BATTLES OF THE CHEMIN DES DAMES

 

The battles of the Chemin des Dames are generally defined for three dates - 16 April 1917, 23 October 1917 and May to November 1918.

 

We examine the April 1917 Nivelle offensive that he had heralded as a forthcoming victory but which ended in failure and with his dismissal. Many French soldiers mutinied and some were executed, though what had happened was kept secret for a long time.

 

The attack had involved around 1 million men, some 200 tanks and spotting and fighter aircraft. Unfortunately, the Germans knew that it was coming.

 

The Kaiser sent a message to the Crown Prince of Bavaria  commanding the German defenders,

'The great French infantry attack is hourly awaited ... all Germany is expectantly watching her brave sons ...my thoughts are with them'.

 

The whole sad story is told in our Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Western Front-South