June 1918: Germans at the Gates of Paris


As June dawned a hundred years ago, the crisis of the War was unfolding for the Allies.  The offensive code named Operation Blucher undertaken at the end of May had been a success with the Germans now only thirty-nine miles from Paris at Belleau Wood.  The French government began planning for the evacuation of government officials and offices to Bordeaux.  The Germans were now back on the river Marne where they had been repulsed in 1914.  Having taken 50,000 French troops prisoners, the German offensive initiated a sense of panic in Paris, exacerbated by random bombardment of the City of Lights by German long range guns.  The iron dice of war were rolling and the situation was in flux after four years of stasis on the Western Front.

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  1. A number of years ago we owned a farmhouse in Virginia that was built in 1820. In it we found an old newspaper clipping reporting Germans advancing on Paris. At first I thought it was from World War II. Then I read about Ludendorff and Hindenburg and realized it was from 1918.

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