The German Army in the Spring Offensives 1917 (Kindle)
Arras, Aisne and Champagne
'It would be impossible to offer other than the highest recommendation for this book' - Stand To!
After the great battles of 1916, the Allied Armies planned to launch massive attacks North and South of the Somme. The German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917 forced the new French CinC General Nivelle to rethink and the French embarked on a major attack in the Aisne area and along the Chemin des Dames, with the British conducting large scale diversionary operations around Arras.
The French suffered disastrously and, rendered incapable of further offensive operations, it fell to the British to step up the pressure, which they did albeit at a terrible price.
This latest work by expert Jack Sheldon describes the event of Spring 1917 from the defenders' perspective. In particular it reveals the methods the Germans used to smash the French attacks and Oberst Fritz von Lossberg's transformation of the defences in the Arras front. Actions described in detail are the bitter battles around Monchy Le Preun, the Roeux Chemical works and Bullecourt as well as the capture of Vimy Ridge.
At the end of each chapter are references, thus providing instant access to the authors research route. Each chapter section on the various campaigns is top and tailed with an overview of the key strategic aspect, with the intertwining of soldiers experience in between. The bibliography itself is fascinating bringing out the breadth and depth of archival sources which this author continually has at his disposal. An very useful Appendix at the back of the book provides selective biographical notes of some of the key people referred to within the text.Jon Sandison
As featured inStand To! Journal of the Western Front Association
This volume of Jack Sheldon's highly detailed series of books on the German Army in the Great War follows his usual effective model - employing the clear writing and knowledge learned from dogged, detailed research which he has effectively deployed in each of the previous six volumes on the German Army on the Western Front.Stand To! Western Front Assc No.108
It would be impossible to offer other than the highest recommendation for this book.
In a sense, Jack Sheldon takes no prisoners, for after the briefest of introductions we are right down in the dugouts, trenches and shell holes of Vimy Ridge and are reading of (for many readers, I am sure) unfamiliar units and names. And to a great extent there he stays, providing us with a detailed and vivid account of the battles on three deadly fronts.The research is breathtaking, the assembly of the story is masterful. The narrative is not easy to follow and I found myself tracking back and re-reading in places, but that is due to the fine detail with which we are provided, rather than any flaw in the writing.The Long, Long Trail
Another terrific work, well worth reading and one that will remain on my shelf as a reference.
This publication is an incredibly moving and powerful account of the military actions in the theatres of Arras, Aisne, and Champagne during the bloody Spring Offensives of 1917.Pennant