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German Spring Offensive, 1918
Part of the Western Front of World War I
Western front 1918 german.jpg
German gains in 1918
Date21 March – 18 July 1918
LocationNorthern France; West Flanders, Belgium
Result Tactical German success
Operational/Strategic German failure
Belligerents

 German Empire

  •  Baden
  •  Bavaria
  •  Prussia
  •  Saxony
  •  Württemberg

France France United Kingdom British Empire

 United States
Italy Italy


Portugal Portugal
Commanders and leaders
German Empire Erich Ludendorff

France Ferdinand Foch
United Kingdom Douglas Haig
France Philippe Pétain
United States John Pershing Italy Alberico Albricci


Portugal Tamagnini de Abreu

This is the order of battle for Operation Michael, part of the German Spring Ofensive fought from 21 March to 5 April 1918 as one of the main engagements of the First World War. It was fought between mixed French, British and Dominion forces and the German Empire in the Somme region in northern France.

German forces, Western Front[edit | edit source]

Army Group Crown Prince Rupprecht[edit | edit source]

  • Field Marshal Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria
  • Chief of Staff: General von Kuhl
  • 4th Army (18 divisions)
  • General Sixt von Arnim
  • Chief of Staff: General von Lossberg
  • 6th Army (15 divisions)
  • General von Quast
  • Chief of Staff: Lieutenant-Colonel Baron von Lenz
  • 17th Army (28 divisions)*
  • General Otto von Below
  • Chief of Staff: General Krafft von Dellmensingen
  • 2nd Army (21 divisions)
  • General Georg von der Marwitz
  • Chief of Staff: Colonel Erich von Tschischwitz

Army Group German Crown Prince[edit | edit source]

  • General Wilhem Crown Prince of the German Empire and of Prussia
  • Chief of Staff: Colonel Count von der Schulenburg
  • 18th Army (27 divisions)
  • General Oskar von Hutier
  • Chief of Staff: General von Sauberzweig
  • 7th Army (11 divisions)
  • General von Boehn
  • Chief of Staff: Lieutenant-Colonel Reinhardt
  • 1st Army (12 divisions)
  • General Fritz von Below
  • Chief of Staff: Lieutenant-Colonel von Klüber
  • 3rd Army (11 divisions)
  • General von Einem
  • Chief of Staff: Lieutenant-Colonel von Klewitz

Army Group Gallwitz[edit | edit source]

  • General von Gallwitz
  • Chief of Staff: Lieutenant-Colonel von Pawelsz
  • 5th Army (12 divisions)
  • General von Gallwitz
  • Chief of Staff: Lieutenant-Colonel von Pawelsz
  • Army Detachment B (12 divisions)
  • General Fuchs
  • Chief of Staff: Colonel Baron von Ledebur

Army Group Duke Albrecht[edit | edit source]

  • Field Marshal Albrecht Duke of Württemberg
  • Chief of Staff: Colonel Heye
  • 19th Army (10.5 divisions)
  • General Count von Bothmer
  • Chief of Staff: Colonel Baron von Hemmer
  • Army Detachment A (5 infantry, 2 dismounted cavalry divisions)
  • General von Mudra
  • Chief of Staff: Lieutenant-Colonel Baron von Esebeck
  • Army Detachment C (9 infantry, 1 dismounted cavalry division)
  • General von Gündell
  • Chief of Staff: Lieutenant-Colonel Drechsel[1]

British Fifth and Third armies[edit | edit source]

Fifth Army[edit | edit source]

General Sir Hubert Gough

  • III Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir R. H. K. Butler)
  • 58th Division
  • 18th Division
  • 14th Division
  • XVIII Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir I. Maxse)
  • 36th Division
  • 30th Division
  • 61st Division
  • 20th Division (from 21 March)
  • XIX Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir H. E. Watts)
  • 24th Division
  • 66th Division
  • 50th Division (from 21 March)
  • 8th Division (from 22 March)
  • VII Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir W. N. Congreve)
  • 16th Division
  • 21st Division
  • 9th Division
  • 39th Division
  • 35th Division (from 23 March)
  • 12th Division (from 25 March)[2]

US Army[edit | edit source]

  • 6th Battalion United States (railway) Engineers (2 companies)[3]

Third Army[edit | edit source]

General Hon. Sir Julian Byng

  • V Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir E. A. Fanshawe)
  • 47th Division
  • 63rd Division
  • 17th Division
  • 2nd Division
  • 19th Division
  • 12th Division (from 25 March)
  • IV Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir G. M. Harper)
  • 51st Division
  • 6th Division
  • 25th Division
  • 19th Division (from 21 March)
  • 41st Division (from 22 March)
  • 42nd Division (from 24 March)
  • 62nd Division (from 25 March)
  • New Zealand Division (from 25/26 March)
  • 4th Australian Division (from 25/26 March)
  • VI Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir J. A. L. Haldane)
  • 59th Division
  • 34th Division
  • 3rd Division
  • 40th Division (from 21 March)
  • Guards Division (from 22 March)
  • 31st Division (from 22 March)
  • XVII Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Fergusson, Bt.)
  • 15th Division
  • 4th Division
  • Guards Division
  • Cavalry Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir C. T. McM. Kavanagh)
  • 1st Cavalry Division
  • 2nd Cavalry Division
  • 3rd Cavalry Division[2]

Group of Armies of Reserve[edit | edit source]

General Fayolle

Third Army[edit | edit source]

General Humbert

  • V Corps (General Pellé)
  • 125th Division (from 22 March)
  • 1st Dismouted Cavalry Division (from 23 March)
  • 9th Division (from 23 March)
  • 10th Division (from 23 March)
  • 55th Division (from 24 March)
  • 1st Division (from 25 March)
  • 35th Division (from 25 March)
  • 53rd Division (part, from 26 March)
  • 77th Division (part, from 26 March)
  • II Cavalry Corps (General Robillot)[Note 1]
  • 22nd Division (from 24 March)
  • 62nd Division (from 24 March)

First Army[edit | edit source]

General Debeny

  • 56th Division (from 25 March)
  • 1st Cavalry Division (from 26 March)
  • 5th Cavalry Division (from 26 March)
  • 6th Cavalry Division (from 27 March)[4]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Staff only[4]
  2. Divisions were deployed separately[4]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Davies, C. B.; Edmonds, J. E.; Maxwell-Hyslop, R. G. B. (1935). Military Operations France and Belgium, 1918 The German March Offensive and its Preliminaries (IWM & Battery Press 1995 ed.). London: HMSO. ISBN 0-89839-219-5. 
  • Kitchen, Martin (2001). The German Offensives of 1918. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0752417991. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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