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The Aisne Offensive, the Third German Drive of 1918

Victory Monument commemorating the Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, an African-American unit that served in France reorganized as the 370th U.S. Infantry Regiment of the 93rd Division. The bronze sculpture is by Leonard Crunelle and was erected in 1927.
The regiment saw action at St. Mihiel, the Argonne Forest, Mont des Singes, and in the Oise-Aisne Offensive. The monument lists the names of the 137 soldiers of the regiment who lost their lives in the war.

Victory Monument commemorating the Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, an African-American unit that served in France reorganized as the 370th U.S. Infantry Regiment of the 93rd Division. The bronze sculpture is by Leonard Crunelle and was erected in 1927.
The regiment saw action at St. Mihiel, the Argonne Forest, Mont des Singes, and in the Oise-Aisne Offensive. The monument lists the names of the 137 soldiers of the regiment who lost their lives in the war. © 2013, John M. Shea

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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 Offensive, the Third German Drive of 1918 is part of Germany's 1918 Offensives on the Western Front.

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

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Château Thierry