Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I):
Records of the American Expeditionary Forces General Headquarters:
(Record Group 120)

Date Span: 1918-1919.

The records of the American Expeditionary Forces General Headquarters include daily news bulletins; summaries of air information, general information, and intelligence; a war diary documenting world news, troop movements, results of Allied activities, and German progress and troop conditions; and related information regarding military operations against Germany during World War I.

[Administrative Information | Agency History Note | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 2.5 linear inches (about 400 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Documents created by United States Government employees in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interests in documents that do not fall into this category are presumed to remain with the authors of the documents or their heirs.
Processed by: Erwin J. Mueller (1967); John Shay and David Clark (2015).
Updated by: Rose Anderson (2016) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


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AGENCY HISTORY NOTE

The American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) were established under the War Department in 1917 by General Order 1, pursuant to a letter sent from Secretary of War Newton D. Baker to General John J. Pershing. The AEF conducted military operations against Germany during World War I. The General Headquarters (GHQ) of the AEF were organized in 1917 by General Order 8, and consisted of the personal staff of the commander in chief; chief of staff; general staff; secretary of the general staff; and administrative and technical staff.

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The records of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) General Headquarters include daily news bulletins; summaries of air information, general information, and intelligence; a war diary documenting world news, troop movements, results of Allied activities, and German progress and troop conditions; and other information regarding military operations against Germany during World War I. The records are arranged in a single series, the Subject File. These records are duplicates of original records at the National Archives.

The Subject File includes copies of the Daily News Bulletin from March to May 1919. These bulletins document world events relating directly to the conclusion of the war and of general interest, mainly consisting of press dispatches to American news corporations intercepted by the General Headquarters Radio Intercept Station. The series also includes copies of the Summary of Air Information from May to November 1918. These summaries consist of daily records of observations by air patrols and information gained from prisoners’ statements, including changes in location of German units, the equipment and duties of these units, the victories and status of German airmen, and the results of Allied activities. Also included in the series are copies of the Summary of Information from October 1917 to November 1918. These daily reports document changes in the German order of battle, information regarding Allied troop movements and losses, summaries of official communications from British and French forces, and intelligence regarding the activity and movements of German and Italian troops. Beginning in April 1918, several of the Summaries include maps documenting troop movements. The series also includes copies of the Summary of Intelligence from January to November 1918. These daily reports include information similar to the Summaries of Information, such as information on enemy and Allied troop movements and activities, official communiques from British and French forces, and maps documenting troop movements. They also include intelligence on changes in German staffs, desertions, munitions, propaganda, and training practices. These Summaries also include some Supplements to Summaries of Intelligence which report in greater detail the execution of specific attacks on German forces. The Subject File also includes a War Diary that documents general orders from headquarters, as well as division assignments.

More information on the AEF can be found at the Truman Library in the Records of the 35th Division Association, and in the Records of Battery D, 129th Field Artillery Regiment (Record Group 391).

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1SUBJECT FILE, 1917-1919
Daily news bulletins; summaries of air information, general information, and intelligence; a war diary documenting world news, troop movements, results of Allied activities, and reports on German progress and troop conditions; and related information regarding military operations against Germany during World War I. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • Daily News Bulletin (March 1919) - Headquarters AEF
  • Daily News Bulletin (April 1919) - Headquarters AEF
  • Daily News Bulletin (May 1919) - Headquarters AEF
  • Maps
  • Summary of Air Information - Headquarters AEF, 1918
  • Summary of Information - Headquarters AEF, October 1917-March 1918
  • Summary of Information - Headquarters AEF, April-May 1918
  • Summary of Information - Headquarters AEF, June-August 1918
  • Summary of Information - Headquarters AEF, September-October 1918
  • Summary of Information - Headquarters AEF, November1918-January 1919
  • Summary of Intelligence - Headquarters AEF, January-April 1918
  • Summary of Intelligence - Headquarters AEF, May-November 1918
  • War Diary - Headquarters AEF, 1917-1918

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Agency History Note | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]