The last German offensive that almost won the war in the west
By the fourth year of the Great War on the Western Front the protagonists knew that established assault tactics could not be depended upon to deliver battlefield victories or, indeed, long endure. Time and attrition was on the side of the Allies, for the German homeland was hard pressed and suffering. The Allied cause was not challenged geographically, in materiel or logistically since the U-Boat menace was being defeated in the Atlantic and decisive military support from the United States America was at hand. The introduction of battle tanks meant an imminent end to the dominance of trenches. To prevail Germany needed to deliver an innovative, swift and encompassing attack solution which would decisively breach the enemy’s lines and surge onwards to Paris, thus forcing a cessation of hostilities from a position of strength. In March of 1918 this German assault began and was initially so successful that Allied lines buckled and armies reeled back in disarray, falling back towards positions they had last held in 1914. The Ludendorff Offensive—named for its innovator—in the Spring of 1918, also called the Kaiser’s Battle (Kaiserschlacht) was the final initiative for imperial Germany—and one that very nearly succeeded. How it was conceived, implemented, opposed and halted is detailed here, supported by many maps, illustrations and photographs, by John Buchan. A companion volume, ‘1918—Catastrophe to Victory—the Allied Hundred Days Offensive’ by the same author, which describes the battles which concluded the First World War in the West, is also available from Leonaur.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket; our hardbacks are cloth bound and feature gold foil lettering on their spines and fabric head and tail bands.