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The Aisne (Blücher) Offensive, the Third German Drive of 1918

Three headstones at the Necropole Craonelle, a French military cemetery, of British soldiers who died May 27, 1918, most likely killed in the German Aisne offensive that began that day. From left to right the headstones are those of Norman Gibson, East Yorkshire Regiment, age 18; C. G. Sills, Machine Gun Corps; and G. Rees, Yorkshire Regiment. Webmatters.net includes these men and two others noting that, 'These men were caught up the whirlwind of Operation Blücher launched by the Germans on the morning of 27th May 1918. They were part of the 150th Brigade of 50th Division holding the Plateau de Californie and Craonne.'
Text:
41629 Private Norman Gibson, East Yorkshire Regiment, 27th May 1918, Age 18
67830 Private C. G. Sills, Machine Gun Corps (Inf.), 27th May 1918, Age 33
34962 Private G. Rees, Yorkshire Regiment, 27th May 1918

Three headstones at the Necropole Craonelle, a French military cemetery, of British soldiers who died May 27, 1918, most likely killed in the German Aisne offensive that began that day. From left to right the headstones are those of Norman Gibson, East Yorkshire Regiment, age 18; C. G. Sills, Machine Gun Corps; and G. Rees, Yorkshire Regiment. Webmatters.net includes these men and two others noting that, 'These men were caught up the whirlwind of Operation Blücher launched by the Germans on the morning of 27th May 1918. They were part of the 150th Brigade of 50th Division holding the Plateau de Californie and Craonne.' © 2013, John M. Shea

Image text

41629 Private Norman Gibson, East Yorkshire Regiment, 27th May 1918, Age 18

We miss him most

Who loved him best

2, Alexandra Road

Windemere. Eng.



67830 Private C. G. Sills, Machine Gun Corps (Inf.), 27th May 1918, Age 33

Abide with me



34962 Private G. Rees, Yorkshire Regiment, 27th May 1918

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Continuing to hope to separate the British from the French and push them back to the Channel, Ludendorff settled on attacking the French to prevent them from supporting the British as they had in the Lys Offensive. He planned an attack along the heights of Chemin-des-Dames north of the Aisne River which the French had taken at great cost in the Second Battle of the Aisne the year before.

Ludendorff's offensive targeted the single army holding the French left wing where it joined the right wing of the British line. Two German armies faced one French army in the sector.

The Aisne Offensive opened on May 27 along a 30-mile front from Soissons to Reims with the largest German bombardment of the war: 2,000,000 gas and shrapnel shells in four and a half hours. The fourteen German divisions in the assault overwhelmed the five defending divisions, driving the French from the heights of Chemin-des-Dames and back to the Aisne, advancing up to 10/12?? miles. The French lost 50,000 prisoners ON THE FIRST DAY?.

On May 28 and 29 they continued advancing, broadening the front, and taking Soissons.

The Allies were stunned by the German advance. The Germans were unprepared for their success and, having reached their limited goal, stopped. Rather than turning again on the British, Ludendorff was lured by Paris and resumed his offensive. German forces again reached the Marne River, and by May 30, were 56 miles from Paris, but also 90 miles beyond their railheads.

WHEN? Pétain rushed 16 divisions into defensive position in 24 hours, and dug in. The French held. Newly in the battle line, Americans forces stopped the German attempt to cross the Marne at Château Thierry and counter-attacked. Further American counter-attacks retook Belleau Wood and Vaux. By June 4, the Allies had stabilized the line. When the Germans launched an attack on June 9, the French held.

1918-05-27

1918-06-04

The Aisne (Blücher) Offensive, the Third German Drive of 1918 is part of Germany's 1918 Offensives on the Western Front.

Events within The Aisne (Blücher) Offensive, the Third German Drive of 1918 (1)

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Château Thierry