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Saturday, April 6, 2019

French troops : Preparation for Nivelle Offensive in April 1917

The Nivelle Offensive of 1917, was a Franco-British offensive on the Western Front in the First World War. The French part of the offensive was intended to be strategically decisive, by breaking through the German defences on the Aisne front within 48 hours, with casualties expected to be around 10,000 men. Robert Nivelle left Philippe Petain in command of Groupe d'armées de Centre (GAC) and established a new Groupe d'armées de Reserve (GAR, Joseph Micheler) for the attack along the Chemin des Dames with the Fifth Army (General Olivier Mazel), the Sixth Army (General Charles Mangin) and the Tenth Army (General Denis Duchêne). Forty-nine infantry and five cavalry divisions were massed on the Aisne front with 5,300 guns.The ground at Brimont began to rise to the west towards Craonne and then reached a height of 180 m (590 ft) along a plateau which continued westwards to Fort Malmaison. The French held a bridgehead 20 km (12 mi) wide on the north bank of the Aisne, south of the Chemin des Dames from Berry-au-Bac to Fort Condé on the road to Soissons. 
To this post I added photos of Elastolin, Lineol, Durso and Nazaire Beeusaert (NB) French soldiers produced in 30s. The armored car was produced by Gustav Buchmann , Langnau (Switzerland).

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