This is an account of the British Expeditionary Force s defensive battle in Flanders during April 1918. It begins with the planning for Operation Georgette, the second German offensive of the year. The attack on 9 April penetrated up to 6 miles on a 20 mile wide front across the Lys plain but further attacks resulted in the evacuation of the town of Armenti res. For three weeks First Army and Second Army fought to stem the onslaught as GHQ struggled to find reserves to help them. The situation became so desperate that Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig had to issue his famous backs to the walls order on 11 April. Reinforcements stopped the Germans reaching Hazebrouck rail centre but they could not stop them reaching Bailleul. The French helped stem the tide but the battle climaxed with the loss of the Kemmelberg and the Scherpenberg, the two highest hills in Flandees. Each stage of the battle is given equal treatment, with detailed insights into the most talked about side of the campaign, the British side. Fifty maps chart the day by day progress of each corps on each day.
LYS OFFENSIVE APRIL 1918: BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
This is an insight into the BEF s experience during this campaign, that also known as the Fourth Battle of Ypres. The German objective was to capture Ypres, forcing the British forces back to the Channel ports and out of the war. The men of the BEF who made a difference are mentioned; those who led the advances, those who stopped the counterattacks and those who were awarded the Victoria Cross. As with all of the BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE this title is briskly well-written and concentrates on the actual war actions and not the political aspects.