German infantry going over the top, somewhere between Arras and La Fere, Spring Offensive, 1918
The Spring Offensive, (Kaiserschlacht) was the last major offensive launched by the German Army in World War 1. With Russia's surrender, nearly 50 divisions were sent west, in order to support the coming offensive. German High Command knew that their only hope for victory was to push hard into France before the Americans would be able to deploy soldiers and resources in support of the allies. There were four German offensives,codenamed Michael, Georgette, Gneisenau and Blücher-Yorck. Michael was the main assault, and was designed to break the allied lines by outflanking the British which held the front at the Somme River. Prior to the beginning assault on March 21st, no clear objective was established, and due to the nature of the offensive targets were constantly changing as the battlefield did. The Germans were unable to move supplies and reinforcements fast enough to maintain their advance. The Stormtroopers quickly broke the front lines, but could not carry enough supplies to sustain themselves. By late April, the danger had passed. The Germans suffered far too many casualties for such little gain. However despite this, they had pushed the allies back farther than any previous offensive since 1914. The Germans would lose all that they gained to the allies' hundred days offensive in late 1918. German casualties amounted at over 688,000, while the allies lost nearly 850,000 men, including 5,000 Italians. One could argue that the war was lost following the "failure" of the Spring Offensive.