May 10, 1917 – John Pershing Given Command of American Expeditionary Force
Pictured – Black Jack.
On May 7, British General Allenby, fighting at Arras, warned Haig that he was running out of troops and that the reserves now being sent into battle were “semi-trained troops unable to use their rifles properly.” In the House of Commons on May 10, Winston Churchill pointed out that Britain’s armies were running dry, and the Americans would not arrive until 1918, and so “Is it not obvious that we ought not to squander the remaining armies of France and Britain in precipitate offensives before the American power begins to be felt on the battlefield?”
Across the Atlantic, American forces were slowly gearing up. The same day, the government appointed John “Black Jack” Pershing, who had commanded the Mexican Expedition, as leader of the troops that would be sent to France. Churchill, however, received no answer, and the Allied offensives continued. Allenby himself was shocked soon after when he was sent back to London. Allenby was convinced he was going to be sacked, in fact, he recieved a transfer to Palestine, where he would become the conqueror of Jerusalem.