Western Front (JFK+50) One hundred years ago, March 24, 1918, German forces under First Quartermaster-General Erich von Ludendorff* crossed the Somme River achieving the first goal of Operation Michael.
The Germans hoped to break through Allied lines and destroy British and French forces in the process. The operation had been launched on March 21, 1918 with a heavy artillery bombardment of enemy positions.
After the crossing, the Germans attacked Amiens and Arras but very soon the Allies regrouped and stopped the enemy at Morevil Wood on March 30th. Less than a week later, Von Ludendorff ended the spring offensive.
*Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (1865-1937) was born in Kruszewnia, Poland & trained at Cadet School. EFWL was commissioned into the 57th Infantry Regiment & served on the General Staff in Berlin from 1904 to 1913.
After WWI, he wrote books & articles about the war & on the day Adolf Hitler became Chancellor he said..."I prophesy that this accursed man will cast our Reich into the abyss & bring our nation to inconceivable misery."
"German forces cross the Somme River", This Day in History: March 24, www.history.com/
German Federal Archives