DEATH OF A DIVISION Eight Days in March 1918 and the Untold Story of the 66th (2/1 East Lancashire) Division

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Well produced, well researched and readable, taken from the Official War Diaries, and surviving accounts, this histories intention is to tell the story as it happened with the loss of command the central theme.

At 09.35 hours on Thursday, 21 March 1918, one million German soldiers left their trenches to attack the British Expeditionary Force along a front of nearly fifty miles. It was Germany’s last major effort to win the war, and it very nearly succeeded. Facing the onslaught from more than forty German divisions stood just a dozen British divisions. Though overwhelmed and compelled to retreat, the British fought a tenacious rearguard action which hampered the German attack, allowing other BEF and Allied units to take up new defensive positions. During the retreat three British divisions bore the brunt of the fighting, suffering crippling casualties. One of those was the 66th (East Lancashire) Division which lost more than 7,000 men. Effectively destroyed, the division had to be withdrawn from the line to be rebuilt.

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