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Fifth Army
Active First World War
1914–1918
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Army
Engagements First World War
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Sir Hubert Gough

The Fifth Army was a field army of the British Army during World War I and part of the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War.

First World War[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

The Fifth Army was created on 30 October 1916 by renaming the British Reserve Army of General Sir Hubert Gough[1] and as such it fought the Battle of the Ancre which became the final British effort in the Battle of the Somme.

In 1917 the Fifth Army was involved in the Battle of Arras and then the Third Battle of Ypres.

In 1918 the Fifth Army took over a stretch of front-line previous occupied by the French south of the River Somme and on 21 March bore the brunt of the opening phase of the German Spring Offensive, known as Operation Michael.[1] The failure of the Fifth Army to withstand the German advance led to Gough's dismissal and the disbanding of the broken army. In April and May 1918, the Fifth Army was nominally commanded by General Sir William Peyton,[2] but when it was reformed as an army some months later, its command was given to General William Birdwood; it saw little action in the remainder of the war.

Commanders[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The British Armies of 1914-1918
  2. William Eliot Peyton at the web site of the CENTRE FOR FIRST WORLD WAR STUDIES online at bham.ac.uk (accessed 19 January 2008)

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