GWL 15th April 1917

A perfectly splendid mail.  Right up to March 28th.  Extremely warm.  Yesterday I went out to tea.  We rode many miles in search of the rendezvous and missed the way; just arriving in time to water & feed and then ride home again.

Peter is coming down to-day on a course! It will be very nice to see the lad for a bit.  I am very sorry indeed about Mrs Benn, but she is getting an old lady, isn’t she?”

On the 14th Battle of Vimy Ridge came to a conclusion and on the 16th the French Offensive began with the Second Battle of the Aisne.  The latter was to be the major French offensive designed to break through he German lines.  However the Germans were well entrenched and the “creeping barrage” failed leaving the infantry unprotected with the loss of 40,000 casualties on the first day – similar to British losses on the first day of the Somme.  Very little ground was made and Allied losses reached 187,000.   The attack was ended on the 20th with the result that General Nivelle was replaced by General Petain.  There was considerable mutiny within the French Army which led to a revised approach to French offensive action.

{next post 20th April}

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