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History of the 88th Division
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Welcome to my Great War Homepage. It is not my intention to even try to tell the entire story of World War 1, but to provide the visitor with an overview of the 88th division's role in this terrible conflict which cost the American Expeditionary Force battle casualties totaling 240,197 ( men killed, wounded , missing in action and prisoners). A war which brought hardship suffering and pain. With the advent of mustard gas, speedy German tanks, and the machine gun, war was changed forever. Instead of the thousands of deaths that had resulted from past wars, The Great War claimed the lives of over 8,300,000 soldiers, and almost as many civilians. Over 19 million men, women, and children from all the nations were wounded, and some countries had over 40 percent of those that they sent into the field, never return.

The 88th Division, a National Army Division was organized September 4, 1917, at Camp Dodge, Iowa, from men drafted from the states of Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, Illinois and later men from Missouri and Nebraska. This site will contain the entire roster of every officer and man who served with the 88th Division in the A.E.F. In addition, it will list the troopships that transported the division to France, photographs, battles, and general history of the Division.

This Web Page is dedicated to my father John Schwartzmyer, Wagoner, attached to the "Eighty-Eighty" Infantry Division, Drivers & Orderlies of the 350th Ambulance Company. He served in the Alsace Sector, France.

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BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 88TH DIVISION

The 88th Division, a National Army Division, was organized September 4, 1917, at Camp Dodge, Iowa, from men drafted from the states of Minnesota, Iowa. the Dakotas and Illinois. Later when these first drafts had been transferred in large measure to Camps Cody, Bowie, Doniphan, Pike, Travis and Gordon, newly drafted men from these original states, together with men from Missouri and Nebraska, constituted the bulk of the Division. The Division was officered largely by reserve officers from the First Training Camp at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and from the Second Training Camps at Forts Sheridan, Snelling and Benjamin Harrison.

July 25, 1918, to Sep/ember 4,1918

July 25, 1918, the Division began moving from Camp Dodge overseas, an(l was assembled in the 21st Training Area with headquarters at Semur, Cote dOr, France, less the 163d Artillery Brigade, which was sent to the artillery training school at Clermont Ferrand in the south of France and never rejoined the Division.

September 5, 1918, to September 13, 1918

On September 5, 1918, Major-General William Weigel, who had just been promoted from Brigadier General in command of the 56th Infantry Brigade of the 28th Division, U. S. A., which had taken part in the Second Maine offensive, was assigned as Commander of the 88th Division. The Division was assigned to the VI American Corps, First Army, for training in open warfare.

September 14, 1918, to September 27, 1918September 14, 1918, to September 27, 1918, 1918

September 14, 1918, the Division moved by rail to the Hericourt, Haute-Saone Training Area near Belfort, France. Its position in support enabled the 29th American Division to be withdrawn from the Center Sector of Hante-Alsace and sent to take a prominent part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, where, crossing the river Meuse at Samogneux, it advanced to the high ground east of Consenvoye and captured the enemy artillery observation points and massed artillery there. This maneuver enabled the American divisions west of the Meuse River to advance without having their right flank held up by artillery fire from these heights. Thus, by releasing the 29th Division from the Haute-Alsace Sector, the 88th Division contributed, not indirectly, to the winning of the important Meuse-Argonne offensive. On leaving the 21st Training Area at Semur, Cote d’Or on September 14, 1918, the 88th Division was transferred to the VII American Army Corps (with headquarters at Remiremont) for administrative purposes.

September 23, 1918, to Norember 1, 1918

On September 23, 1918, advanced elements of the 88th Division moved into the Center Sector of Haute-Alsace, which was being temporarily held hy the 38th French Division that had relieved the 29th American Division. These advanced elements, totaling eight officers and four hundred men, were augmented until on October 7, 1918, Division Headquarters of the 88th Division was moved to Montreaux Chateau, Haute-Alsace; and on October 15, 1918, the command of the Center Sector of Haute-Alsace passed from the 38th French Division to the 88th American Division, which formed part of the 40th French Army Corps of the VII French Army, while remaining under the VII American Army Corps for administrative purposes. To reach the sector, the infantry and engineers of the Division had been forced to make long marches—sometimes 25 kilometers a day—on congested roads, pulling with them their heavily loaded machine gun carts, combat and field wagons, in cases the average weight pulled per man being 250 pounds. Furthermore, the Division had been forced to go without essential supplies, hecause all available transportation was being used to the maximum in the Argonne (Irive. On arrival in France, the Division had been required to turn in all its field ranges, overcoats, and all except one blanket per man; and means of cooking had to be improvised, or secured by purchase from the French or by the utilization of small French stoves in billets, supplemented by the extensive use of camp kettles and watercans. Until October 6, 1918, there were only two ambulances in the Division— and they had to serve the French troops in the area also. Meantime, on September 20. 1918, a wide-spread epidemic of influenza set in, and in eight days there were 1,370 cases in one regiment alone. This epidemic increased until October 14, 1918, on which date there were eighty deaths. All told there were 6,815 cases of influenza and 1,041 cases of pneumonia reported, from which 11.1 deaths resulted. After arrival in sector, much additional marching was made necessary by reason of the withdrawal of French divisions and the re-arrangement of their forces on the north and south of the Center Sector of Haute-Alsace. On October 24, 1918, the Division took over the Fulleren subsector, of the South Sector of Haute-Alsace, making a total of approximately nineteen kilometers of front line held by the 88th Division. While in this (Haute-Alsace) sector, energetic patrolling, often in force, in connection with the French division in the sector and later when the 88th American Division alone occupied the sector, kept the enemy constantly on the alert, held in the south many German planes, considerable artillery, and several divisions which had remained in this sector of the German line for a long time. All this force, consequently, was held out of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and again the 88th Division contributed, less indirectly, to the success of that offensive. In this (Haute-Alsace) sector, several night raids were carried out by the 88th Division and a number of prisoners were captured, enabling the identification of the opposing divisions to be kept up-to-date. German "stormstruppen" troops, assigned to the duty of roving, from one sector to another between the Voges and the Swiss Border, also made several raids on the lines of the 88th Division, both at night and in the daytime. These enemy raids were accompanied by gas projector attacks and by intense artillery bombardments, but at no time were the German raiding parties able to enter the lines held by the Division. On November 2, 1918, the 88th Division began to withdraw from the HauteAlsace sector, and on November 4, 1918, turned over command of the sector to the 154th French Division; 88th Division headquarters being established temporarily on the outskirts of Belfort.

November 2, 1918, to November 11, 1918 November 2, 1918, to November 11, 1918 1918, to November 11, 1918 November 2, 1918, to November 11, 1918 2, 1918, to November 11, 1918

Meanwhile, on November 1, 1918, the 88th American Division was transferred to the Second American Army (with headquarters at Toul, and on Nov ember 6, 1918, began moving the advance brigade to the Lagney Area, north of Toul, where it was placed in the IV Army Corps (American) Reserve, which corps had headquarters at Wienville, preparatory to taking active part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. The balance of the Division was placed in Second American Army Reserve, with 88th Division Headquarters at Lagney. Again, the presence of the 88th Division, this time on the Meuse-Argonne front, made possible during the days immediately preceding the armistice the delivery up to the very hour of the armistice of even more powerful blows by other elements of American divisions released by the arrival of the 88th Division in Corps Reserve. The plans of the Second Army for the contemplated attack east of the Mozelle River, effective November 14, 1918, and which was to strike the German line between METZ and SARREBRUCK, provided for the 88th Division an important part in what could have been a very important phase of the Metz coup. The signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, stopped this new offensive - and effectively put an end to the fighting.

The achievements of the 88th Division have been measured only by its opportunities.

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This site was designed using Microsoft FrontPage '98. Some enhancements such as the 'sound files' may work only if using Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.x or higher.

 arrownew.gif (1675 bytes) I have finally found software to begin digitizing the complete roster of the 88th. I have updated the "Headquarters Staff,  Troop and Detachment" roster and will be updating regularly until the complete roster is complete and uploaded to this site. Come back often!

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  Last updated:  03/06/03   Last updated:  03/06/03                                                    Webmaster: Rich2493@mchsi.com

                                                                

 Camp Dodge photos     88th Division photos (350th Band & Major Russ)

Be sure and check out my Fire Department site! http://historian.freeservers.com/index.htm

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Any use of copyrighted material is totally unintentional, and any such material will be immediately removed from this site upon notification from the copyright holder.

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