Paris (JFK+50) On May 27, 1918, the Third Battle of the Aisne began here in France. It was part of the German spring offensive of the First World War. The goal was to capture the Chemin des Dames Ridge* before the arrival of the American army.
The day began with German shelling of the Allied lines by 4000 artillery pieces. Two million shells were unleashed in four hours time. This barrage was followed with poison gas and an assault by 17 German divisions.
The Germans advanced through a 25 mile gap in the enemy lines and reached Aisne in six hours.
*Chemin des Dames is a ridge of 30 kilometers in length lying between the valleys of the rivers Aisne & Ailette. Located in a section of the Western Front controlled by the French army in WWI, it was the site of 3 battles.
"Third Battle of the Aisne, 27 May - 3 June 1918", www.historyofwar.org/
Men of the Worcestershire Regiment
27 May 1918
Photo by John Warwick Brooke
Imperial War Museum Image