October for a field command.90
The Statistical Branch did try to help the Division of Purchase and Supplies by lending them personnel, but the bureaus dragged their feet and would not provide qualified personnel from their agencies. Only in September did General March grant authority to create a Requirements Branch in the Office of the Director of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic responsible for co-ordinating calculations of requirements among the bureaus. Obtaining qualified personnel continued to hamper operations, and only a beginning was made in setting up control over the bureaus' statistics when the war ended. About all that was accomplished was the establishment of a uniform system for calculating requirements.91
Statistics aside, the Overman Act led Goethals, Thorne, Johnson, and Swope to argue that the bureaus should now be consolidated into a single service of supply. Goethals in a memorandum of 18 July to General March forcefully recapitulated the shortcomings of the existing system of separate bureaus. Despite recent changes the present system did not provide for effective executive control over their operations. What was required was consolidation along functional lines under the Director of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic "whose functions shall be executive-not supervisory," and "in command of the supply organization," except for procurement,

production, and supply of artillery, aircraft, and other items of a highly technical nature. To avoid interfering with current operations, the whole reorganization should take place gradually. 92
General March approved the Goethals' proposals a month later on 26 August as part of a larger reorganization of the General Staff. (Chart 2)
The General Staff now had become an active operating agency, not merely a supervisory one. The titles of the several Assistant Chiefs of Staff were changed to director and the organizations under them designated services in some instances, such as the Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Service.
The Operations Division retained its responsibilities for equipment, including construction and cantonment, and for the determination and development of programs setting forth the Army's requirements for equipment and other materiel. It was given responsibility for the design, production, procurement, storage, and maintenance of motor vehicles. This appeared to be a supply function and inconsistent with the organization on 18 April of a Motor Transport Service under the Quartermaster Corps and its subsequent establishment on 15 August as a separate Motor Transportation Corps with virtually the same functions as those assigned on 26 August to the Operations Division.93 Finally on 5 September the procurement of all motor vehicles, except tanks and caterpillar types, was transferred to the Quartermaster Corps, where it remained. 94
A responsibility added to those of the Operations Division was "the appointment, promotion, transfer, and assignment of commissioned officers" together with responsibility for dealing with "conscientious objectors." Promotion and assignment of commissioned personnel had formerly been under the Executive Office of the Chief of Staff, and on 18 September a Commissioned Personnel Branch was set up under the Operations Division and made responsible for officer personnel manage-

Source: Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War (1917-19), Zone of the Interior, p. 41.


SOURCE: Annual Report of Chief of Staff, 1919, facing  p. 732.

ment throughout the Army. The personnel branches of the several bureaus and other agencies were specifically abolished .95
The August reorganization also removed the Military Intelligence Branch from the Office of the Executive to the Chief of Staff and made it a directorate on a par with the other major General Staff agencies.
The Quartermaster Corps was responsible for the majority of the Army's supplies and 80 percent of its depot storage space. On the principle of assigning responsibility for any particular commodity to the bureau that purchased most of the Army's requirements, the Quartermaster Corps was becoming the Army's supply service.
In September the Quartermaster Corps itself was redesignated the Purchase and Storage Service. On 12 September General Wood, Acting Quartermaster General, was appointed also Director of Purchase and Storage, replacing General Johnson who on 1 September had become Assistant Director of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic, in turn replacing Robert J. Thorne who became Assistant Director of Purchase and Storage under General Wood.96 This action prepared the way for transferring all supply functions from the Quartermaster Corps and other bureaus to the new Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Service. The intent of this change, which was ordered on 18 September, was to "transfer existing supervisory controls into actual executive controls," as General Goethals had argued. 97
At the end of September the actual transfer of functions and personnel began but was not completed when the war ended. The vestigial remnants of the Quartermaster Corps and its Remount and Cemeterial Services were transferred after the armistice. Indeed transfer of functions was still taking place as late as 30 June 1919.
The organization of the Purchase and Storage Service headquarters on 1 November 1918 is outlined in Chart 3. The organization of the various formerly Quartermaster Corps zones throughout the United States was also changed to

parallel that of the new headquarters organization in Washington.98
While the Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Service absorbed the common supply functions of the Army, the Quartermaster Corps had been divested of all its nonsupply functions, including motor transportation, traffic, embarkation, and commissioned personnel management, all referred to previously. A final function it lost along with other bureaus was finance.
Before 1912 finance had been the province of the Paymaster General. For the next six years it became part of the reorganized Quartermaster Corps. The War Department on 11 October 1918 restored the independence of the Paymaster General with Brig. Gen. Herbert M. Lord as Director of Finance. As head of the Finance Department he became responsible for War Department budgets, disbursement of funds, including the pay of the Army, and internal accounting. The new agency did not, during the war or after, attempt consolidation and standardization of the many separate accounting systems in the Army.99
The Overman Act also allowed General March to create a number of new staff agencies and services. On 21 May 1918 the new Directorates of Military Aeronautics and of Aircraft Production, previously Signal Corps functions, were formed. They were eventually consolidated under a single Director of Air Service, patterned on the Air Service of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), on 19 March 1919.
The Chemical Warfare Service began as part of the Bureau of Mines in the Department of the Interior. In August 1917 certain Chemical Warfare functions were assigned to the Surgeon General's Office, later others to the Ordnance Department and the Corps of Engineers. These scattered agencies were consolidated into a new Chemical Warfare Service on 28 June 1918. A new Tank Corps drawn from units previously in the Ordnance Department and the Corps of Engineers was created on 22 March 1918. A short-lived Transportation Service was created on 11 March 1919 by consolidating the Embarkation and Inland Traffic Services which lasted until 15 July 1920 when Congress ordered these functions returned to the Quarter-

master Corps along with the wartime Construction and Real Estate Divisions.100
The managerial revolution engineered by General March with the assistance of Generals Goethals, Johnson, and Wood, their civilian assistants, and allies like Mr. Thorne, Mr. Swope, and Mr. Stettinius in little more than six months cast aside traditional methods and procedures, substituting rationalist principles of centralized control and decentralized operations. That the General Staff became an operating agency was necessary simply because Secretary Baker had allowed the department's operations to drift until the resultant anarchy threatened to paralyze the war effort. It was drastic surgery, but centralized executive control over the bureaus was necessary to avoid disaster, and the General Staff was the only agency within the War Department able to perform this task. The administration had rejected the only other alternative, a separate civilian supply department, although businessmen and some Army officers favored it.101
As for the bureau chiefs, they would not admit failure. Like the Bourbons they remembered nothing and forgot nothing. They complained to Congress that the new organization was inefficient and violated the principle of unity of command, meaning the unity of their commands. The Surgeon General charged that his hospitals were getting the wrong kinds of surgical gauze, the Chief of Ordnance that arsenals were getting the wrong kinds of lubricating oil, and all complained of delays. The Chief of Ordnance summed up the general attitude of the bureaus by asserting that ". . . not one single constructive thing has come out of the Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Division." All it did was interfere with the bureaus' operations which until then, he also asserted, had been running smoothly.102

General Johnson on the other hand blamed the "cluster of jealous and ancient bureaus" as responsible -for the failure of the War Department to unify them completely. He predicted correctly that they would soon regain their independence. Such was the "tremendous tenacity of life of a government bureau." He wrote:
Governmental emergency operations are entirely different from routine governmental operations. This country is so vast in every aspect that when any central authority steps in to control or direct its economic forces, coordination of such efforts is the principal problem. Lack of it is so dangerous that it may completely frustrate the almost unlimited power of this country.103
When World War II came the War Department was again forced to centralize control over the bureaus for the same reasons which forced March and Goethals to act as they did. The problem remains even today in almost all branches of government, federal and local, primarily because most Americans from the beginning of the republic have distrusted and resisted centralized control.
The Long Armistice, 1919-1939
Congress rejected the principle of tight executive control or unity of command developed by General March almost as soon as the war was over. The National Defense Act amendments of 4 June 1920 returned generally to the prewar traditional pattern of fragmented, diffused authority and responsibility with effective control again at the bureau level, subject as before to detailed Congressional supervision. In passing this legislation Congress accepted the General Staff as a permanent agency, but it. was in the circumstances one bureau among equals. During the modest rearmament program of the late thirties the General Staff was able to assert itself over the bureaus more effectively.
In restoring the autonomy of the bureaus Congress also retained the Hay-Ainsworth provision prohibiting the General Staff from interfering in their administration. This limitation restricted the General Staff to the role of a planning and coordinating agency rather than the operating agency established by March to direct departmental activities.

Specifically, the General Staff was to prepare plans for mobilization and war, "to investigate and report on the efficiency and preparedness of the Army," and to "render professional aid and assistance to the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of War." It was not to "assume or engage in work of an administrative nature that pertains to established bureaus or offices of the War Department" which might "imperil [their] responsibility or initiative," impair their efficiency, or unnecessarily duplicate their work. 104
The provisions defining the functions and responsibilities of the Chief of Staff underlined the fact that he was to act under the direction of the Secretary of War and the President as their agent. "The Chief of Staff shall preside over the War Department General Staff and, under the direction of the President," direct its activities in making the necessary plans for "recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, mobilizing, training, and demobilizing" the Army and "for the use of the military forces for national defense." He was to advise the Secretary on war plans. Once they had been approved by the Secretary he was to act as executive agent in seeing to it that they were carried out properly. In short, in the legal meaning of the term, the Chief of Staff did not "command" the Army.
Congress added several new wartime agencies as permanent bureaus, the Finance Department, the Chemical Warfare Service, the Air Service (later the Air Corps), and a new one, the Chief of Chaplains. It extended the bureau system to the combat arms by creating the Offices of the Chiefs of Infantry and Cavalry in addition to the existing Chiefs of Field and Coast Artillery. The services also regained control over officer personnel, although the principle of a single promotion list for the entire Army initiated by March was retained. They also regained control over their budgets, subject to over-all control by the new Bureau of the Budget as an arm of Congress.
A major innovation assigned the Assistant Secretary of War specific responsibility for military procurement and industrial mobilization, leaving responsibility for the establishment of military requirements and supply distribution policy to the General Staff. Congress deliberately omitted provision for a

general manager like the Director of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic to co-ordinate the technical services. Reporting directly to both the Chief of Staff and the Assistant Secretary, the supply services were the only formal link between military requirements and procurement and the principal source of information which both needed to formulate plans and policies intelligently.105
Congress did not prescribe the internal organization of the General Staff. When General of the Armies John J. Pershing became Chief of Staff in 1921, he appointed a board under his Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord, to recommend a proper organization. The result was a functional organization modeled on the "G" system developed in the AEF along British and French lines: G-1 (Personnel), G-2 (Intelligence), G-3 (Operations and Training), G-4 (Supply), and a War Plans Division (WPD). This involved one important transfer of functions. Training during the war had been the responsibility of the War Plans Division and its predecessor agencies. Under the Pershing reorganization this function was transferred to the new Operations and Training Division. In one form or another this remained the basic pattern of General Staff organization in the department as well as in the field for the next half century. Like March's organization it was functional in nature. But March's General Staff was an operating agency which actively administered the affairs of the department, while in accordance with the law the new General Staff was only an over-all planning and co-ordinating agency.106
In the 1920 act Congress reaffirmed the traditional military principle contained in the National Defense Act of 1916 of reliance on a small standing army in peacetime supported by

a citizens' militia, the National Guard and the Organized Reserves. Within this framework the department divided the Army inside the continental United States, Alaska, and Puerto Rico into nine corps areas for administration, training, tactics, and National Guard and Reserve activities. For maneuvers, mobilization planning, and in the event of war it grouped the corps into three field armies. The latter remained largely paper organizations. Finally the department organized overseas forces on the prewar pattern into three territorial departments, the Panama Canal Zone, Hawaii, and the Philippine Islands. Each department had both administrative and operational responsibilities.107
The Harbord Board recommended that the Chief of Staff be appointed also as commander in chief of the field armies in the event of war. This reflected the fact that General Pershing had two titles, one as Chief of Staff and another conferred on him by Congress as General of the Armies. The War Plans Division would provide the nucleus of a General Headquarters (GHQ) staff, and the Deputy Chief of Staff would remain behind as Acting Chief of Staff. This concept, which the War Department did not endorse officially until 1936, dominated Army planning between the wars. Presumably this arrangement was intended to avoid the conflict which had arisen between March and Pershing, but it still revived the position of Commanding General. As Mr. Root had earlier argued, this arrangement made future friction likely between the commander in the field and the department unless the commander in the field was clearly subordinate to whoever was acting as Chief of Staff in Washington and to the Secretary.
As it was, the Chief of Staff had to share power and influence with bureau chiefs who spent the bulk of the Army's appropriations and had direct access to Congress. At times Pershing and his successors endured the frustration of having bureau chiefs undercut their position and that of the Secretary on the Hill. In these circumstances it was not possible to achieve sub-

stantive unity of command over the department under the Chief of Staff or the Secretary.108
The successive Secretaries of War between World War I and World War II had little impact on the Army or on Congress. The one exception was Harry H. Woodring, appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose feud with Assistant Secretary Louis A. Johnson in the late thirties demoralized the department and the General Staff. 109 Two of them, John W. Weeks, appointed by President Warren G. Harding, and Patrick J. Hurley, appointed by President Herbert C. Hoover, were men of considerable talent, but they served in a period when the American people and Congress deluded themselves that large armies were becoming obsolete.
The National Defense Act amendments of 1920 provided for a War Council composed of the Secretary, Assistant Secretary, "the General of the Armies" (General Pershing), and the Chief of Staff for the purpose of discussing and formulating military policy. It met infrequently and was of little significance since most secretaries chose to ignore it.
The most important function within the civilian secretariat was that of the Assistant Secretary of War to whom Congress on the recommendation of Benedict Crowell specifically assigned responsibility for procurement and industrial mobilization planning. Under his supervision the Army Industrial College, created in 1924 by Assistant Secretary Dwight F. Davis, trained officers from all the armed services in the problems of procurement and industrial mobilization. The Assistant Secretary's Office was divided into a Current Procurement Branch and a Planning Branch. The latter supervised the supply services in developing their plans and requirements. Among other areas the work of this branch included the development of contract procedures, the study of production facilities, and planning the construction of additional wartime facilities.
Industrial mobilization was hampered by the fact that the

Picture - General Marshall (Photograph taken in 1945.)
GENERAL MARSHALL (Photograph taken in 1945.)
General Staff's mobilization planning did not take into account the resources likely to be available. The argument advanced by the General Staff was that supply would have to adjust itself to strategic plans. The gap between planning requirements and material resources available to meet them did not begin to close until the middle thirties with the development of a Protective Mobilization Plan (PMP), the first such plan to take into account the industrial resources and capabilities of the nation.110
A major change in the organization of the War Department between the wars resulted from the efforts of Army airmen to establish an air service separate from the ground forces and independent of the General Staff. The drive had gained considerable momentum during World War I and benefited from the enthusiastic dedication of its supporters like Brig. Gen. William Mitchell. The creation of a separate Royal Air Force (RAF) in Great Britain was another factor. Finally the airmen obtained sufficient political support in Congress, which in 1926 provided for a separate Army Air Corps under its own chief, an Air Section on the General Staff, and an additional Assistant Secretary of War for Air.

As the celebrated court-martial of General Mitchell in 1925 demonstrated, the General Staff was determined to retain control over the development of the Air Corps in terms of equipment and doctrine for employment primarily in tactical support of ground troops. The airmen were more interested in developing long-range strategic bombers to carry the war to the enemy's industrial and transportation centers.
The airmen's drive for an independent air force marked time between 1926 and 1939. The office of Assistant Secretary of War for Air went unfilled after 1933 and was abolished by the Secretary of War in 1934. In the next year the War Department did create a separate General Headquarters for the Air Forces with control over all tactical air units in the United States whose commander, until 1 March 1939, reported directly to the Army Chief of Staff rather than to the Chief of the Army Air Corps. By the end of the thirties the Air Corps was still subordinate to the Chief of Staff and the General Staff.111
Such was the formal organization of the War Department in 1939 when General George C. Marshall became Chief of Staff. Until the late thirties the Army had been little more than a peacetime constabulary force of less than 150,000 men scattered in nine skeletonized divisions, not one of them ready for combat. It had been emaciated by repeated budget cuts, debilitated by the Great Depression, and demoralized by widespread public disillusionment over the United States role in World War I. Tight budgets had also cut back vital research programs for developing the air and infant armored forces, and the bureaus and combat arms quarreled constantly over dividing reduced appropriations. 112 


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