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Spring Offensive

From Academic Kids

The Spring Offensive (Operation Michael) was a German offensive along the Western Front during the First World War which marked the deepest advance by any side since 1914.

On March 21 1918 Germany launched a major offensive, codenamed "Operation Michael", against British and British Imperial forces. The German army developed new tactics involving stormtroopers, infantry trained in Hutier tactics (after Oskar von Hutier) to infiltrate and take trenches.

Erich Ludendorff, the German Officer in command wasted his forces by not following the correct tactics, which had been to attack where defenses would easily fold and move past strongly held areas. Because he continually threw away his forces by attacking strongly cemented British battalions, Ludendorff was unable to attain victory, even though he pushed the French and British lines back far.

The Allies reacted by appointing French Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch to coordinate all Allied activity in France, and then as generalissimo of all Allied forces everywhere.

The German offensive moved forward 60 km (30 mi) and pressed the British lines so much that the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) commander, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, issued a General Order 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." However, by then, the German offensive had stalled because of logistical problems. Counterattacks by Canadian C Squadron of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and ANZAC forces had pushed German forces back.

References

  • Stanley Chodorow, Mainstream of Civilization

See also

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