Second Battle Of The Marne

By mid-July the Spring Offensives had all been halted, with both sides mauled. The Allied forces had suffered very roughly half a million casualties over the course of the offensives, with the Germans also suffering equal, or perhaps slightly greater, losses. Worse for the Germans, after four years of attritional warfare there simply was no way to recoup those losses - World War 1 had by now literally bled the German Empire dry. The German High Command predicted that they needed 200,000 men per month to recoup their losses, but even if the next annual class of 18 year olds were drafted, only 300,000 recruits were available over the whole year.

After it was clear that the Spring Offensive had not delivered decisive victory, Ludendorff, even now, was determined not to give up. A huge diversionary attack was planned at the Marne River, with the goal of luring British forces from the northern edge of the front to the south in preparation for an assault on Flanders.

What would become the Second Battle of the Marne began on the 15th July, 1918, when forty German divisions made their diversionary attack across the Marne River. However, overuse of Hutiers stormtrooper tactics had led the Allies to develop defences. Defence in depth was by now adopted across the line, making it difficult for stormtroopers to surround the front line in the face of strong reserves, and troops were no longer massed in the front line to be annihilated by concentrated German artillery, and so the advances made by the Germans were nothing like the spectacular successes of the spring.

http://www.firstworldwar.com/maps/graphics/maps_65_german_drives_4_(1600).jpg

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.