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Encyclopedia > Spring Offensive
German Spring Offensive, 1918
Part of the Western Front of World War I
German gains in early 1918
Date March 21July 18, 1918
Location Northern France; West Flanders, Belgium
Result Strategic Stalemate
Tactical German Empire Victory[1]
Combatants
Flag of the United Kingdom British Empire
Flag of France France
Flag of the United States United States
Flag of German Empire German Empire
Commanders
Flag of France Ferdinand Foch
Flag of the United Kingdom Douglas Haig
Flag of France Philippe Petain
Flag of the United States John Pershing
Flag of German Empire Erich Ludendorff
Casualties
418,374 British[2]
433,000 French[3]
Total: 851,374
688,341[4]

The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914. The German authorities had realised that their only remaining chance of victory was to defeat the Allies before the overwhelming human and matériel resources of the United States could be deployed.They also had the advantage of nearly 50 divisions freed by the Russian surrender (Treaty of Brest-Litovsk). Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Democratic Republic of Vietnam National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Commanders I Corps: Hoang Xuan Lam (replaced by Ngo Quang Truong) II Corps: Ngo Dzu (replaced by Nguyen Van Toan) III Corps: Nguyen Van Minh Tri-Thien-Hue Region: Van Tien Dung... Combatants Belgium British Empire Australia[1] Canada[2] India[3] Newfoundland[4] New Zealand[5] South Africa[6] United Kingdom France and French Overseas Empire Portugal[7] United States Germany Commanders No unified command until 1918, then Ferdinand Foch Moltke → Falkenhayn → Hindenburg and Ludendorff → Hindenburg and Groener Casualties ~4,800... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1242x961, 224 KB) Summary Map of the final German offensives on the Western Front (World War I, 1918 From the History Department of the US Military Academy West Point - http://www. ... is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen) is the westernmost province of Flanders and of Belgium. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links US_flag_48_stars. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Ferdinand Foch OM GCB (October 2, 1851 – March 20, 1929) was a French soldier, military theorist, and writer credited with possessing the most original and subtle mind in the French Army in the early 20th century. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... For other persons named Douglas Haig, see Douglas Haig (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... World War II and Vichy France After the fall of France during World War II, in the spring of 1940, the Chamber of Deputies appointed Pétain as Prime Minister of France and granted him extraordinary powers. ... Image File history File links US_flag_48_stars. ... John Joseph Black Jack Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) was an officer in the United States Army. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Ludendorff in 1918 Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (sometimes given incorrectly as von Ludendorff) (April 9, 1865–December 20, 1937, Tutzing, Bavaria, Germany) was a German Army officer, Generalquartiermeister during World War I, victor of Liege, and, with Paul von Hindenburg, one of the victors of the battle of Tannenberg. ... Combatants Belgium British Empire Australia[1] Canada[2] India[3] Newfoundland[4] New Zealand[5] South Africa[6] United Kingdom France and French Overseas Empire Portugal[7] United States Germany Commanders No unified command until 1918, then Ferdinand Foch Moltke → Falkenhayn → Hindenburg and Ludendorff → Hindenburg and Groener Casualties ~4,800... The Battle of the Frontiers was a series of battles fought along the eastern frontier of France and in southern Belgium shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. ... The Battle of Liège was the opening battle of the German invasion into Belgium, and the first battle of World War I. The siege of the city lasted from August 5 until the 16th when the final fort surrendered. ... This article or section is incomplete and may require expansion and/or cleanup. ... The Great Retreat covers the slow retreat by the Allies to the River Marne after their defeat by the Germans at Battle of Mons on 23 August. ... Course of the Race to the Sea showing dates of encounters and highlighting the significant battles. ... The Battles of Neuve Chapelle and Artois was a battle in the First World War. ... Combatants Belgium  Canada France Colonial forces United Kingdom British India  German Empire Commanders Horace Smith-Dorrien[1] Henri Gabriel Putz[2] A.-L.-T. de Ceuninck[3] Albrecht of Württemberg[4] Strength 8 infantry divisions[5] 7 infantry divisions Casualties 70,000 dead, wounded, or missing 35,000 dead... Combatants France United Kingdom German Empire Commanders Joseph Joffre Unknown Strength 9 French & British divisions (initial) Unknown Casualties 100,000 French 11,000 British 75,000 A battle on the Western Front of World War I, the First Battle of Artois was fought at the same time as the Second... The Battle of Hill 70 took place took place near the French city of Lens on 15 August and 16 August 1917 and was fought between the Canadian Corps under the command of Gen. ... Combatants France United Kingdom German Empire Commanders Auguste Dubail John French Crown Prince Rupprecht Strength French Tenth Army 6 British Divisions German Sixth Army Casualties 48,000 French 50,000 British 20,000 German A battle on the Western Front of World War I, the Second Battle of Artois is... The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. The battle was the British component of the combined Anglo-French offensive known as the Second Battle of Artois. ... Combatants  France  German Empire Commanders Philippe Pétain Robert Nivelle Erich von Falkenhayn Strength About 30,000 on 21 February 1916 About 150,000 on 21 February 1916 Casualties 378,000; of whom 163,000 died. ... The Battle of Hulluch was a conflict in World War One, April 27-29, 1916, involving the 16th Division of the British Armys 19th Corps. ... Combatants British Empire Australia Canada New Zealand Newfoundland South Africa United Kingdom France German Empire Commanders Douglas Haig Joseph Joffre Max von Gallwitz Fritz von Below Strength 13 British & 11 French divisions (initial) 51 British and 48 French divisions (final) 10. ... The Battle of Arras took place from 9 April to 16 May 1917. ... Combatants Canada United Kingdom  German Empire Commanders Julian Byng Arthur Currie Ludwig von Falkenhausen Strength 200,000 Unknown Casualties 3,598 dead, 7,004 wounded[1][2] 20,000 dead or wounded, 4,000 captured The Battle of Vimy Ridge was one of the opening battles in a larger British... Combatants France German Empire Commanders Robert Nivelle Charles Mangin François Anthoine Mazel von Boehm Fritz von Below Strength 1. ... The Battle of Messines was launched on June 7, 1917 by British General Herbert Plumers second army, which included the 16th (Irish) Division and the 36th (Ulster) Division, near the villages of Mesen (in French Messines, as it was on most maps at that time) and Wytschaete. ... Passchendaele village, before and after the Battle of Passchendaele The Battle of Passchendaele, otherwise known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was one of the major battles of World War I, fought by British, ANZAC, and Canadian soldiers against the German army near Ypres ( Ieper in Flemish) in West Flanders... -1... British and Portuguese captured by German forces in the Flanders region (1918) British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas during the battle, 10 April 1918. ... The Third Battle of the Aisne was a German offensive during World War I that focused on capturing the Chemin des Dames Ridge before the American Expeditionary Force could arrive in France. ... Combatants United States France British Empire German Empire Commanders John J. Pershing James Harbord Crown Prince Wilhelm Strength 2 U.S. divisions French 6th Army (elements) British IX Corps (elements) 5 German divisions (elements) Casualties 9,777 unknown The Battle of Belleau Wood was a battle of the first World... Combatants  France  United Kingdom  United States  German Empire Casualties 168,000 The Second Battle of the Marne, or Battle of Reims, was a major World War I battle fought from July 15 to August 5, 1918, near the Marne River. ... The Battle of Chateau Thierry was fought on July 18, 1918. ... Combatants Australia  United States German Empire Commanders John Monash Casualties 976 KIA, 338 WIA 2000 KIA, 1600 POW The Battle of Hamel (4 July 1918) was a planned attack launched by the Australian Corps of the Australian Imperial Force against German positions in the town of Hamel in northern France... Combatants Belgium British Empire France United States of America German Empire Commanders King Albert I Ferdinand Foch Douglas Haig Philippe Petain John Pershing Erich Ludendorff Casualties 411,636 British 531,000 French 127,000+ American 785,733 The Hundred Days Offensive was the final offensive in World War I by... Combatants Belgium British Empire Australia[1] Canada[2] India[3] Newfoundland[4] New Zealand[5] South Africa[6] United Kingdom France and French Overseas Empire Portugal[7] United States Germany Commanders No unified command until 1918, then Ferdinand Foch Moltke → Falkenhayn → Hindenburg and Ludendorff → Hindenburg and Groener Casualties ~4,800... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Matériel (from the French for equipment or hardware, related to the word material) is a term used in English to refer to the equipment and supplies in military and commercial supply chain management. ... Symbol of the Polish 1st Legions Infantry Division in NATO code A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of around ten to twenty thousand soldiers. ... The first two pages of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in (left to right) German, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ottoman Turkish and Russian The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) between the Russian SFSR and the Central Powers, marking...


There were four separate German attacks, codenamed Michael, Georgette, Gneisenau, and Blücher-Yorck. They were initially intended to draw forces away from the Channel ports that were essential for British supply and then attack the ports and other lines of communication. The planning process, however, diluted the strategy.

Contents

Tactics

By this late stage of the war, both sides had refined their tactics.


Offensive tactics

The German army had developed stormtrooper units, with infantry trained in Hutier tactics (after Oskar von Hutier) to infiltrate and bypass enemy front line units, leaving these strongpoints to be "mopped-up" by follow-up troops. The stormtroopers' tactic was to attack and disrupt enemy headquarters, artillery units and supply depots in the rear areas, as well as to occupy territory rapidly. Each major formation "creamed off" its best and fittest soldiers into storm units; several complete divisions were formed from these elite units. This process gave the German army an initial advantage in the attack, but meant that the best formations would suffer disproportionately heavy casualties, while the quality of the formations stripped of their best personnel declined. The Stormtroopers were special military troops which were formed in the last year of World War I as the German army developed new methods of attacking enemy trenches, called infiltration tactics. Men trained in these methods were known as in German as Sturmmann (literally storm man or assault man but... In warfare, infiltration tactics involves small forces bypassing enemy strongpoints, instead isolating these strongpoints for later forces and disrupting rear areas. ... Oskar von Hutier (August 27, 1857-December 5, 1934) was one of Germanys most successful and innovative generals of World War I. Hutier spent the first year of the war as a divisional commander in France, performing well but not distinguishing himself until the spring of 1915, when he... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ...


To enable the initial breakthrough, Lieutenant Colonel Georg Bruchmüller[5], a German artillery officer, developed the Feuerwalze, an effective and economical artillery bombardment scheme. There were three phases: a brief attack on the enemy's command and communications, destruction of their artillery and lastly an attack upon the enemy front-line infantry defences. Bombardment would always be brief so as to retain surprise. Bruchmüller's tactics were made possible by the vast numbers of heavy guns (with correspondingly plentiful amounts of ammunition for them) which Germany possessed by 1918. It was possible for the Germans to launch an offensive at almost any vital part of the front without giving the Allies notice of their intentions by moving guns and shells to the threatened sector. Georg Bruchmüller, nicknamed Durchbruchmüller (* December 11, 1863, Berlin; † January 26, 1948, Garmisch-Partenkirchen) was a German artillery officer who had great influence in the development of modern artillery tactics. ...


Defensive tactics

In their turn, the Allies had developed defences in depth, reducing the proportion of troops in their front line and pulling reserves and supply dumps back beyond German artillery range. This change had been made after experience of the successful German use of defence in depth during 1917.


In theory, the front line was an "outpost zone" (later renamed the "forward zone"), lightly held by snipers, patrols and machine-gun posts only. Behind was the "battle zone", where the offensive was to be firmly resisted, and behind that again was a "rear zone", where reserves were held ready to counter-attack or seal off penetrations. In theory a British infantry division (with 9 infantry battalions) deployed 3 battalions in the outpost zone, 4 battalions in the battle zone and 2 battalions in the rear zone.


This change had not been completely implemented by the Allies. In particular, in the sector held by the British Fifth Army, which they had recently taken over from French units, the defences were not completed and there were too few troops to hold the complete position in depth. The rear zone existed as outline markings only, and the battle zone consisted of battalion "redoubts" which were not mutually supporting (allowing stormtroopers to penetrate between them). The British Fifth Army was a field army of the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War. ...


Michael

On March 21, 1918 the Germans launched a major offensive against the British Fifth Army, and the right wing of the British Third Army. The German armies involved were the Seventeenth Army under Otto von Bulow, the Second Army under Georg von der Marwitz and the Eighteenth Army under Oskar von Hutier, with a Corps (Gruppe Gayl) from the Seventh Army supporting Hutier's attack. Although the British had learned the approximate time and location of the offensive, the weight of the attack and of the preliminary bombardment was an unpleasant surprise. The Germans were also fortunate in that the morning of the attack was foggy, allowing the stormtroopers leading the attack to penetrate deep into the British positions undetected. The first Somme battle of 1918 is also known as the Battle of Saint-Quentin or the Second Battle of the Somme[1]. It lasted from March 21–April 5 1918. ... is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... The British Third Army was a British Army unit. ... Otto von Bülow ( Wilhelmshaven October 16, 1911 - Wohltorf January 5, 2006 was a successful German U-boat commander in World War II, and a captain in the German Bundesmarine Bülow was the son of Captain Otto von Bülow (1874–1930) and Johanna Meyer (1883–1937). ... Johannes Georg von der Marwitz (7 July 1856–27 October 1929) was a Prussian cavalry general, who commanded several German armies during the First World War. ... Oskar von Hutier (August 27, 1857-December 5, 1934) was one of Germanys most successful and innovative generals of World War I. Hutier spent the first year of the war as a divisional commander in France, performing well but not distinguishing himself until the spring of 1915, when he...


By the end of the first day, the Germans had broken through at several points on the front of the British Fifth Army, and after two days Fifth Army was in full retreat. As they fell back, many of the "redoubts" were left to be surrounded and overwhelmed by the following German infantry. The right wing of Third Army also retreated, to avoid being outflanked.


Erich Ludendorff, the German commander, failed to follow the correct stormtrooper tactics, as described above. His lack of a coherent strategy to accompany the new tactics was expressed in a remark to one of his Army Group commanders, Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, in which he stated, "We chop a hole. The rest follows". Ludendorff's dilemma was that the most important parts of the allied line were also the most strongly held. Much of the German advance was achieved where it was not strategically significant. Because of this, Ludendorff continually exhausted his forces by attacking strongly entrenched British units. At Arras on March 28, he launched a hastily-prepared attack (Operation Mars) on the left wing of the British Third Army, to try and widen the breach in the Allied lines, and was repulsed. Ludendorff in 1918 Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (sometimes given incorrectly as von Ludendorff) (April 9, 1865–December 20, 1937, Tutzing, Bavaria, Germany) was a German Army officer, Generalquartiermeister during World War I, victor of Liege, and, with Paul von Hindenburg, one of the victors of the battle of Tannenberg. ... Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria or Crown Prince Rupert of Bavaria (German: Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern) (18 May 1869 – 2 August 1955) was the last Bavarian Crown Prince. ... Arras (Dutch: ) is a town and commune in northern France, préfecture (capital) of the Pas-de-Calais département. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The German breakthrough had occurred just to the north of the boundary between the French and British armies. The French commander-in-chief, Marshal Petain, sent reinforcements to the sector too slowly in the opinion of the British commander-in-chief, Field Marshal Haig, and the British government. The Allies reacted by appointing the French Marshal Ferdinand Foch to coordinate all Allied activity in France and then as generalissimo of all Allied forces everywhere. World War II and Vichy France After the fall of France during World War II, in the spring of 1940, the Chamber of Deputies appointed Pétain as Prime Minister of France and granted him extraordinary powers. ... Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig (June 19, 1861 - January 28, 1928) was a British soldier and senior commander during World War I. He had independent wealth: his family manufactured Haig & Haig whisky. ... Ferdinand Foch OM GCB (October 2, 1851 – March 20, 1929) was a French soldier, military theorist, and writer credited with possessing the most original and subtle mind in the French Army in the early 20th century. ... Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Generalissimo or Generalissimus is a military rank of the highest degree, superior to a Field Marshal or Grand Admiral. ...


After three days, the German advance began to falter, as the infantry became exhausted and it became increasingly difficult to move artillery and supplies forward to support them. Fresh British and Australian units were moved to the vital rail centre of Amiens and the defence began to stiffen. After fruitless attempts to capture Amiens, Ludendorff called off Operation Michael on April 5. By the standards of the time, there had been a substantial advance. It was, however, of little value — a Pyrrhic victory in terms of the casualties suffered by the crack troops, as Amiens and Arras remained in Allied hands. The newly-won territory was difficult to traverse, as much of it consisted of the shell-torn wilderness left by the Battle of the Somme, and difficult to defend against Allied counterattacks. Amiens is a city and commune in the north of France, 120 km north of Paris. ... is the 95th day of the year (96th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with devastating cost to the victor. ... For other battles known as Battle of the Somme, see Battle of the Somme (disambiguation). ...


The Allies lost nearly 255,000 men (British, British Empire, French and American). They also lost 1,300 artillery pieces and 200 tanks. All of this could be replaced, either from British factories or from American manpower. German troop losses were 239,000 men, largely specialist shocktroops (Stoßtruppen) who were irreplaceable. In terms of morale, the initial German jubilation at the successful opening of the offensive soon turned to disappointment as it became clear that the attack had not achieved decisive results.


Georgette

Main article: Battle of the Lys

Michael had drawn British forces to defend Amiens, leaving the rail route through Hazebrouck and the approaches to the Channel ports of Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk vulnerable. German success here could choke the British into defeat. British and Portuguese captured by German forces in the Flanders region (1918) British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas during the battle, 10 April 1918. ... Hazebrouck en Flandre Hazebrouck is a commune of the Nord département, in northern France. ... Calais (Kales in Dutch) is a town in northern France, located at 50°57N 1°52E. It is in the département of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... Boulogne-sur-Mer is a city and commune in northern France, in the Pas-de-Calais département of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... For other uses of Dunkirk or Dunkerque, see Dunkirk (disambiguation). ...


The attack started on April 9 after a Feuerwalze. The Portuguese defenders at the point of attack were rapidly overrun but the British defenders on the southern flank held firm. The next day, the Germans widened their attack to the north, forcing the defenders of Armentieres to withdraw before they were surrounded, and capturing most of the Messines Ridge. By the end of the day, the few British divisions in reserve were hard-pressed to hold a line along the River Lys. is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Armenti res is a commune and a canton of the d partement of Nord, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais France. ... Mesen (French: Messines) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. ... The Lys (French) or Leie (Dutch) is a river in France and Belgium, left tributary of the Scheldt. ...


Without French reinforcement, it was feared that the remaining 15 miles to the ports could be covered within a week. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) commander, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, issued an "Order of the Day" on April 11 stating, "With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end." The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British army sent to France and Belgium in World War I and British Forces in Europe from 1939–1940 during World War II. The BEF was established by Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War in case the... Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig (June 19, 1861 - January 28, 1928) was a British soldier and senior commander during World War I. He had independent wealth: his family manufactured Haig & Haig whisky. ... is the 101st day of the year (102nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


However, the German offensive had stalled because of logistical problems and exposed flanks. Counterattacks by British, French, American, Canadian and ANZAC forces slowed and stopped the German advance. Ludendorff ended Georgette on April 29. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (popularly abbreviated as ANZAC) was originally an army corps of Australian and New Zealand troops who fought in World War I at Gallipoli against the Turks. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


As with Michael, losses were roughly equal, approximately 110,000 men wounded or killed, each. Again, the results were disappointing for the Germans. Hazebrouck remained in Allied hands and the flanks of the German salient were vulnerable. The British abandoned the comparatively worthless territory they had captured at vast cost the previous year around Ypres, freeing several divisions to face the German attackers. In military terms, a salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. ... Geography Country Belgium Community Flemish Community Region Flemish Region Province West Flanders Arrondissement Ypres Coordinates , , Area 130. ...


Blücher-Yorck

While Georgette ground to a halt, a new attack on French positions was planned to draw forces further away from the Channel and allow renewed German progress in the north. The strategic objective remained to split the British and the French and gain victory before American forces could make their presence felt on the battlefield. The Third Battle of the Aisne was a German offensive during World War I that focused on capturing the Chemin des Dames Ridge before the American Expeditionary Force could arrive in France. ...


The German attack took place on May 27, between Soissons and Rheims. The sector was partly held by six British divisions which were "resting" after their exertions earlier in the year. In this sector, the defences had not been developed in depth, mainly due to the obstinacy of the commander of the French Sixth Army, General Denis Auguste Duchêne. As a result, the Feuerwalze was very effective and the Allied front, with a few notable exceptions, collapsed. Duchêne's massing of his troops in the forward trenches also meant there were no local reserves to delay the Germans once the front had broken. Despite French and British resistance on the flanks, German troops advanced to the Marne River and Paris seemed a realistic objective. However, United States Army machine-gunners and Senegalese sharpshooters halted the German advance at Château-Thierry, with United States Marines also heavily engaged at Belleau Wood. is the 147th day of the year (148th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Soissons is a town and commune in the Aisne département, Picardie, France, located on the Aisne River, about 60 miles northeast of Paris. ... Reims (English traditionally Rheims) is a city of north-eastern France, 98 miles east-northeast of Paris. ... Denis Auguste Duchene (1862-1950) was a French World War I general. ... The Marne is a river in France, a tributary of the Seine in the area east and southeast of Paris. ... The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... Château-Thierry is a commune of north-eastern France, about 56 miles east-northeast of Paris. ... United States Marine Corps Emblem The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the second smallest of the five branches of the United States armed forces, with 170,000 active and 40,000 reserve Marines as of 2002. ... Combatants United States France British Empire German Empire Commanders John J. Pershing James Harbord Crown Prince Wilhelm Strength 2 U.S. divisions French 6th Army (elements) British IX Corps (elements) 5 German divisions (elements) Casualties 9,777 unknown The Battle of Belleau Wood was a battle of the first World...


Yet again, losses were much the same on each side: 137,000 Allied and 130,000 German casualties (up to June 6). German losses were again mainly from the difficult-to-replace assault divisions. is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Gneisenau

Ludendorff sought to extend Blücher-Yorck westwards with Operation Gneisenau, intending to draw yet more Allied reserves south and to link with the German salient at Amiens.


The French had been warned of this attack by information from German prisoners and their defence in depth reduced the impact of the artillery bombardment on June 9. Nonetheless, the German advance was impressive, despite fierce French and American resistance. At Compiègne, a sudden French counter-attack on June 11 caught the Germans by surprise and halted their advance. Gneisenau was called off the following day. June 9 is the 160th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (161st in leap years), with 205 days remaining. ... Compiègne is a commune in the Oise département of France, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... is the 162nd day of the year (163rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Losses were approximately 35,000 (Allied) and 30,000 (German).


Last German attack

The final offensive launched by Ludendorff on July 15 was a renewed attempt to draw Allied reserves south from Flanders, and to expand the salient created by Blücher-Yorck eastwards. An attack east of Rheims was thwarted by the French defence in depth. Although German troops southwest of Rheims succeeded in crossing the River Marne, the French launched a major offensive of their own on the west side of the salient on July 18, threatening to cut off the Germans in the salient. Although Ludendorff was able to hold off this attack and successfully evacuate the salient, the initiative had clearly passed to the Allies, who were shortly to begin the Hundred Days Offensive which effectively ended the war. Combatants  France  United Kingdom  United States  German Empire Casualties 168,000 The Second Battle of the Marne, or Battle of Reims, was a major World War I battle fought from July 15 to August 5, 1918, near the Marne River. ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants Belgium British Empire France United States of America German Empire Commanders King Albert I Ferdinand Foch Douglas Haig Philippe Petain John Pershing Erich Ludendorff Casualties 411,636 British 531,000 French 127,000+ American 785,733 The Hundred Days Offensive was the final offensive in World War I by...


Strategic Impact

The Kaiserschlacht series of offensives had yielded large, in First World War terms, territorial gains for the Germans. However, the strategic objective of a quick victory was not achieved and the German armies were severely depleted, exhausted and in exposed positions. In six months the strength of the German army had fallen from 5.1 million fighting men to 4.2 million. Manpower was exhausted. German High Command predicted they would need 200,000 men per month to make good the losses suffered, but even by drawing on the next annual class of eighteen year olds, only 300,000 recruits would be available for the year.


The Allies had been badly hurt but not broken. The lack of a unified high command was partly rectified and coordination would improve in later Allied operations. American troops were for the first time used as independent formations and had proven themselves. Their presence counterbalanced the serious manpower shortages that Britain and France were experiencing after four years of war.


Notes

  1. ^ Although the gains of the offensive were enormous, the sheer number of German casualties negated any hope of further exploitation of such magnitude
  2. ^ Churchill, "The World Crisis, Vol. 2". British casualties from "Military Effort of the British Empire"
  3. ^ Churchill, "The World Crisis, Vol. 2". French casualties from "Official Returns to the Chamber, March 29, 1922"
  4. ^ Churchill, "The World Crisis, Vol. 2". German casualties from "Reichsarchiv 1918"
  5. ^ Bruchmüller biography.

References

  • John Keegan, (1999) The First World War, Pimlico ISBN 0-7126-6645-1
  • Stanley Chodorow, Mainstream of Civilization
  • Martin Marix Evans, (2002) 1918: The Year of Victories, Arcturus Military History Series ISBN 0-572-02838-5
  • Randal Gray, (1991) Kaiserschlacht, 1918: The Final German Offensive Osprey Campaign Series ISBN 1-85532-157-2
  • Gregory Blaxland, (1968), Amiens 1918, W. H. Allen ISBN 0-352-30833-8
  • David T. Zabecki, (2006), The German 1918 Offensives. A Case Study in the Operational Level of War, Routledge ISBN 0-415-35600-8

See also

World War I Portal

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Although the I Corps withdrawal, and thus the chain reaction eastward, was prompted by the heavy enemy pressure in the corps' western sector, there was evidence by 26 April that the main effort of the enemy offensive was beginning to falter.
From the outset of the enemy offensive General Van Fleet had believed that a strong effort should be made to retain possession of Seoul, not only to gain the tactical advantage in maintaining a foothold above the Han River but also to prevent psychological damage to the Korean people.
Logistical planning completed in anticipation of the enemy offensive had kept line units well furnished with all classes of supplies during the attacks and at the same time had prevented any loss of stocks stored in major supply points during the withdrawal.
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