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 (1914-1918) WWI Battles    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/14/2017 5:45:55 AM
Crown Prince Rupprecht, wrote on July 20, “We stand at the turning point of the war: what I expected first for the autumn, the necessity to go over to the defensive, is already on us, and in addition all the gains which we made in the spring—such as they were—have been lost again.” Still, Erich Ludendorff, the German commander in chief, refused to accept this reality and rejected the advice of his senior commanders to pull back or begin negotiations.

Foch- Mastermind or Speculater ?????

Meanwhile, the Allies prepared for the war to stretch into 1919, not realizing victory was possible so soon. Thus, at a conference of national army commanders on July 24, Allied generalissimo Ferdinand Foch rejected the idea of a single decisive blow against the Germans, favoring instead a series of limited attacks in quick succession aimed at liberating the vital railway lines around Paris and diverting the attention and resources of the enemy rapidly from one spot to another.

According to Foch: “These movements should be exacted with such rapidity as to inflict upon the enemy a succession of blows….These actions must succeed each other at brief intervals, so as to embarrass the enemy in the utilization of his reserves and not allow him sufficient time to fill up his units.

The national commanders—John J. Pershing of the United States, Philippe Petain of France and Sir Douglas Haig of Britain—willingly went along with this strategy, which effectively allowed each army to act as its own entity, striking smaller individual blows to the Germans instead of joining together in one massive coordinated attack. Rawlinson laid out the British plan of attack-the French to attack on the southern flank of the British

Regards

Jim

---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/14/2017 11:12:08 AM
Previously this has been posted

"On 12 of July 1918 Foch proposed to Haig that the first offensive to be launched on the should be one starting from British front should be one starting from the front of Festubert -Rebecq.

Five days later Haig replied in a letter that advancing over marshy ground would not favour a tank battle.He opined that this operation should be expedited to the East and South east of Amiens by the British and the French should open their attack from Moreuil- Montdidier.He had already put in motion that Rawlinnson's 4th Army.Foch agreed and set out his plan of attack for the French assault

Prepared in great secret, with a major counter-intelligence operation to deceive the Germans as to the real location of Canadian and Australian ‘shock troops,’ the attack at Amiens would prove one of the most successful of the war.The attack opened in dense fog at 4:20 am on 8 August 1918..

Rawlinson's Fourth Army had, the British III Corps which attacked north of the Somme, the Australian Corps to the south of the river in the centre of Fourth Army's front, and the Canadian Corps to the south of the Australians.

The French 1st Army under General Debeney opened its preliminary bombardment at the same time, and began its advance 45 minutes later, supported by a battalion of 72 Whippet tanks.

Question is did Foch's proposal have any merit or was Foch looking after French interests ??"

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 2960

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/14/2017 10:58:02 PM
Hi Jim,

Gen. Foch was always just looking out for the French! WWI on the Western Front in 1918 was quite complicated!

Here is a day by day look of 1918 to the end in the Trenches! Good Topic!

[Read More]

Now all is quiet on the Western Front!
Cheers
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/15/2017 4:30:45 AM
Very much obliged Dave-- a very useful document.

uly 15-17, 1918 - The last German offensive of the war, the Marne-Reims Offensive, begins with a two-pronged attack around Reims, France, by 52 divisions. The Allies have been anticipating this battle and lie in wait.

The German attack to the east of Reims is crushed that day by the French. To the west of Reims, the advance is blocked by the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, followed by a successful French and American counter-attack.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5704

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/15/2017 12:36:47 PM

Quote:
Hi Jim,

Gen. Foch was always just looking out for the French! WWI on the Western Front in 1918 was quite complicated!

Here is a day by day look of 1918 to the end in the Trenches! Good Topic!

[Read More]

Now all is quiet on the Western Front!
Cheers
MD
--Michigan Dave


The link is a little skimpy on details.

Example: The monumental victory at the Battle of Amiens on Aug. 8 is given the same weight as any other event.


As for Foch, Dave, I am not sure what you meant when you said that he was, "just looking out for the French".

If he could be prickly to deal with. He was arrogant but he was also the allied commander in the closing months of the war. That appointment was not well received in some quarters in the UK. There were some who felt that Foch wanted to take over completely the conduct of the war and was willing to, "bleed Britain dry", to attain victory.

If so, the French hemorrhaged along with them.

He had his share of victories and catastrophes throughout the war but we should remember that he was the leader when the allies began pushing the Germans back.

We should remember too that France was the country that was invaded. They fought bravely and paid the price to repulse the invader.

Over 8 million mobilized, 1.3 million killed in combat, another 4.9 million wounded. Astounding numbers so I think it wise to remember that the French did not sit back and ask everyone else to fight for them though they were happy to have these allies.

I think of the Marne and Verdun when I wish to ponder the sacrifices of the French army.

As well, French troops worked with Americans in particular and I should think that they learned a lot from an army that had been at war for years.

The AEF depended upon the French for a lot of equipment and were, for the most part, used in support of French operations.

French instructors were also employed by the AEF I believe, as were British instructors. Pershing wanted well trained troops to arrive in France but there was still much to learn about combat in this war and the allies were willing to share.

Of course Foch was looking out for his country, France. Seems logical.

Cheers,

George




MikeMeech
UK
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E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 322

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/15/2017 1:10:41 PM

Quote:
Crown Prince Rupprecht, wrote on July 20, “We stand at the turning point of the war: what I expected first for the autumn, the necessity to go over to the defensive, is already on us, and in addition all the gains which we made in the spring—such as they were—have been lost again.” Still, Erich Ludendorff, the German commander in chief, refused to accept this reality and rejected the advice of his senior commanders to pull back or begin negotiations.

Foch- Mastermind or Speculater ?????

Meanwhile, the Allies prepared for the war to stretch into 1919, not realizing victory was possible so soon. Thus, at a conference of national army commanders on July 24, Allied generalissimo Ferdinand Foch rejected the idea of a single decisive blow against the Germans, favoring instead a series of limited attacks in quick succession aimed at liberating the vital railway lines around Paris and diverting the attention and resources of the enemy rapidly from one spot to another.

According to Foch: “These movements should be exacted with such rapidity as to inflict upon the enemy a succession of blows….These actions must succeed each other at brief intervals, so as to embarrass the enemy in the utilization of his reserves and not allow him sufficient time to fill up his units.

The national commanders—John J. Pershing of the United States, Philippe Petain of France and Sir Douglas Haig of Britain—willingly went along with this strategy, which effectively allowed each army to act as its own entity, striking smaller individual blows to the Germans instead of joining together in one massive coordinated attack. Rawlinson laid out the British plan of attack-the French to attack on the southern flank of the British

Regards

Jim


--anemone


Hi

It was at the end of June 1918 that Haig felt that 'larger scale' offensive operations could be undertaken by he BEF. The first of which was 'La Becque' on 28th June, the purpose of which was to advance the British line east of the Nieppe forest (an area suggested by Foch on 6th June).
The operation was undertaken by the British 5th Division (still 13 battalions strong as it had returned from Italy) and the 31st Division, using two brigades each, under command of XI Corps. Additions elements of artillery were added from the XV Corps and one 6 inch battery from the 61st Div. The 1st Australian Division on the left also laid down a barrage and smoke screen (and carried out a raid) as part of a deception plan to confuse the Germans as to the main front of the attack. The assaulting battalions had also used a model of the ground and enemy trenches to get a good idea of their tasks.
There was no preliminary bombardment, instead using a creeping barrage of artillery and MG fire moving at a rate of a hundred yards in four minutes.
The creeping barrage was very good and the troops followed it closely, the 5th Division evidently had the principle of being in the enemy trenches before the barrage lifted. They were in fact among the Germans before they got their MG's into action or even used their rifles!
British casualties were 72 Officers and 1,854 ORs with a high percentage wounded. The two divisions captured 7 officers and 432 ORs, 4 field guns plus mustard gas shells (fired back at the Germans the following day), 14 Trench mortars and 77 MGs. The British 92nd Brigade buried 135 enemy troops alone. The German units were the 32nd (Saxon) Division and 44th Reserve Division.
The British reported that there were no organized German counter-attacks, however, the Germans record they made two both brought to a standstill.
This was a successful attack, made without tanks, with good artillery/infantry co-operation. The RAF was very active and no German aeroplane was even seen until the afternoon.
Six days later the battle of Hamel was undertaken which was also successful.

Mike

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
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Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/15/2017 1:22:22 PM
Despite Foch being the initiator of the Master plan=seemingly and CinC
the Brits were notgoing to be pushed around as shown below


Quote:
On 12 of July 1918 Foch proposed to Haig that the first offensive to be launched on the should be one starting from British front should be one starting from the front of Festubert -Rebecq.

Five days later Haig replied in a letter that advancing over marshy ground would not favour a tank battle.He opined that this operation should be expedited to the East and South east of Amiens by the British and the French should open their attack from More/uil- Montdier
dier.


Haig had already put in motion that Rawlinnson's 4th Army.Foch agreed and set out his plan of attack for the French assault.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5704

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/15/2017 4:17:04 PM
Would it be incorrect to suggest that each allied army acted independently?

The Supreme War Council met in June of 1918. I thought that they hashed out any differences right there.

They discussed where the Americans could best be integrated and many were moved to the French sector.

And Foch and Haig continued to discuss and disagree on initiatives. But I thought that they were on board together with the Battle of Amiens.


Cheers,

George

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
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Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 3:35:06 AM

Quote:
According to Foch: “These movements should be exacted with such rapidity as to inflict upon the enemy a succession of blows….These actions must succeed each other at brief intervals, so as to embarrass the enemy in the utilization of his reserves and not allow him sufficient time to fill up his units.”

The national commanders—John J. Pershing of the United States, Philippe Petain of France and Sir Douglas Haig of Britain—willingly went along with this strategy, which effectively allowed each army to act as its own entity


Rehards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
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Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 4:20:12 AM
The 4th Army's attack would stretch from north of the Somme to north of the Luce with :-

British III Corps with 4 Infantry Divisions and 36 tanks being on the
northern flank.

The Australian Corps with 5 Infantry Disions and 108 MkV tanks were in the middle of the line.

The Canadian Corps with 4 Infantry Divisions and 108 Mk V tanks occupying the southern flank of the attack.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5704

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 6:39:57 AM

Quote:

Quote:
According to Foch: “These movements should be exacted with such rapidity as to inflict upon the enemy a succession of blows….These actions must succeed each other at brief intervals, so as to embarrass the enemy in the utilization of his reserves and not allow him sufficient time to fill up his units.”

The national commanders—John J. Pershing of the United States, Philippe Petain of France and Sir Douglas Haig of Britain—willingly went along with this strategy, which effectively allowed each army to act as its own entity


Rehards

Jim
--anemone


What is your source Jim? It's one analysis after all and I don't quite understand what it means.

Each national army was taking orders from its command but there was an overall strategy to the Final 100 Days, was there not.

It wasn't, "bugger you, we're going here and doing this", surely.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
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Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 7:01:34 AM
Hereunder th source that you asked for George


[Read More]

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5704

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 7:11:58 AM

Quote:
The Canadian Corps with 4 Infantry Divisions and 108 Mk V tanks occupying the southern flank of the attack.


The Battle of Amiens is a rightly famous one in the annals of Australian and Canadian war history because of the depth of penetration effected by these two Corps and the number of German prisoners taken.

The Canadians were not even in position until late on Aug. 7, 1918.

The Germans had come to believe that if the Canadians were active in a zone, then the British were planning a major attack.

It was the same with the Australians and so amassing Australian and Canadian troops together would have been a clear signal.

The Corps had been in the Vimy area to the north. The men were told to "keep your mouth shut" and notices posted with those exact words.

An elaborate ruse was used to fool the Germans into thinking that the Canadians were in Flanders. The ruse also indicated that perhaps Australians had moved north.


Quote:
Not wishing to signal an imminent attack, as the arrival on the front of the Canadians adjacent to the Australians surely would, elaborate deception measures were taken in order to give the impression to the Germans that the lines were being thinned instead of being prepared for an attack. Canadian officers on reconnaissance missions dressed in Australian uniform, and at Kemmel Hill in Flanders, the 27th Battalion and 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles staged a trench raid, leaving equipment and insignia in their wake to be identified as Canadian. Canadian Corps wireless messages were sent to establish a presence in the area, as well as two casualty clearing stations. In the meantime, 100,000 Canadians, with 20,000 horses and 1,000 guns moved as discretely as possible between 30 July and 3 August to a concentration area south of Amiens, with three of the four divisions crowding into a wood just two by three kilometres in area.


It was a pretty hasty move to get into position with units scrambling to be ready.


Quote:
Not permitted to establish their own supply dumps, the Canadian Corps struggled to move seven thousand tons of shells for their artillery and 10 million rounds of small-arms ammunition from distant British dumps before the start of the offensive; some units had to scavenge for grenades and rifle bullets from French units before Zero Hour despite Herculean efforts by Canadian service corps units.1


And so for the first time in the war, the full Australian and Canadian Corps lined up side by side on the battlefield and smashed the German defences.

I must note that the Australian officer who planned the attack, (memory fading, Bedel...., somebody help?) produced one that was detailed and brilliant.

The Canadians advanced 7 miles, the Australians 6 miles and the French to the right of the Canadians, advanced 5 miles.

The British Corps to the north of the Australians struggled to advance two miles but they had also been under heavy attack from the Germans in their assigned sector.

Battle of Amiens, a tremendous allied victory.


Cheers,

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5704

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 7:17:50 AM

Quote:
Hereunder th source that you asked for George


[Read More]

Regards

Jim
--anemone


OK, I think that I understand. There was an overall strategy Jim but it seems that national armies carried out their assignments by planning their own attacks.

I don't see anything wrong with acknowledging that the French and the British had to work together even if they didn't like each other.

So what were the objectives for each national army and when were they set?

I note also that Haig and Rawlinson disagreed on how ambitious the Aug. 8 attacks should be.

Haig, as was his wont, sought a massive breakout and expressed objectives that Rawlinson, a bite and hold proponent, disagreed with.

I don't think that we are really in disagreement here Jim.

Cheers,

George



anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 7:39:33 AM
The initial advance was not all plain sailing however
The offensive opened at 4:20 a.m. on August 8 and achieved immediate success. The troops and tanks advanced eight miles, capturing 400 guns and causing 27,000 casualties, including 12,000 prisoners.

In contrast, the spearhead of the attack, the Australians and Canadians, suffered but 6,500 casualtiesFurthermoe in Btitish III Cotps sector in the first phase, only two divisions attacked: the British 18th (Eastern) and 58th (2/1st London), the Australian 2nd and 3rd, and the Canadian 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions. Parts of the American 33rd Division supported the British attackers north of the Somme.

The success of the first day had been due to surprise, the drive and firepower of the infantry, the large number of tanks, and counterbattery dominance.

The offensive was resumed over the next three days, but disorganization and stiffening German resistance limited the advance, and Rawlinson was convinced to end the battle by the Canadian Corps commander, Arthur Currie.

Nevertheless, the offensive dealt a fatal blow to the German cause. For Ludendorff, “August 8th was the black day of the German Army in the history of the war.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

MikeMeech
UK
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Posts: 322

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 9:05:58 AM

Quote:
The initial advance was not all plain sailing however
The offensive opened at 4:20 a.m. on August 8 and achieved immediate success. The troops and tanks advanced eight miles, capturing 400 guns and causing 27,000 casualties, including 12,000 prisoners.

In contrast, the spearhead of the attack, the Australians and Canadians, suffered but 6,500 casualtiesFurthermoe in Btitish III Cotps sector in the first phase, only two divisions attacked: the British 18th (Eastern) and 58th (2/1st London), the Australian 2nd and 3rd, and the Canadian 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions. Parts of the American 33rd Division supported the British attackers north of the Somme.

The success of the first day had been due to surprise, the drive and firepower of the infantry, the large number of tanks, and counterbattery dominance.

The offensive was resumed over the next three days, but disorganization and stiffening German resistance limited the advance, and Rawlinson was convinced to end the battle by the Canadian Corps commander, Arthur Currie.

Nevertheless, the offensive dealt a fatal blow to the German cause. For Ludendorff, “August 8th was the black day of the German Army in the history of the war.

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Hi

The Canadian Corps part of the attack, under Currie's plan, meant that the 4th Canadian Division and the British 32nd Division became the front line force from the 10th August, passing through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions, so as to continue the attack. This coincided with increasing resistance from the Germans as the element of surprise had been lost.

Mike

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
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Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 9:20:25 AM
Thank you for the detail relating ti the Canasians Mike
Cannot find anything about initial French advances..Help anybody please

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5704

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 9:52:34 AM
French 1st Army under General Debeney did well. Debeney deployed shock troops of his own.

They advanced 8 km and took 7,000 prisoners.

Foch was a bit critical of Debeney for being too pleased with himself. He wanted more aggression.

But Debeney met with Rawlinson as the attacks petered out and agreed that they should call a halt. I presume that Foch must have agreed with that position.






Cheers,

George

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/16/2017 10:02:03 AM
Great George-just great- lashings of maps and details It wpuld certainly seem that the French had given good account of themselves.I liked the Debeney/Rawlinson rapport.Many thanks but Foch was not happy with as were the Brits and he was removed

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/18/2017 4:35:01 AM
I have to say at this point that French General Debeney was too leased with himself and the results of his advamce --mot so Fuch or Haig and he was subsequently replaced.The whole effort had to be resolute and hard headed.


Tegards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2960

Re: To Win the War on the Western Front in 1918
Posted on: 11/18/2017 5:54:16 PM
Quite an amazing story on Sargent Alvin York of Tennessee in 1918,

[Read More]

even making a movie starring Gary Cooper!

[Read More]

Kick back & enjoy this classic WWI Movie!
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

 (1914-1918) WWI Battles    
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