At 9.30am on 21 March 1918, the last great battle of the First World War commenced when three German armies struck a massive blow against the weak divisions of the British Third and Fifth Armies. It was the first day of what the Germans called the Kaiserschlacht ('the Kaiser's Battle'), the series of attacks that were intended to break the deadlock on the Western Front, knock the British Army out of the war, and finally bring victory to Germany.
In the event the cost of the gamble was so heavy that once the assault faltered, it remained for the Allies to push the exhausted German armies back and the War was at last over.Critics accounts:The clever blending of written and oral accounts from some 650 surviving British and German soldiers makes the book an extremely convincing reconstruction. SUNDAY TIMESMr Middlebrook's industry and patience are displayed in his amazing collection of eyewitness accounts, the compassion in his commentary, the good sense in his analysis' DAILY TELEGRAPH
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 430 pages, Illustrations, maps
- Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 15/02/2007
- Category: European history
- ISBN: 9781844154982
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Review by mgreenla
History of the first day of the 1918 German spring offensive. Middlebrook did a great job with pulling together eyewitness accounts of the events of the first day. As other reviewers have pointed out this approach does not give the fully story of the "Kaiserschlacht" as the first day was overall rather successful for the Germans. It was the inability of the German forces eventually to keep pace and exploit those successes that lead to the stopping of the offensive, and the beginning of the long retreat leading to November and the end of the war. Would be a good choice to go along with another work that covers the spring offensive as a whole.