1917-1918: the question of equine effectives

by Claude Milhaud, Docteur Vétérinaire, Vétérinaire Général Inspecteur (2s), Membre de l’Académie Vétérinaire de France, Adel. clmilhaud@orange.fr

In the spring of 1917, French Armies had difficulties feeding their 1.100.000 horses and mules, and therefore were forced to reduce their number. Through the reorganization of units and the weeding out of the weakest animals, the effectives were reduced to 924.000 by the 1st of November 1917. These measures did not prevent a food rationing. In January 1918, it was decided that the American Expeditionary Force would be supplied with 160.000 horses and mules. These decisions only worsen the shortage of horses for the French Armies. At the right moment, the armistice of 11 November allows avoiding a catastrophic fall both in number and quality of horses.

Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2012, 12 : 109-131