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Lys Offensive (Hardback)

April 1918

WWI British History Flanders 1918

By Andrew Rawson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781526723369
Published: 31st March 2018


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This is an account of the British Expeditionary Force’s defensive battle in Flanders during April 1918. It begins with the planning for Operation Georgette, the second German offensive of the year. The attack on 9 April penetrated up to 6 miles on a 20 mile wide front across the Lys plain but further attacks resulted in the evacuation of the town of Armentières.

For three weeks First Army and Second Army fought to stem the onslaught as GHQ struggled to find reserves to help them. The situation became so desperate that Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig had to issue his famous ‘backs to the walls’ order on 11 April.

Reinforcements stopped the Germans reaching Hazebrouck rail centre but they could not stop them reaching Bailleul. The French helped stem the tide but the battle climaxed with the loss of the Kemmelberg and the Scherpenberg, the two highest hills in Flandees.

Each stage of the battle is given equal treatment, with detailed insights into the most talked about side of the campaign, the British side. Fifty maps chart the day by day progress of each corps on each day. This is an insight into the BEF’s experience during this campaign. The men who made a difference are mentioned; those who led the advances, those who stopped the counter-attacks and those who were awarded the Victoria Cross. Discover the Cambrai campaign and learn how the British Army’s brave soldiers fought and died fighting to achieve their objectives.

As featured 'ON THE SHELF'

Wargames Illustrated, March 2018
 Andrew Rawson

About Andrew Rawson

Andrew Rawson is a freelance writer who has written over twenty-five military history books. He has written eight books for Pen & Sword’s ‘Battleground Europe’ series and three reference books for The History Press ‘Handbook’ series. He has edited Eyes Only: The Top Secret Correspondence between Marshall and Eisenhower and Organizing Victory: The War Conferences 1941–1945. He has also written a campaign volume of the British Army’s battles in 1914, 1915 and 1916. He has a master’s degree with Birmingham University’s history department. Andrew lives in Mallorca, Spain.

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