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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:11 pm 
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One century ago, March 21st 1918, Ludendorff launched the first of his spring offensives, labelled St Michael. With the Bolsheviks having made peace at the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, large numbers of German divisions had been released from the Eastern Front and sent to the Western front, a line of trenches, 300 miles long, from the Belgian coast to the Swiss frontier. For three and a half years, enormous slaughter had taken place in Flanders, especially in the Ypres Salient, the Somme, the Aisne and Verdun - but the front had stayed largely within similar geographical confines, rarely advancing or retreating more than a dozen miles as the battles raged along its length. Huge advances were made in this latest attack, almost as far as Amiens but the cost was huge and many men were required to hold this large salient that he'd carved out. Allied resistance and lack of materiel stopped him advancing further.
So he tried again in the Ypres area (St George) driving the allies back almost to Hazebrouck. Same result. by the time that he tried it on the Aisne, the Americans were now very much in the game at Chateau Thierry and further west at Meuse Argonne. The Germans were running out of men and materiel, while the Allies were strengthening. Like a coiled spring, they began to advance, the Western Front was no more - and was decisively finished when the Hindenburg line was breached. That was the beginning of the end and the direction of retreat was progressively eastwards and continued that way, until November 11th when the Armistice was signed. The Ludendorff offensives had been Germany's last ditch effort for victory. It was not to be.

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