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Noyon-Montdidier Offensive — the Fourth German Drive

Folding postcard relief map looking north from the River Aisne to the Oise Canal, from Compiègne to Soissons, and from Noyon to St. Gobain, France. A hand drawn arrow indicates Pimprez, marked with an 'X'.
Reverse:
Cards number 2101 (left/west) and 2102 (right/east). Kunst-u. Verlagsanstalt Schaar & Dathe, Komm.-Ges. a. Akt, Trier.

Folding postcard relief map looking north from the River Aisne to the Oise Canal, from Compiègne to Soissons, and from Noyon to St. Gobain, France. A hand drawn arrow indicates Pimprez, marked with an 'X'.

Image text

Reverse:

Cards number 2101 (left/west) and 2102 (right/east). Kunst-u. Verlagsanstalt Schaar & Dathe, Komm.-Ges. a. Akt, Trier.

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At the beginning of 1918, Ludendorff had aimed to defeat the British by separating them from the French, then driving them back to the Channel. Both Operation Michael, the Somme Offensive, and Operation Georgette, the Lys Offensive, had failed, in part because French reinforcements had supported the British. To draw the French back from the British line, and to prevent them from again reinforcing it, Ludendorff launched his Aisne Offensive. Its success far exceeded his limited aims, and left his forces only 56 miles from Paris. The French, supported by American troops newly in the line, stabilized the line by June 4.

Ludendorff's next offensive was along a line north and south of the Oise River. The German Eighteenth Army under General Hutier held the line north of the Oise from Montdidier to Noyon. On their left, south of the Oise, was the Seventh Army (Boehn) along the Aisne. Two French armies faced the Germans, the Third Army (Humbert) north of the Oise and Tenth Army (Mangin) to the south.

German morale was crumbling, and deserters gave the French details of the impending offensive.

Ten minutes before the Germans began their preparatory barrage on June 9, the French began a counter-barrage. The Germans attacked the French along the line from Noyon to Montdidier, advancing seven kilometers on a 25-kilometer front, and an additional five kilometers on the 10th. But six French reserve divisions entered the battle on June 9 and an additional five on the 10th, and on June 11, French and American troops counter-attacked. The next day, on June 12, the German Seventh Army attacked along the Aisne, making some headway.

But the French, with American support, held. Ludendorff halted his offensive on June 13. General Pétain began to see an end to the endless war.

1918-06-09

1918-06-13

Noyon-Montdidier Offensive — the Fourth German Drive is part of Germany's 1918 Offensives on the Western Front.