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Operation Georgette - the Lys Offensive

Tulips among the headstones in the Portuguese Cemetery in Neuve Chapelle, France. Portugal joined the Entente Allies in 1917. They were on the front line in %+%Event%m%97%n%Operation Georgette%-%, the German Lys Offensive, the second German drive of 1918. The Cemetery is across a field from the Indian Memorial. Nearby is the Laventie German Cemetery.

Tulips among the headstones in the Portuguese Cemetery in Neuve Chapelle, France. Portugal joined the Entente Allies in 1917. They were on the front line in Operation Georgette, the German Lys Offensive, the second German drive of 1918. The Cemetery is across a field from the Indian Memorial. Nearby is the Laventie German Cemetery. © 2014 by John M. Shea

Image text

On each headstone

Portugal

1917 1918

Other views: Front, Left Side

After the failure of his Operation Michael in March, German commander Ludendorff launched his second drive of 1918, Operation Georgette, the Lys Offensive with two German Armies facing two British armies support by Portuguese divisions.

On April 9, shielded by fog, the German offensive began with nine divisions attacking two British divisions and one Portuguese. At Neuve Chapelle, the Portuguese broke, and the attackers advanced up to three miles.

The next day, and to the north, a second German army attacked. By April 11, the Germans had advanced five miles on a front 30 miles wide.

April 12, with German forces continuing their advance, British commander Douglas Haig rallied his troops, “With our backs to the wall . . .” The British began to steady their line even as they withdrew.

Ludendorff had no reserves, and drew upon troops from elsewhere. By the time he launched renewed attacks on April 25 and 29, French reinforcements had strengthened the defense.

King Albert's Belgian Army.

German forces captured Armentières, but Ludendorff ended his offensive on April 29.

1918-04-09

1918-04-29

Operation Georgette - the Lys Offensive is part of Germany's 1918 Offensives on the Western Front.