The Battle for Flanders: German Defeat on the Lys 1918


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The retreat to Estairs was effectively inevitable due to the disparity in size between the two forces. The Portuguese were largely blamed by the British commanders for the retreat, particularly by General Horne placed all the blame for the defeat on the Portuguese writing in his report that the Portuguese troops failed to offer any serious resistance and that the British troops were much hampered by their retreat of the Portuguese.

The Germans broke through on nearly 10 miles 15 km of front and advanced up to 5 miles 8 km on the first day, reaching Estaires on the River Lys. Whilst 74th Infantry Brigade were moving towards the crossings, advance German units had already crossed the Lys and were occupying Croix du Bac and La Boudrelle.

At Sailly-sur-la-Lys, 3rd Worcestershire Regiment were in danger of being outflanked so also withdrew to join 11th Lancashire Fusiliers and form a defensive position at Le Sequenteau.


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Engaged throughout the day on 10th April, 11th Lancashire Fusiliers put up a desperate fight in Steenwerck before the two battalions fell back to form another defensive line north of the town. Where they were joined by 9th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. At A sharp fight followed, the 74th Infantry Brigade making headway into the village before, around Forming up on the former defensive line, most of it was held by 3rd Worcestershire Regiment, the other two battalions being reduced to only a few survivors. Initially Foch was unwilling to send reinforcements but on April 14th he did just this.

Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement.

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Perhaps more important was the arrival of reinforcements in the shape of the 5th and 33rd British Divisions and the 1st Australian Division. Despite this help, Plumer was forced to withdraw from the Passchendaele Ridge.

On 25 th April the Germans achieved their last major successes of the battle, capturing Mount Kemmel. A final attack on 29 th April captured another high point, the Scherpenberg, but the general progress of the attack on 29 th April convinced Ludendorff to call off the offensive.

Battle of the Lys (1918)

The Battle of Lys cost the Germans dearly in terms of men lost. While the arrival of thousands of US troops boosted Allied manpower, the Germans could not afford such losses despite men arriving from the Eastern Front. The outcome of the Great War hung in the balance. After the successful German offensive on the Somme, their breakthrough on the Lys threatened Ypres and the British hold on Flanders and brought them close to victory on the Western Front.

The Allied line was broken? Yet, as Chris Baker shows in this compelling account, the declining force of the German attack revealed deficiencies in material, organisation and morale that led to their ultimate defeat. A chartered engineer by profession and formerly a director of several management consulting firms, Chris now concentrates on his military research business, fourteeneighteen.

He is a member and honorary research fellow of the University of Birmingham? The Journal of the Western Front Association.

The Battle of the Lys 1918

This hole is the story of the German 'Georgette' offensive of April and Chris Baker's first book has helped immeasurably resolve this Western Front Association, D. History of war website.. Mark Marsay.

Objective Hazebrouck The German offensive in Flanders in April came close to catastrophe for the British Armies, but ultimately ended in… Available in the following formats: Paperback ePub Kindle. Available in the following formats: Paperback ePub Kindle. Available in the following formats: ePub Hardback Kindle.

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The Battle of the Lys North : Chris Baker :

Available in the following formats: Kindle Paperback ePub. Available in the following formats: Paperback Hardback ePub Kindle. Available in the following formats: Paperback. Registered in England No.


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