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The EK1

The beginning of the year and peace seemed to be on the horizon. President Wilson had announced his 14 Points. In Brest Litowsk the Soviets were discussing peace terms with the Germans and their allies when the cry for help from the Ukraine came. The Germans and allies attacked taking and occupying large areas of Russian soil and the Ukraine, which she needed to feed the population back in Germany. In Finland the Germans fought to free the country from the Red Guard. In spite of the peace treaty signed with the Russians, the German High Command found it prudent to leave 40 divisions on the Eastern Front to assure the peace.

The outcome of the war was going to be found on the Western Front, it was here that the Germans counted on finally breaking through.

It happened with three armies at the beginning of Spring between the Scarpe and the Oise. Initially the breakthrough achieved more than the Germans could have hoped for. The fate of the allies seemed to be assured, but then they succeeded in stopping the attackers before they reached Amiens, whose possession was of great importance to the success of the offensive. Arras had also proved to be too tough a nut to crack. The March offensive "The Kaiserschlacht" came to an end. It had failed to achieve its goals although it had badly battered the British Army.

Hindenburg and Ludendorff tried once again to beat the British Army by attacking again, this time in Flanders. Once again exciting initial successes including the capture of the famous Kemmelberg, but once again also a failure as the breakthrough to the sea was not achieved.

The offensive at Soissons and Rheims was intended to be a diversion. It suprised the French and British defenders on the Chemin des Dames who had incorrectly assumed it could not be taken. The Germans not only took it, but their centre pushed forward to the Marne. Only on the flanks did their offensive bog down.

The Germans prepared for a second offensive in the Champagne in mid July, a final breakthrough. It was a dismal failure and was followed a few days later by a successful Allied counter-offensive in the Soissons region. From here on lady luck turned her back on the Germans. The pressure and sacrifice of four years of war had had an effect on the soldiers. When the Allied tank squadrons attacked at Amiens on the 8th of August the German defenders were no longer able to fight and hold. The high command managed to plug the gap with reserves but already the allies were rupturing the German front at other points; by Noyon and Soissons, between Bapaume and Albert. The German front began to crumble and pull back into the Siegfried Line. The St Mihiel pocket then fell to the Americans.

The Turks and Bulgarians lost heart when they saw the stuation on the Western Front and the German troops in the Middle East and Serbia began to make their way home.

In the Siegfried Line the Germans fought to gain time but they had to give ground during Foch's offensive, pulling back further. At this time peace feelers were already out. After the collapse of Austria the German Army was left fighting for its honour, nothing more. (At this point the "Kriegskalender" has a paragraph about the treachery of the politicians and the dishonour forced on the German people at Versailles.... the interest of this site ends in the trenches, the politics are for other people to discuss).

Operation Michael, otherwise known as the "Kaiserschlacht" or "The big battle for France".

This section is divided into four sections. The first is the preparation, then 1) Northern Wing (17th Army), 2) The Middle (2nd Army), and 3) Southern Wing (18th Army).

Kaiserschlacht: The preparation.

Kaiserschlacht: The Northern Wing
Kaiserschlacht: The Middle
Kaiserschlacht: The Southern Wing

The maps of the Michael Offensive

The German advance (21st of March to the 26th of March)
The German advance (25th of March to 04th of April)

Operation Archangel: Securing the Southern flank of "Michael"

The assault on the Amigny heights, crossing the Oise at Chauny, the attack on Coucy le Chateau and the chase to the Oise-Aisne canal.

Archangel:6th to 9th of April

On the Avre: Securing the Southern flank of "Michael"

Heavy fighting took place on the Avre between Montdidier and Noyon as the 18th Army fought to hold its Southern flank after the Kaiserschlacht.

On the Avre: 7th of April to 8th of June

"Georgette" The battle on the Lys (the Fall of Armentiers and the attack on the Kemmel).

Georgette: von Quasts offensive to the South of Armentiers

Georgette: Sixt von Arnims offensive to the North of Armentiers and the drive for the Kemmel.

The "Blücher Offensive" or Die Schlacht bei Soissons und Reims

The 7th Army storms the Chemin des Dames, crosses the Aisne canal in what looks to be the big breakthrough.

Blücher: 27th of May storming the Chemin des Dames
Blücher: 28th of May to the 13th of June

Marne-Champagne offensive
The Defensive fighting between Soissons and Reims and between the Marne and Vesle