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Today marks the 100th anniversary of Kaiserschlacht, Germany's spring offensive of 1918. Officially the first battle of the offensive started started in March but in reality the troop movements began on January 13th 1918. It was commanded by Erich Ludendorff, and spanned from January to August when the Americans led a counter offensive. Nearly one million German soldiers died during the offensive, leaving their army tired and depleted. ♠️
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Deutsche Truppenverbände während der großen Frühjahrsoffensive 1918, welche als auch Kaiserschlacht bekannt ist.
German troops during the great spring offensive 1918, which is known as the Kaiserschlacht (Emperorbattle).
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The Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger
There but for the grace of God go I.
That was what I kept thinking throughout this memoir of life on the Western Front of The Great War.
I call it The Great War, because if you talk WW1, people immediately start thinking about WW2, which is also fascinating and horrifying; I just wish that we also looked at The Great War with such interest.
The Storm of Steel is one German officer’s firsthand account of life on the front. It is the tale of a suicidally brave human in circumstances beyond my imagining. Jünger and his men fought the British in mud and blood and rain, of both water and steel.
I can’t imagine hearing whistling shells, explosions, and gunfire landing all about. In fact, this audiobook made me realize how ill-suited for war I would be; the chapters would start and end with the sounds of artillery and gunfire. It always surprised me and made me jump.
This was a horrifying book that somehow managed to be beautiful and inspiring. War is hell, and this is the most intense war I know of. The amount of casualties are staggering - scores of humans will disappear in a single of Jünger’s sentences. They will be mowed down my machine guns as they exit a trench; they will disappear entirely into a smear of viscera from direct hits of artillery. Arms and legs are lost, and humans lay screaming for help and mercy that will not come.
But underneath all of that, humanity shows itself. The higher virtues are revealed in sacrifice and suffering. Courage and duty to country and soldiers keep Jünger centered. There are moments of kindness and mercy that will bring tears to your eyes: when Jünger leads mean into the Kaiserslacht, he knows they cannot win, but he is determined to show the English that “they fought men of honor.” Despite being outnumbered and surrounded, Jünger never gives up. He keeps fighting, being injured in over 20 places.

This book made me appreciate the depth of human endurance and bravery. May we never find ourselves in another such cataclysmic conflict. There but for the grace of God go I.
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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.

*Preußens Gloria intensifies*
Meme is self-made
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"Properties of a Line" (Page 3) Ink on Bristol, 2005-2015 Copyright Joseph Tait #art #illustration #grandfather #worldwar1 #worldwarone #kaiserschlacht #familyhistory #joetait #sturmtruppen

This game was so fucking beautiful!!!!!!!!!! Top 5 Top Place :D #battlefield1 #battlefield4 #operations #amiens #kaiserschlacht

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