1918 The German Offensives (Images of War) by John Sheen

By John Sheen

In March 1918 the German military introduced a sequence of offensives that introduced them very with reference to successful the battle. army photographers their strengthen and took many pictures of the operations as they stepped forward. this is often the battle visible from the German viewpoint, British and French squaddies lie lifeless at the battlefield, and Allied prisoners are escorted to the rear, because the German Artillery pound away overlaying the improvement of the Feldgrau.

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Infantry move across a bridge over the Aisne Canal that has been taken intact; this greatly assisted the forward movement of the German troops. This artillery ammunition dump, with overhead cover for the shells, was taken before the retreating troops could set fire to it. A severely wounded German soldier is carried on a stretcher to the field dressing station; after delivering the wounded man the prisoners will be taken to the collecting point, in order to be taken further back. On the Chemin des Dames, worn out British prisoners rest on the side of the road watching a heavily laden German supply column move forward.

Then two prisoners taken by the French XI Corps confirmed that an attack was imminent. At 0100 hours on 27 May the barrage was opened all along a thirty-eight kilometre front from Berr au Bac to Chavignon. Over 1,000 artillery batteries took part in the firing. The tactics of the barrage were changed so that in the first ten minutes every gun and trench mortar fired gas shells at the highest rate of fire, at every target possible, spreading as far back as the British divisional headquarters. After this ten minute barrage the batteries changed to a mixture of high explosive and gas, whilst the trench mortars concentrated on the destruction of the British forward defences.

A column of infantry move forward towards the line past a deep mine or shell crater. St Quentin, March 1918: on the left a light artillery battery moves up, whilst on the right an infantry unit takes a well-earned rest. In the rear another column is forming up ready to march. On the extreme right a cavalryman, possibly employed on traffic control or working as a messenger, stands holding his horse by the bridle. The museum in St Quentin, badly damaged by allied artillery fire: a propaganda coup for the Germans.

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