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Battle of Bapaume 1918

Updated: Mar 30

24th -25th March 1918

First Battle of Bapaume (Second phase of First Somme 1918) involving the 63rd Division.

Operation Michael (German: Unternehmen Michael) was a major German military offensive during the First World War that began the German Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918. It was launched from the Hindenburg Line, in the vicinity of Saint-Quentin, France. Its goal was to break through the Allied (Entente) lines and advance in a north-westerly direction to seize the Channel Ports, which supplied the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), and to drive the BEF into the sea.

 Two days later General Erich Ludendorff, the chief of the German General Staff, adjusted his plan and pushed for an offensive due west, along the whole of the British front north of the River Somme. This was designed to first separate the French and British Armies before continuing with the original concept of pushing the BEF into the sea.

The offensive ended at Villers-Bretonneux, to the east of the Allied communications centre at Amiens, where the Allies managed to halt the German advance.

The German armies suffered many casualties and were unable to maintain supplies to the advancing troops. The battle field was the difficult terrain fought over in the Somme battles of 1916 and the Germans lost momentum when the hungry troops liberated British food dumps. The failure to achieve their objectives saw the Pendulum swing to the Allies.

24 Royal Marines were killed during this battle.

Related Royal Marines 'Dits'

References/ read More

Wikipedia - Operation Michael

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