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The First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux (30 March – 5 April 1918), took place during Operation Michael, part of the German Spring Offensive on the Western Front. The offensive began against the British Fifth Army and the Third Army on the Somme and pushed back the British and French reinforcements on the north side of the Somme. The capture of Villers-Bretonneux, close to Amiens, a strategically-important road- and rail-junction, would have brought the Germans within artillery-range. In late March, Australian troops were brought south from Belgium as reinforcements to help shore up the line and in early April the Germans launched an attack to capture Villers-Bretonneux. After a determined defence by British and Australian troops, the attackers were close to success until a counter-attack by the 9th Australian Infantry Brigade and British troops late in the afternoon of 4 April restored the situation and halted the German advance on Amiens.In early 1918, following the capitulation of Tsarist Russia, the end of the fighting on the Eastern Front allowed the Germans to transfer a significant amount of manpower and equipment to the Western Front. With the general position for the Germans looking weak, the German commander, Erich Ludendorff, decided to go on the offensive. On 21 March 1918, Operation Michael was launched, and the attack was aimed at the weakest part of the British lines, along the Somme River. By 5 April, the Germans had gained 60 kilometres (37 mi) of British held territory. Two other operations were launched, one near Armentières, one near Reims. All three operations were eventually halted by the Allies. In late March 1918, the German army advanced towards the vital rail-head at Amiens, pushing the British line back towards the town of Villers-Bretonneux. In response to the Germans' early advances during the offensive, on 29 March the 9th Australian Brigade, consisting of four infantry battalions, had been detached from the 3rd Australian Division and sent south from Belgium to help prevent a breach of the line between the British Fifth Army (General Hubert Gough) and the French First Army (General Marie-Eugène Debeney) that was positioned to the south. The First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux 第一次ヴィレ=ブルトヌーの戦い

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>The First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux (30 March – 5 April 1918), took place during Operation Michael, part of the German Spring Offensive on the Western Front. The offensive began against the British Fifth Army and the Third Army on the Somme and pushed back the British and French reinforcements on the north side of the Somme. The capture of Villers-Bretonneux, close to Amiens, a strategically-important road- and rail-junction, would have brought the Germans within artillery-range. ⇒「第1次ヴィレ=ブルトヌーの戦い」(1918年3月30日-4月5日)は、西部戦線の「ドイツ軍の春攻撃」の一部である「マイケル(ミヒャエル)作戦行動」の間に行われた。この攻撃は、ソンムで第5方面軍と第3方面軍に対抗し始め、ソンム北側の英国軍とフランス軍の強化隊を押し戻した。戦略的に重要な道路と鉄道の交差点であるアミアンに近いヴィレ=ブルトヌーの攻略によって、ドイツ軍が砲撃の射程内入ってきた模様であった。 >In late March, Australian troops were brought south from Belgium as reinforcements to help shore up the line and in early April the Germans launched an attack to capture Villers-Bretonneux. After a determined defence by British and Australian troops, the attackers were close to success until a counter-attack by the 9th Australian Infantry Brigade and British troops late in the afternoon of 4 April restored the situation and halted the German advance on Amiens. In early 1918, following the capitulation of Tsarist Russia, the end of the fighting on the Eastern Front allowed the Germans to transfer a significant amount of manpower and equipment to the Western Front. ⇒3月末、オーストラリア軍が戦線固めを手伝うための強化隊としてベルギーから南にやって来た。そして、4月上旬にはドイツ軍がヴィレ=ブルトヌー攻略のための攻撃を開始した。英国軍とオーストラリア軍による防衛策が決定した後、攻撃者は成功に近づいて、4月4日午後遅くに第9オーストラリア軍歩兵旅団と英国軍隊の反撃が状況を回復し、アミアンへのドイツ軍進出を食い止めるに至った。1918年、皇帝ロシア軍の降伏に続いて東方戦線の戦いが終わると、ドイツ軍は相当量の人力と装備を西側戦線へ移すことが可能となった。 >With the general position for the Germans looking weak, the German commander, Erich Ludendorff, decided to go on the offensive. On 21 March 1918, Operation Michael was launched, and the attack was aimed at the weakest part of the British lines, along the Somme River. By 5 April, the Germans had gained 60 kilometres (37 mi) of British held territory. Two other operations were launched, one near Armentières, one near Reims. All three operations were eventually halted by the Allies. In late March 1918, the German army advanced towards the vital rail-head at Amiens, pushing the British line back towards the town of Villers-Bretonneux. ⇒ドイツ軍が総体的に弱く見える状況下で、ドイツ軍の司令官エーリッヒ・ルーデンドルフは攻撃を開始することに決定した。1918年3月21日、「マイケル作戦行動」が開始され、その攻撃はソンム川沿いの英国軍戦線の最も弱い部分を狙った。4月5日までに、ドイツ軍は英国軍の領土を60キロ(37マイル)も獲得した。他の2つの作戦行動も開始されたが、その1つはアルメチエール近くで、もう1つはレームの近くであった。(しかし)3つの全作戦行動が、最終的に連合国軍によって停止された。1918年3月下旬、ドイツ軍はアミアンの重要な兵站駅に向かって進軍し、英国軍戦線をヴィレ=ブルトヌーの町に向かって押し戻した。 >In response to the Germans' early advances during the offensive, on 29 March the 9th Australian Brigade, consisting of four infantry battalions, had been detached from the 3rd Australian Division and sent south from Belgium to help prevent a breach of the line between the British Fifth Army (General Hubert Gough) and the French First Army (General Marie-Eugène Debeney) that was positioned to the south. ⇒攻撃中のドイツ軍の当初の進軍に対応して、3月29日、歩兵4個大隊で構成された第9オーストラリア旅団は、第3オーストラリア軍師団から離れて、英国第5方面軍(ハーバート・ゴフ将軍)とフランス第1方面軍(マリー-ユージン・ドブニー将軍)の間の欠陥部を防ぐために南方へ派遣された。

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  • 日本語訳をお願いします。

    Analysis More French reinforcements arrived in the latter part of April, the Germans had suffered many casualties, especially among the stoßtruppen and attacks toward Hazebrouck failed. It was clear that Georgette could not achieve its objectives; on 29 April the German high command called off the offensive. Casualties In 1937 C. B. Davies, J. E. Edmonds and R. G. B. Maxwell-Hyslop, the British official historians gave casualties from 9–30 April as c. 82,000 British and a similar number of German casualties. Total casualties since 21 March were British: c. 240,000, French: 92,004 and German: 348,300. In 1978 Middlebrook wrote of 160,000 British casualties, 22,000 killed, 75,000 prisoners and 63,000 wounded. Middlebrook estimated French casualties as 80,000 and German as c. 250,000 with 50–60,000 lightly wounded. In 2002 Marix Evans recorded 109,300 German casualties and the loss of eight aircraft, British losses of 76,300 men, 106 guns and 60 aircraft and French losses of 35,000 men and twelve guns. In 2006 Zabecki gave 86,000 German, 82,040 British and 30,000 French casualties. The Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux (also Actions of Villers-Bretonneux, after the First Battles of the Somme, 1918) took place from 24 to 25 April 1918, during the German Spring Offensive, against the Allied lines to the east of Amiens. It is notable for the first major use of tanks by the Germans, who deployed fourteen of their twenty A7Vs and for the first tank-versus-tank battle in history. The tank battle occurred when three advancing A7Vs met and engaged three British Mark IV tanks, two of which were female tanks armed only with machine-guns. The two Mark IV females were damaged and forced to withdraw but the male tank, armed with 6-pounder guns, hit and disabled the lead A7V, which was then abandoned by its crew. The Mark IV continued to fire on the two remaining German A7Vs, which withdrew. The "male" then advanced with the support of several Whippet light tanks which had arrived, until disabled by artillery fire and abandoned by the crew. The German and British crews recovered their vehicles later in the day. A counter-attack by two Australian and one British brigade during the night of 24 April partly surrounded Villers-Bretonneux and on 25 April the town was recaptured. Australian, British and French troops restored the original front line by 27 April. The Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux 第二次ヴィレ=ブルトヌーの戦い

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    On 30 March the Germans attacked around Le Hamel and although this was turned back, they succeeded in making gains around Hangard Wood. Five days later, the Germans renewed their drive towards Villers-Bretonneux. Part of the German attack fell on the centre and left of the French First Army. The French line fell back, but a counter-attack regained much of the ground. From north to south the line was held by British and Australian troops of the 14th (Light) Division, the 35th Australian Battalion and the 18th (Eastern) Division. By 4 April the 14th (Light) Division, around Le Hamel, had fallen back under attack from the German 228th Division. The Australians held off the 9th Bavarian Reserve Division and the 18th Division repulsed the German Guards Ersatz Division and 19th Division. The British were forced to retire by the retreat of the 14th (Light) Division, where the 41st Brigade had been pushed back for 500 yards (460 m) "in some disorder" and then retired to a ridge another 3,000 yards (2,700 m) back, which left the right flank of the 42nd Brigade uncovered. The line west of Le Hamel was reinforced by the arrival of the 15th Australian Brigade. In the afternoon, the Germans resumed their efforts and pushed the 18th Division in the south, at which point Villers-Bretonneux appeared ready to fall. The Germans came within 440 yards (400 m) of the town but Colonel Goddard of the 35th Australian Battalion, in command of the sector, ordered a surprise late afternoon counter-attack on 4 April, by the 36th Australian Battalion with c. 1000 men, supported by a company from the 35th Australian Battalion and his reserve, the 6th Battalion London Regiment. Advancing by section rushes, they pushed the Germans back towards Monument Wood and then north of Lancer Wood and forced two German divisions to retreat from Villers-Bretonneux. Flanking movements by British cavalry and Australian infantry from the 33rd and 34th Battalions helped consolidate the British gains. Further fighting around the village took place later in the month during the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux. The attack on Villers-Bretonneux was the last significant German attack of Operation Michael (known to the British as the First Battle of the Somme, 1918). After the failure of the German forces to achieve their objectives, Ludendorff ended the offensive to avoid a battle of attrition. The 9th Australian Brigade had 665 casualties from c. 2,250 men engaged. German casualties were not known but there were 498 losses in two of the regiments engaged. The 9th Australian Brigade recorded 4,000 dead German soldiers on their front and the 18th Division had "severe" losses and took 259 prisoners from the 9th Bavarian Reserve, Guards Ersatz and 19th divisions.

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    The Battle of the Avre (4–5 April 1918), part of the First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, constituted the final German attack towards Amiens in World War I. It was the point at which the Germans got the closest to Amiens. It was fought between attacking German troops and defending Australian and British troops. The attack was an attempt to take Amiens, where other aspects of Operation Michael had failed. The Avre marked the beginning of the end for Ludendorf's March Offensive.Preliminary moves (29–30 March) across the southern battlefields by German 2nd Army proved so slow and difficult that offensive operations were suspended between 1–3 April to allow German forces to recover. 4 April The final German attack was eventually launched towards Amiens. It came on 4 April, when fifteen divisions attacked seven Allied divisions on a line east of Amiens and north of Albert (towards the Avre River). Ludendorff decided to attack the outermost eastern defenses of Amiens centred on the town of Villers-Bretonneux. His aim was to secure that town and the surrounding high ground from which artillery bombardments could systematically destroy Amiens and render it useless to the Allies. The subsequent fighting was remarkable on two counts: the first use of tanks simultaneously by both sides in the war; and the night-time counterattack hastily organized by the Australian and British units (including the exhausted 54th Brigade) which dramatically re-captured Villers -Bretonneux and halted the German onslaught. From north to south, the line was held by British and Australian troops, specifically the British 14th and 18th Divisions, and the 35th Australian Battalion. However, by 4 April the 14th Division fell back under attack from the German 228th Division. The Australians held off the 9th Bavarian Reserve Division and the British 18th Division held off the German Guards Ersatz Division and 19th Divisions First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux. 5 April An attempt by the Germans to renew the offensive on 5 April failed and by early morning British Empire troops had forced the enemy out of all but the south-eastern corner of the town. German progress towards Amiens, having reached its furthest point westward, had finally been held. Ludendorff called a halt to the offensive.

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    The Germans on Chipilly Spur commanded a wide field of fire to the south of the Somme, and their flanking fire held up the left units of the Australian Corps until late on 9 August, when a small Australian party slipped across the river and captured the village of Chipilly itself, together with a renewed attack by III Corps. On the Canadian front, congested roads and communication problems prevented the British 32nd Division being pushed forward rapidly enough to maintain the momentum of the advance. On 10 August, there were signs that the Germans were pulling out of the salient from Operation Michael. According to official reports, the Allies had captured nearly 50,000 prisoners and 500 guns by 27 August. Even with the lessened armour the British drove 19 km (12 mi) into German positions by 13 August. Field Marshal Haig refused the request of Marshal Foch to continue the offensive, preferring instead to launch a fresh offensive by Byng's Third Army between the Ancre and Scarpe. The Battle of Amiens was a major turning point in the tempo of the war. The Germans had started the war with the Schlieffen Plan before the Race to the Sea slowed movement on the Western Front and the war devolved into trench warfare. The German Spring Offensive earlier that year had once again given Germany the offensive edge on the Western Front. Armoured support helped the Allies tear a hole through trench lines, weakening once impregnable trench positions. The British Third Army with no armoured support had almost no effect on the line while the Fourth, with fewer than a thousand tanks, broke deep into German territory. Australian commander John Monash was knighted by King George V in the days following the battle. British war correspondent Philip Gibbs noted Amiens' effect on the war's tempo, saying on 27 August that, "the enemy...is on the defensive" and, "the initiative of attack is so completely in our hands that we are able to strike him at many different places." Gibbs also credits Amiens with a shift in troop morale, saying, "the change has been greater in the minds of men than in the taking of territory. On our side the army seems to be buoyed up with the enormous hope of getting on with this business quickly" and that, "there is a change also in the enemy's mind. They no longer have even a dim hope of victory on this western front. All they hope for now is to defend themselves long enough to gain peace by negotiation."

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    The Action of Miraumont forced the Germans to begin their withdrawal from the Ancre valley before the planned retirement to the Hindenburg Line. At 2:15 a.m. on 24 February, reports arrived that the Germans had gone and by 10:00 a.m. patrols from the 2nd Australian Division on the right and the 2nd and 18th Divisions in the centre and left, were advancing in a thick mist, with no sign of German troops. Further south the German positions around Le Transloy were found abandoned on the night of 12/13 March and Australian Light Horse and infantry patrols entered Bapaume on 17 March. In January and February, the Fourth Army began to relieve French troops south of Bouchavesnes. XV Corps took over the ground south to the Somme river on 22 January, III Corps moved south to Genermont on 13 February and IV Corps transferred from the Fifth Army to relieve French forces south to the Amiens–Roye road.

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    The 1/1st Herts war diary reads, The Bn who were in trenches on both sides of the road were ordered to move forward in support of the 118th Bde, being temporarily attached to the 4/5th Black Watch Regt. Soon after moving forward British troops were seen retiring to the left in large numbers. Consequently the Bn was ordered to move forward to the left and cover their withdrawal. After having skilfully carried this out the Bn conformed to the general withdrawal to a line between MORCOURT and the FOUCACOURT–LAMOTTE road. The Bn collected and assembled, then counter attacked the enemy, driving him back to within a few hundred yards of the village of MORCOURT.(27 March 1918) First Battle of Arras, 28 March Day 8, 28 March, The focus of the German attack changed again on 28 March. The Third Army, around Arras, that would be the target of Operation Mars. Twenty-nine divisions attacked the Third Army and were repulsed. German troops advancing against the Fifth Army, from the original front at St. Quentin, had penetrated some 60 km (40 mi) by this time, reaching Montdidier. Rawlinson replaced Gough, who was "Stellenbosched" (sacked) despite having organised a long and reasonably successful retreat given the conditions. The offensive saw a great wrong perpetrated on a distinguished British commander that was not righted for many years. Gough's Fifth Army had been spread thin on a 42-mile [68 km] front lately taken over from the exhausted and demoralized French. The reason why the Germans did not break through to Paris, as by all the laws of strategy they ought to have done, was the heroism of the Fifth Army and its utter refusal to break. They fought a 38-mile [61 km] rearguard action, contesting every village, field and, on occasion, yard ... With no reserves and no strongly defended line to its rear, and with eighty German divisions against fifteen British, the Fifth Army fought the Somme offensive to a standstill on the Ancre, not retreating beyond Villers-Bretonneux. — Roberts The German attack against the Third Army was less successful than that against the Fifth Army. The German 17th Army east of Arras advanced only 3 km (2 mi) during the offensive, largely due to the British bastion of Vimy Ridge, the northern anchor of the British defenses.

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    Total British losses from January to March 1917 in France were given as 67,217, French losses given were 108,000 and German losses were 65,381. The first attack of the Nivelle Offensive by the British First and Third armies came at Arras, north of the Hindenburg Line on 9 April and inflicted a substantial defeat on the German 6th Army, which occupied obsolete defences on forward slopes. Vimy Ridge was captured and further south, the greatest depth of advance since trench-warfare began was achieved, surpassing the success of the French Sixth Army on 1 July 1916. German reinforcements were able to stabilise the front line, using both of the defensive methods endorsed in the new German training manual and the British continued the offensive, despite the difficulties of ground and German defensive tactics, in support of the French offensives further south and then to keep German troops in the area while the Messines Ridge attack was being prepared. German casualties were c. 85,000, against British losses of 117,066 for the Third and First armies.

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    On 22/23 February, the Germans fell back another 3 mi (4.8 km) on a 15 mi (24 km) front. The Germans then withdrew from much of the R. I Stellung to the R. II Stellung on 11 March, forestalling a British attack, which was not noticed by the British until dark on 12 March; the main German withdrawal from the Noyon salient to the Hindenburg Line (Operation Alberich) commenced on schedule on 16 March.[Defensive positions held by the German army on the Somme after November 1916 were in poor condition, the garrisons were exhausted and censors of correspondence from front-line soldiers reported tiredness and low morale. The situation left the German command doubtful that the army could withstand a resumption of the battle.

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    Finally, the German defences, manned by the German 2nd Army (General Georg von der Marwitz), were relatively weak, having been subjected to continual raiding by the Australians in a process termed peaceful penetration. The Battle of Amiens, also known as the Third Battle of Picardy (French: 3ème Bataille de Picardie), was the opening phase of the Allied offensive which began on 8 August 1918, later known as the Hundred Days Offensive, that ultimately led to the end of the First World War. Allied forces advanced over 11 kilometres (7 mi) on the first day, one of the greatest advances of the war, with Henry Rawlinson's British Fourth Army playing the decisive role. The battle is also notable for its effects on both sides' morale and the large number of surrendering German forces. This led Erich Ludendorff to describe the first day of the battle as "the black day of the German Army". Amiens was one of the first major battles involving armoured warfare and marked the end of trench warfare on the Western Front; fighting becoming mobile once again until the armistice was signed on 11 November 1918. On 21 March 1918, the German Army had launched Operation Michael, the first in a series of attacks planned to drive the Allies back along the length of the Western Front. With the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with revolutionary-controlled Russia, the Germans were able to transfer hundreds of thousands of men to the Western Front, giving them a significant, if temporary, advantage in manpower and materiel. These offensives were intended to translate this advantage into victory. Operation Michael was intended to defeat the right wing of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), but a lack of success before Arras ensured the ultimate failure of the offensive. A final effort was aimed at the town of Amiens, a vital railway junction, but the advance had been halted at Villers-Bretonneux by British and Australian troops on 4 April. Subsequent German offensives—Operation Georgette (9–11 April), Operation Blücher-Yorck (27 May), Operation Gneisenau (9 June) and Operation Marne-Rheims (15–17 July)—all made advances elsewhere on the Western Front, but failed to achieve a decisive breakthrough. By the end of the Marne-Rheims offensive, the German manpower advantage had been spent and their supplies and troops were exhausted. The Battle of Amiens アミアンの戦い

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    Operation Michael was a major German military offensive during the First World War that began the Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918. It was launched from the Hindenburg Line, in the vicinity of Saint-Quentin, France. Its goal was to break through the Allied (Entente) lines and advance in a north-westerly direction to seize the Channel ports, which supplied the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and to drive the BEF into the sea. Two days later General Ludendorff, the Chief of the German General Staff, changed his plan and pushed for an offensive due west, along the whole of the British front north of the River Somme. This was designed to separate the French and British Armies and crush the British forces by pushing them into the sea. The offensive ended at Villers-Bretonneux, to the east of the Allied communications centre at Amiens, where the Allies managed to halt the German advance; the German Armies had suffered many casualties and were unable to maintain supplies to the advancing troops. Much of the ground fought over was the wilderness left by the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The action was therefore officially named by the British Battles Nomenclature Committee as The First Battles of the Somme, 1918, whilst the French call it the Second Battle of Picardy (2ème Bataille de Picardie). The failure of the offensive marked the beginning of the end of the First World War for Germany. The arrival in France of large reinforcements from the United States replaced Entente casualties but the German Army was unable to recover from its losses before these reinforcements took the field. Operation Michael failed to achieve its objectives and the German advance was reversed during the Second Battle of the Somme, 1918 (21 August – 3 September) in the Allied Hundred Days Offensive. On 11 November 1917, the German High Command (Oberste Heeresleitung, OHL) discussed what they hoped would be a decisive offensive on the Western Front the following spring. Their target was the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), commanded by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, which they believed had been exhausted by the battles in 1917 at Arras, Messines, Passchendaele and Cambrai. A decision to attack was taken by General Erich Ludendorff on 21 January 1918. At the start of 1918, the German people were close to starvation and growing tired of the war. Operation Michael ミヒャエル作戦

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