kaiserschlacht

kaiserschlacht asked:

Henna actually isn't cultural appropriation. I'm Omani and a quarter Yemeni, so its also a part of my culture. For the most part, henna isn't worn for spiritual purposes anymore, but rather as a fashion statement. Although it was originally a part of Hindu tradition, it also spread to other areas where the original symbolic meaning was lost. Also, henna is the Arabic term, and mehndi is the term used in India, so only the latter term should be used in the context of Hindu temples.

Snaps to you! Thanks for the knowledge.

German troops cross a field, ca. 1918.

During 1918 the nature of the War changed drastically when the German army launched it’s Spring offensive called the Kaiserschlact (Kaiser’s Battle). Tactical and mechanical advances over the last few years paid off for the Germans who pushed the Allies back and broke the British Fifth Army who fled and opened a gap in the Allied line.

The Germans were able to advance up to 40 miles (65km) in twelve days, an astonishing distance by Western Front standards.

Historical Trivia: Captured in the Kaiserschlacht

On the 21st March 1918, the German Army launched Operation Michael near Saint-Quentin in Northern France.  This was the opening of the Kaiserschlacht or great German Spring Offensive which marked the furthest German advance on the Western Front since 1914.  The attack on the British Third Army saw heavy casualties with approximately 20,000 dead and 35,000 wounded lost on the first day of the offensive.

The 21st March also marks the British Army’s single worst day for men taken prisoner with 21,000 officers and men captured.  Thomas Cass with the Royal Engineers was one of the men captured in the rapid German assault:

There was masses of Germans, they come over like hoards. They come over and overwhelmed us and so I was taken prisoner at 2 o’clock and I was in the German trenches with them until 8 o’clock at night. Then we got up behind the line and they were collecting all the prisoners – the German guards were – and we had to march back to St Quentin, then. I always remember one German soldier, a young chap he was, he was marching by the side of me, and he patted me on shoulder and I’ll always remember what he said. He said, ‘Brave Englander’, and patted me on the back.

Many were forced to surrender when they were left isolated in defensive pockets along the line which had been cut off by German shock troops. These pockets either fought to the last man or surrendered when their ammunition ran out.  The photograph above shows some of the 4,000 men captured near Bapaume and Arras in March 1918.

Image Source

The crew of ‘Siegfried’, one of the 22 A7V chassis built as Panzers, sit atop their machine following combat operations at Villers-Brettoneux. The cramped and noisy interior led to most crews traveling this way when not under fire.

Although the A7V saw a limited debut at St. Quentin in mid-March, 1918, the Second Battle of Villers-Brettoneux not only saw them deployed in greater numbers  - 15 of them were intended to be used in the operations, but it also heralded the first clash of armor, when a group of three A7Vs encountered three Mark IVs, a 'Male’ and two 'Females’. The 'Females’ were forced to withdraw due to damage from the A7Vs, but the male knocked out one of the German tanks and forced the other two to retreat.

Although all in all, the A7Vs had proved moderately successful in supporting the German attack, the significant weaknesses were also made apparent, with two toppling over when attempting to clear holes, and a number experiencing engine troubles. Unable to hold their brief gains, three were captured when the Allies counterattacked on the German positions.

(National Archives)

‘Ännchen’, a Mark IV 'Female’ being operated by the Germans, was abandoned mostly intact by its crew during an attack near Fort de la Pompelle on June 1st. Having dismounted to assist some nearby infantry, they were overwhelmed by a French assault and forced to retreat, leaving their tank behind.

(National Archives)

German soldiers during the summer of 1918. With the operational failure of the Spring Offensive, the Germans were in an exceptionally precarious position by the end of July. Their gamble to deliver a quick, crushing blow to the Entente forces hadn’t paid off, and they were now left exhausted and worn down just when the fresh and eager doughboys of the AEF began funneling to the front lines en masse.