Quick March – The Hindenburg Line by Simon Haw
The Hindenburg Line was a German defensive position constructed on the Western Front during the First World War. It was built in the wake of the Battle of the Somme - an all-out Allied offensive which began on the 01 July 1916 and was an attempt to break through the German lines. By the end of 1916 the battles of the Somme and Verdun had seriously weakened the German Army with the Infantry taking unsustainable losses and casualties. During the winter of 1916–1917 the Hindenburg Line, which ran from Arras to Laffaux near Soissons on the Aisne, was devised and put in place. The Germans, by retreating to a new Front Line and laying the intervening ground to waste, put in place a number of formidable obstacles designed to delay the advance of the Allies and a resumption of the Battle of the Somme in the spring of 1917. The Line - brilliantly conceived by Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg and successfully constructed in the time available - required lesser numbers to defend it. At a vital and precarious time in the War for the German Army, it safeguarded the Infantry and gave the troops time to rest and recuperate and to resupply.
The Hindenburg Line, the last line of German defence, was not breached until 29 September 1918, a matter of weeks from the end of the War. For the Allies to achieve this feat it required a 56-hour-long bombardment and a highly co-ordinated offensive for them to finally break through and get beyond it.