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Osprey Campaign 11 : Kaiserschlacht 1918 : The Final German Offensive

The entry of the USA into World War One spelt disaster for Imperial Germany. The massive superiority in men and materials which the Americans could provide meant that if Germany had any chance of winning the war she must do so quickly. Randal Gray describes how, using special 'Stormtrooper' units and high-mobility tactics, the Germans shattered the frontline, broke into open country and came within a hair's breadth of winning the war. Randal Gray shows how the armies of 1918 had more in common with those of the 1939-42 Blitzkrieg era than to their immediate 1914 forbears. He explains the new German tactics and shows how Ludendorff used them to good effect in his Operation 'Michael' or Kaiserschlacht: a blow by blow account is given of the daily events of the battle. Finally, the outcome of the battle is investigated: although the British suffered (according to that army's official history) 177,739 casualties, they could replace their losses in both men and material far more easily than the Germans could. Furthermore, the serious threat that the German offensive presented scared the Allies into a more efficient unified command: although at first glance the Kaiserschlacht was Germany's greatest success of the First World War, in fact its ultimate failure consigned Germany to inevitable defeat.

    Contents
  • The Origins of the Battle
  • The Opposing Commanders
  • The Opposing Armies
  • Kaiserschlacht 1918 - The Battle
  • Balance Sheet and Aftermath
  • The Battlefield Today
  • Chronology
  • A Guide to Further Reading
  • Wargaming Kaiserschlacht

 

Osprey Campaign


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