We have taken the opportunity with our 2021 editions of the OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR – FRANCE AND BELGIUM series to redesign the covers and print on 140g silk paper. This official history was the grandest ever produced in Britain, and its purpose was to provide “within reasonable compass an authoritative account, suitable for general readers and for students at military schools”. Due to the number of full-colour maps bound in each volume, previous attempts to reprint this valuable reference either floundered, or were produced with the maps in monochrome. At last, the acclaimed work of the official cartographers who had 90,000 maps at their command can be examined as they intended – in full colour.
France and Belgium 1918 Vol I. The German March Offensive And Its Preliminaries. OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR.
This volume gives an account of the great German Offensive, which began on 21st March, with its preliminaries from both sides’ point of view, and covers events up to and including 26th March. That was the date of the Doullens Conference when General Foch, Chief of Staff of the French Army was given the task of co-ordinating Allied operations on the Western Front. The first few chapters review the preliminaries including the failure of the Government to be prepared for Russia’s withdrawal from the war, despite warnings; Allied plans for 1918; the situation in Italy following the Italian defeat at Caporetto; the creation of the Versailles Supreme War Council, and, most important, the reduction of the infantry in the division from twelve to nine battalions, the lack of reinforcements combined with the removal of Sir William Robertson as CIGS. German plans are discussed and then follows the account of the fighting which takes up ten of the eleven remaining chapters. The final chapter deals with the Doullens Conference.