Operation Mars

Montdidier, 40 miles from the starting line of the German offensive, fell on the 27th, and the German offensive continued to grind on towards Amiens. However, constant Allied counterattacks and increasing Allied resistance, along with the very real logistical difficulties involved in adequately supplying the army over the fifty miles of completely destroyed ground that the offensive had captured caused the German offensive to finally falter, and the morale of the undernourished German troops fell to new lows. The drive on Amiens was finally halted at Villers-Bretonneaux, ten miles away.

It appeared that Ludendorff had made a mistake by widening the objectives of the offensive, thus spreading the attack too widely. By now the casualties on both sides had become enormous, 240,000 Allied losses, and a slightly larger number of German casualties, mostly from the hard to replace stormtrooper units. In an attempt to salvage the situation, Ludendorff opened Operation Mars, the attempt to capture Arras, with what was left of his reserves.

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