By James Bingham
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Additional info for French Infantry Tanks. Part II (including R 35 and FCM 36)
Events which drove the United States i n t o wa r n ow d eve l o p e d r a p i d ly. O n Fe b r u a r y 2 6 , 1 9 1 7 , t h e P r e s i d e n t r e quested Congress to give him authority to equip American merchant ships with defensive arms should that become necessary. Two days later the President gave to the press the contents of a telegram which had been intercepted by the British Government late in January. This teleg r a m h a d b e e n s e n t by t h e G e r m a n S e c r e t a r y o f Fo r e i g n A ff a i r s , A r t h u r Zimmermann, through the German Emb a s s y i n Wa s h i n g t o n t o t h e G e r m a n Minister in Mexico City.
Of the ter ritory within striking distance of the Western Front, this was the area which she could least afford to lose, because on its retention depended her ability to maintain the German Armies west of the Rhine. The American Army in Lorraine would, therefore, be admirably located to strike at the most important German strategical area near the battle front. The lack of vessels seriously retarded the transfer of troops to France, and the question was one of grave concern to the American Commander-in-Chief.
It remained in line until about the middle of October, when it was relieved. It reentered the battle on November 5 and participated in the pursuit of the German Ar my. The activities of this regiment concluded the American f ighting in the Aisne-Marne region. During the severe battles in this area, a total American force of about 310,000 men, which comprised two corps headquarters, nine divisions, air units, heavy artillery, medical troops and transportation units, served with the Allies and suffered losses of more than 67,000.