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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

1918 - French & British split apart


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Haig in his diary for early 1918 mentions plans to draw up a defensive line along the valley of the Somme to the sea in case the Germans split apart the French and British. This gives a triangle of land going from Nieuport down to the Somme and back up the Somme valley, unless a withdrawal of the pointy end was envisioned. One wonders - What then? Do we hang on hoping to drive out and reconnect with the French? Could the Germans handle such an extended line? Would it be peace negotiation time? Phil B

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What if??. If the German thrust on the southern end of the British line in Mar 18 had had better strategic direction the virtual defeat of 5th Army would have lead to a German advance north westward or even northward and might have caused the BEF to withdraw to the sea. In some respects like 1940. The blockade of German ports would still have continued and there would have been further breakdown of German industrial production. The US forces would still have built up. My guess is that it would not have made much difference to the end result.

Old Tom

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