History of the World War - Vol. 5

History of the World War - Vol. 5

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History of the World War - Vol. 5

History of the World War - Vol. 5

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The last campaign of the World War was a fitting climax to a struggle which had endured already for more than three years and had surpassed all previous contests recorded in human history. In the final phase more than six millions of men, representing seven nations, fought for 235 days on a front of 250 miles from the North Sea to the Moselle, from the outer defences of Metz to the ruins of Nieuport. And the struggle was not limited to the west front. While Germany met her ancient foes in decisive contest on the battlefields of France, Italian armies first repulsed then crushed the Austrians on the Piave; Serbian, Greek, French, British, and Italian troops fought Bulgarians in Albania and Macedonia, and British troops overwhelmed the Turk on the Plain of Armageddon. Two continents furnished the battlefields, and five, reckoning Australia, supplied the combatants.

But it was the issue of contest in France which decided the fate of the world and the question of victory and defeat in the great struggle. And in this contest, which French historians already regard as a single engagement and describe as the "Battle of France," all the previous western campaigns were repeated on a hugely increased scale. When the Germans crushed the British Fifth Army in March, 1918, they swept forward over all the territory which had been gained and lost in the First Battle of the Somme and the subsequent "Hindenburg" Retreat.

When in April German effort turned north, it was on the fields of Flanders, the scene of the three great struggles about Ypres, that one more tremendous battle was fought. In April, before the war drifted northward, too, the German storm once more reached the foot of Vimy Ridge. In May, when Ludendorff faced southward, a new conflict . . .

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