German Spring Offensive

The Great War

Europe 1918.0718

German Spring Offensive

World War I in Europe and the Russian Revolution (18 July 1918)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

With the war against Russia ended, Germany was free to send troops from the Eastern to the Western Front. On March 21, they launched a huge offensive in an attempt to smash France and Britain before the United States could enter the War in force.

Main Events

German Spring offensive

Germans take Helsingfors (Helsinki) from Red Finns

Murmansk landing

To prevent German forces in Finland from moving into northern Russia, the British North Russia Squadron landed troops in the strategic year round ice-free port of Murmansk. The intervention met no resistance from the Soviet garrison.

Revolt of the Czechoslovak Legion

Forces of the Czechoslovak Legion - a volunteer force of Czechs and Slovaks fighting on the Allied side - clashed with the Bolsheviks at several points along the Trans-Siberian Railway after attempts to evacuate the Legion from now-neutral Soviet Russia stalled. By June, the Czechoslovaks had seized much of the railway between Penza and Krasnoyarsk, gaining control of the entire length of the railway by September. The revolt signaled the start of the Russian Civil War, as the Czechoslovaks brought anti-Bolshevik factions to power across Siberia.

German Caucasus Expedition

The forces of the German Caucasus Expedition began landing at Poti, Georgia, in agreement with the Georgian government. On June 10, they reached Tiflis and held a joint German-Georgian military parade in the city's main thoroughfare. Combined German-Georgian garrisons were soon stationed throughout the country.

Second Battle of the Piave River

Learning of an imminent Austro-Hungarian attack at 3:00am on 15 June 1918, the Italian artillery opened fire along their entire front at 2:30am. Although many Austrians still broke through across the Italian defensive line along the Piave River, they were expelled within just a few days. The battle proved to be a decisive Italian victory, with the Italians suffering 87,000 casualties to 118,000 Austrians.

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