The Battle of the Aisne, 1918

27 May – 6 June 1918: the (Third) Battle of the Aisne, 1918. A small and tired British force, sent to the Chemin des Dames in exchange for fresh French divisions that went north, was struck and virtually destroyed as part of another German offensive, Operation Bluecher.

The morning of the first day of the Battle of the Chemin des Dames, 27 May 1918. German troops crossing a canal and awaiting orders to continue the advance. Imperial War Museum image Q88094

The morning of the first day of the Battle of the Chemin des Dames, 27 May 1918. German troops crossing a canal and awaiting orders to continue the advance. Imperial War Museum image Q88094

French Sixth Army (Duchene)
IX Corps (Gordon)

8th Division
19th (Western) Division
21st Division
25th Division
50th (Northumbrian) Division.

Map of front before this battle

Before the German attack, IX Corps held the sector of front between Bouconville and Berméricourt. From west to east this line drops sharply from the heights of the Chemin des Dames ridge near Craonne, down onto flatter ground through La Ville-au-Bois and Berry-au-Bac on the River Aisne.

Map of ground won by German army in this battle

The German attack succeeded in pushing the Allies across the Aisne and down as far as the Marne at Chateau Thierry, capturing the towns of Soissons and La Fere-en-Tardenois as they did so.

 

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Battles of the Western Front in France and Flanders