June 1918: The High Tide

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Looking at a map of the Western Front a hundred years ago would have been depressing for a supporter of the Allied cause.  The Germans were only 39 miles from Paris, and they had made huge gains in Flanders and Northern France since the beginning of the year.  However, the German losses in assault troops were immense and the momentum of the offensives could not be maintained long enough to prove decisive.  This week a hundred years agp the Germans would begin Operation Gneisenau and make an impressive gain of nine miles along the Matz River.  An impromptu French counter-offensive at Compiegne on June 11 under French General Charles Mangin, however, brought the German offensive to an abrupt end after two days.  The Germans had one more offensive scheduled for July 1918.  If that did not bring them victory, the fortunes of war would swing to the Allies.

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