Marne Counteroffensive

With the Germans having ultimately failed in their efforts to break through, Ferdinand Foch, the Allied Supreme Commander, authorised a counter-offensive on 18 July, launching 24 divisions of the French army alone, in addition to U.S., British and Italian troops and some 350 tanks.

His aim was to eliminate the large German salient among the French lines. In this he was entirely successful. Mangin's French Tenth Army, and Degoutte's Sixth Army led the attack, advancing five miles on the first day alone. Berthelot's French Fifth Army and Eben's Ninth Army meanwhile launched subsidiary attacks in the west.

On 20 July the Germans ordered a retreat; by 3 August they were back where they had started at the launch of the great spring 1918 offensive: at the Aisne-Vesle rivers. The Allied counter-offensive was finally halted on 6 August by the now solidly entrenched Germans. As a consequence of the disastrous result in the Marne, Ludendorff's planned Flanders offensive was initially postponed, then entirely cancelled. No further large-scale attempt to win the war was undertaken by the Germans. Initiative passed to the Allies - and was retained, until the end of the war.

The Second Battle of the Marne:
French casualties 95,000
British casualties 13,000
US casualties 12,000
German casualties 168,000

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