From the moment the German army moved quietly into Luxembourg on 2 August 1914, to the Armistice on 11 November 1918, the fighting on the Western Front in France and Flanders never stopped. There were quiet periods, just as there were the most intense, savage, huge-scale battles.
The war on the Western Front can be thought of as being in three phases: first, a war of movement as Germany attacked France and the Allies sought to halt it; second, the lengthy and terribly costly siege warfare as the entrenched lines proved impossible to crack (late 1914 to early-1918); and finally a return to mobile warfare as the Allies applied lessons and technologies forged in the previous years and surged forward to victory.
As with previous wars, British Commanders-in-Chief in a theatre of war or campaign were obliged to report their activities and achievements to the War Office in the form of a despatch and those written from the Western Front provide a fascinating, detailed and compelling overview of this part of the First World War.
This volume concludes with Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch, originally published in 1919, on the execution of the fighting on the Western Front.
Despatches From The Front WESTERN FRONT 1917-1918
In this instructive volume in the Despatches from the Front series we read despatches to the War Office from British Commanders as they faced three challenges over the war years: the great retreat in 1914, the siege warfare of the war’s middle years, with their costly offensives; and finally the return to open warfare and final victory in 1918.