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Capitaine Vengeur

95 years ago this day: Michael Offensive

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On 21 March 1918, the Germans unfroze the Western Front and began their Spring Offensive, a calculated bet taking advantage of the end of the war at East and of their recent numerical superiority at West. New tactics in the use of artillery, gas, and Stosstruppen proved deadly in the face of outnumbered British troops still shocked by the vain expensive offensives of the preceding year. As soon as the first days, no such gains of ground had been noticed at West since 1914. With this blow at the hinge of the Allied armies, it was the moment when the Reich was the closest to disrupt the front and win the war, driving the French to protect Paris and the Brits to fall back to the North Sea ports. Finally, this blow could lead to a result that four years of war shoulder to shoulder could not achieve: a much more integrated Allied command, able to react much more efficiently to the next offensives to follow, until the tide turned in July.

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I was reading Ernst Juenger's "War Diary 1914-1918" and Paul C. Ettighoffer's "Storm 1918". Both Autors describe in detail and very near Germany's last Offensive, in which both have joined in the struggle. It was the last great battle to end the War successful for Germany, the troops were exhausted and had enough of the War. They knew, if the breakthrough to Paris does not succeed, the War will be lost, because they had no Reserves for some more Years of lengthening the fighting any more. Moreover, the Food Situation and the Supplys for the German Troops fell short, and the Soldiers had enough and wanted to go home. It should be the last big fight which should finish everything. Ettighoffer was in the Unit which ventured almost close to the Direction of Paris. But exhaustion, food lack, allied Air Superiority let the Offensive tyre. The Germans where not able simply any more to march forward. This gave the Allied Forces time for a massive Counterattack. The German retreat began, up to the Armistice. Very interesting Books.

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