Diary March 31, 1918

General Erich Ludendorff
General Erich Ludendorff as hard-working talented staff officer. During 1917-1918 he is the msot powerful man in Germany, but he waged war as an end in itself, ignoring Clausewitz’s great maxim.
World War One Diary for Sunday, March 31, 1918:

Western Front

Easter Day: Germans claim 75,000 PoWs and c.1m000 guns captured since March 21. German Army peak ration strength 7,917,170 men.
Somme: Indecisive fighting. Hofacker’s LI Corps recaptures woods lost on March 30. Ludendorff orders April 4 thrust for Amiens after supplies brought up. British capture then lose Hangard; slight French advance between Montdidier and Lassigny.
BEF March losses 173.721 soldiers, second worst month of war, including 124,462 infantry and cavalry since March 21.

Eastern Front

Ukraine: Germans form new Army Group Eichhorn (18 divisions) at Kiev for Ukraine occupation, CoS Groener to organise railways; Linsingen removed and Bugarmee dissolved.

Sea War

Black Sea: Battlecruiser Goeben carries Central Powers Armistice Commission to Odessa.
Allied and neutral shipping losses during March: 169 ships (79 British with 490 lives) worth 244,814t (British 199,458t including 3 mined). U-boat figure 190 ships worth 368,746t, including 68 ships of 128,620t in Mediterranean (4 to Austrians); 5 U-boats sunk (2 to unknown cause).

Air War

Western Front: 822 German aircraft supporting Ludendorff Offensive vs 645 British, but only 3 Anglo-German combats as Germans claim 19 Allied aircraft for loss of 4. BEF Fifth Army’s anti-aircraft guns claim 17 aircraft since March 21. Germans admit March loss of 161 aircraft and claim 447 Allied.

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