21 March 1918

World War I: The first phase of the German Spring Offensive, Operation Michael, begins.

Operation Michael, also known as the Spring Offensive, was a major German military campaign during World War I that took place from March to July 1918. It was the last attempt by the German army to achieve a decisive victory on the Western Front before the arrival of American troops and marked the high point of Germany’s military power during the war.

The operation began on March 21, 1918, with a massive artillery bombardment of the Allied lines. This was followed by an assault by three German armies, which succeeded in breaking through the Allied front and advancing towards the English Channel. However, the German advance was ultimately halted due to supply problems, the exhaustion of the troops, and the arrival of reinforcements from the Allied powers.

Despite early successes, Operation Michael was ultimately a failure for Germany, as it did not achieve its strategic objectives and resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. The operation marked the beginning of a series of offensives and counteroffensives that ultimately led to Germany’s defeat in the war.