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The Battle of The Lys

April 1918

Authors: Colin Mattey
(4 customer reviews)
15/Mar/2019
Military History, World War One
160
Paperbacak
245mm x 170mm (B5)
9781925675948
$19.99

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In the wave of devastating German offensives launched in the spring of 1918, it is Operation Michael that has captured most attention, characterised by astonishing advances and their potentially shattering impact on the British Expeditionary Force’s (BEF) Third and Fifth armies. While this offensive eventually petered out, albeit tantalisingly close to the BEF’s crucial logistic hub of Amiens, German General Ludendorff redirected the German effort north to Flanders to launch Operation Georgette. In Flanders, the BEF front line lay alarmingly close to the vital channel ports, and the main German thrust posed a direct threat to the town of Hazebrouck, the BEF’s second key logistic hub. After four years of grinding and horrific war, all that stood between the Germans and victory was the 1st Australian Division, hastily recalled to defend the town.

This volume describes the battle to save Hazebrouck — part of what was to become the Battle of the Lys — and focuses on the role of the 1st Australian Division in halting the surging German thrust towards the town. While often neglected by history, this action was critical to the survival of the BEF and the Allied war effort in 1918 and deserves far greater recognition. The Battle of the Lys also brings the performance of the BEF divisions during Operation Georgette into sharper focus while providing a unique opportunity to reassess BEF and German performances at what was a decisive point in the First World War.

This volume describes the battle to save Hazebrouck — part of what was to become the Battle of the Lys — and focuses on the role of the 1st Australian Division in halting the surging German thrust towards the town. While often neglected by history, this action was critical to the survival of the BEF and the Allied war effort in 1918 and deserves far greater recognition.

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Colin Mattey

Colin Mattey

Colin Mattey was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and commissioned into the Staffordshire Regiment in 1982. He has served in a variety of appointments in the farflung corners of the world in a career that has, so far, spanned 38 years. In 2007 he made a lateral transfer to the Australian Army, settling in Australia with his […]

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4 reviews for The Battle of The Lys

  1. (verified owner)

    Lys is the twenty-fifth instalment of the Army History Unit’s excellent Australian Army Campaigns Series, covering the period 11-29 April 1918 that saw the 1st Australian Division maintain a hastily organised defence of the British Expeditionary Force’s (BEF) northerly logistics hub of Hazebrouck.

  2. (verified owner)

    Mattey’s book successfully takes the reader from Allied and German grand strategy in early-1918 to what these plans meant for the one division that was to play a crucial role in disrupting Ludendorf’s plan for German victory in spring 1918. Boxes that detail the technicalities of equipment used by both sides will be useful to those less familiar with the armaments of the time, and the accompanying maps add to the clearly presented tactical detail of the text.
    Reviewer: Richard Batley, June 2019 | RUSI VIC.

  3. (verified owner)

    The book’s excellent photographs, reproduced from the AWM archive, show the flimsy barricades the Division were able to erect south-west of Hazebrouck

  4. Colin has managed to balance his conclusions with a depth of research that tells the realities of WW 1 warfare; confusion, bravery, panic, leadership and planning. He has not over glorified the story for the benefit of the readers ego but rather enlightens the reader to the true nature of battle. He has taken the challenge of focusing on Flanders in 1918 rather than the more popular Somme and in so doing has given the reader a greater insight to Ludendorff’s Spring Offence and the Allies response.

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