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March, Peyton C.

March, Peyton C. (1864–1955), army chief of staff in World War I.A West Pointer (Class of 1888) and artillery officer, March won distinction in combat during the Spanish‐American War and the Philippine War. Later, he enhanced his reputation as a troop leader in battery and regimental commands and as an efficient staff officer through his service on the first General Staff and in the Adjutant General's Office. During World War I, after serving as chief of artillery in the American Expeditionary Force, he returned to become the army's chief of staff in the spring of 1918. His hard, coldly efficient dynamism galvanized army logistics during the remaining months of the war.

March's major achievement was the shipment of 1.75 million men to France in time to turn the tide to victory. In his remaining years in office, until 1921, he supervised the demobilization of the wartime army and the reorganization of the postwar army. As the nation's first strong wartime chief of staff, he developed a tense relationship with field commander Gen. John J. Pershing, but he laid the foundation for the future power of that office. In 1932, March published The Nation at War, an account of his and the General Staff's contributions in World War I.
[See also World War I: Military and Diplomatic Course; World War I: Postwar Impact.]

Bibliography

Edward M. Coffman , The Hilt of the Sword: The Career of Peyton C. March, 1966.

Edward M. Coffman

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