'The German offensive. German prisoners resting in a small village', 1918
This photograph was taken during the German Spring Offensive of 1918, which was launched on 21 March. Using troops released from the Eastern Front following the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Germans attempted to win the war before the Americans arrived in France and strengthened the Allies. A series of attacks were launched in the Arras region, on the Lys in Flanders and then on the Aisne.
Despite sweeping early gains, the Germans suffered huge casualties and eventually outdistanced their supply lines. They exhausted themselves during the fighting. The final German advances were repulsed at the Marne in mid-June 1918, and the stage was then set for the Allied counter-offensives of the summer.
One of 193 British and Allied Official photographs taken on the Western Front.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection