THE BATTLE OF THE SELLE: Fourth Army Operations on the Western Front in the Hundred Days, 9-24 October 1918
Between 9-24 October, the British Fourth Army drove elements of two German armies back from the Hindenburg support line in the 'Pursuit to the Selle' (9-11 October); prepared and fought the set-piece Battle of the Selle (17-18 October); and then drove in the flank of the German Second Army towards the Sambre-Oise Canal (23-24 October).
Contrary to expectations, the enemy resistance on 17 October (as Fourth Army crossed the river) was strong and effective, which contradicts the idea that the German Army was an entirely spent force at this late point in the conflict. Furthermore, Fourth Army suffered its worst intelligence failure of the war and artillery, airpower and armor were unable to support the infantry effectively; it was largely the infantry, fighting a soldier's battle, that gave victory.
Details the fighting and the infantry tactics deployed, and it analyses why Fourth Army's weapons system struggled to be effective -- weighing the contribution of each element and the qualities of the infantry that made victory possible. Also examines the nature of semi-mobile warfare in the Hundred Days and assesses the limitations of the British ability to pursue this. Challenges the idea that the BEF had an invincible formula and analyzes the nature of the German resistance. Also examines Fourth Army's planning process and the efforts of the Royal Engineers and the logistics system.
NEW-pb, available late October 2022 ......$45.00 rct
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Updated as of 11/23/2023ABBREVIATIONS: dj-dust jacket, biblio-bibliography, b/w-black and white, illust-illustrations, b/c-book club addition.
rct - recent arrival or pending publication, spc - OMM Special Price