Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Germany's Offensive on West Opens -- March 21, 2018

Bemidji Daily Pioneer, 22-March-1918
The German Army began its Spring Offensive on 21-March-1918 with Operation Michael.  The Germans wanted to strike a heavy blow and settle the war before American soldiers and industrial production became fully available in Europe.  In Operation Michael, Erich Ludendorff sent his troops against the British in an attempt to break through to the English Channel. The Germans used stormtrooper tactics on a large scale. The Germans broke through the British front line and made long advances, but faltered as their troops tired and they outran their supply lines.  



Berlin Reports Success.

Berlin, March 22. -- (Official) -- The Germans stormed broad sectors from a point southeast of Arras, southward to Lafere, and everywhere captured first line enemy trenches.

"Holding." Say British.

With the British armies afield, March 22. --
British troops are holding the Germans everywhere and driving them back in some places. The enemy has not reached a single objective.

(By William Phillip Simms)
United Press Correspondent

With the British armies afield, March 22. -- British troops, with their customary coolness, bobbed up after the German barrage of gas shells and high explosives at the starting of the big enemy attack and met the first rush wearing gas masks and machine gunning the first advancing waves of the invaders.

Hand-to-hand fighting is not frequent. It is too early to state whether, this is the. herald demanded of the offensive.

Berlin Bombardment.

London, March 22. -- The Germans shortly before dawn yesterday morning began a heavy bombardment over a wide section of the British front, it is announced officially.

The statement follows:

"A heavy bombardment was opened by the enemy shortly before dawn this morning against our whole front from the neighborhood of Vendeuil, south of St. Quentin, to the River Scarpe.

"A successful raid was carried out by us last night in the neighborhood of St. Quentin. Thirteen prisoners and three machine guns were brought back by our troops. Prisoners also were taken by us in patrol encounters southeast of Messines and in another successful raid carried out by us south of Houtholst forest.

"A raid undertaken by the enemy in the neighborhood of Armentieres was repulsed."

Sammies "Over" Again.

With the American armies afield, March 22. -- American troops at dawn this morning went over the top in a wooded and fog shrouded sector for the second time within twelve hours and entered the German second line trenches. They were accompanied by French units.


British Are Holding
(By United Press)

London, March 22 --
General Haig today reported, "We hold the enemy in our battle positions."

Editor's note: Battle positions are defenses directly behind the first line trenches. This would indicate that German preparations were limited.

Start of Offensive.

Washington, March 22. -- Germany's big offensive bombardment and attacks on the west front are generally regarded here as the starting of the long advertised major offensive. Military men are not discouraged on account the offensive met partial success at the outset. They cite the British have not yet ascertained just what the Germans intend doing.

Berlin is Quiet.

Berlin, March 22. -- News that the big west front drive had begun was received here quietly. Herr von Stelner, Austrian war minister here, promises that the Austrians would hold the eastern front and furnish a few troops and many guns for the west front. A few Bulgarians are on the west front.

Mav Mean War.

Washington, March 22. -- Berlin reports that Bulgarians are fighting on the west front. If so it may lead the United States immediately declaring war upon Bulgaria. Officials think only a few Bulgars are on the west front and may fight only the British. If they face the Americans it means war with the United States. It may mean that they are Maygars instead of Bulgars.

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