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Germany's 1918 Offensives on the Western Front

An aerial observer or pilot in flight helmet and overcoat reports to a German General and his staff at a division's combat headquarters on March 21, 1918, the first day of Operation Michael, Germany's spring offensive, the first of five German drives in 1918.
Text:
Reverse (handwritten):
21. 3. 18.
Division Combat HQ

An aerial observer or pilot in flight helmet and overcoat reports to a German General and his staff at a division's combat headquarters on March 21, 1918, the first day of Operation Michael, Germany's spring offensive, the first of five German drives in 1918.

Image text

Reverse (handwritten):

21. 3. 18.

Division Combat HQ

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The five German drives on the Western Front in 1918 were a last attempt to win the war before the number of American troops overwhelmed Germany's defenses. Even though General Ludendorff saw the first of his drives fail — Operation Michael, an offensive on the Somme that he believed was his last chance for victory — he continued with a total of four more offensives: Operation Georgette (the Lys Offensive), the Aisne Offensive, the Noyon-Montdidier Offensive, and the Champagne-Marne Offensive, the last ending on July 17.

Although the Allies suffered heavily in German advances that at first replicated those of 1914, the offensive necessarily removed the German troops from their entrenched positions, and restored the war of movement. The offensives again threatened Paris which was subjected to German bombardment.

Germany's success convinced the Allies of the need for a coordinated command structure and led to the appointment of French General Ferdinand Foch as Commander in Chief of the Allied Armies in France on April 14.

1918-03-21

1918-07-17

Events within Germany's 1918 Offensives on the Western Front (5)

Click to View Start Date End Date
Operation Michael - the Somme Offensive 1918-03-21 1918-04-05
Operation Georgette - the Lys Offensive 1918-04-09 1918-04-29
Aisne Offensive 1918-05-27 1918-06-04
Noyon-Montdidier Offensive 1918-06-09 1918-06-13
Champagne-Marne Offensive 1918-07-15 1918-07-17