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German History in Documents and Images
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Advance of a German Machine Gun Unit on the Western Front (June 1918)
Between March 21 and July 17, 1918, the Supreme Army Command attempted to resolve the deadlock on the Western Front through the so-called Ludendorff Offensive. Although the Germans initially made significant territorial gains in the Picardy region, south of Ypres and between Montdidier and Noyon, their attempts ultimately failed, mainly due to strategic weaknesses and insufficient reserve troops. The subsequent Allied counter-offensives ultimately sealed Germany's military defeat. The early successes of the offensive were put to political use and served in the creation of the "stab-in-the-back" legend. According to the advocates of this theory, the German army was not defeated on the battlefield, but was "stabbed in the back" as a result of insufficient political support on the homefront.