After the Nivelle Offensive –   bookscover2cover

Another story of mine has been posted at bookscover2cover. This one is called After the Nivelle Offensive and can be read by clicking on the link.

The story was written last year, 100 years after the outbreak of World War 1, and the historical background, courtesy of Wikipedia, is as follows –

The Nivelle Offensive in April 1917 was a Franco-British offensive on the Western Front in the First World War. The French part of the offensive was intended to be strategically decisive, by breaking through the German defences on the Aisne within 48 hours, with casualties expected to be around 10,000 men.

The operation had been planned as a decisive blow to the Germans; by 20 April it was clear that the strategic intent of the offensive had not been achieved. By 25 April most of the fighting had ended. On 3 May the French 2nd Division refused to follow its orders to attack and this mutiny soon spread throughout the army.

In 1919 Pierrefeu gave French casualties from 16–25 April as 118,000 of whom 28,000 were killed, 5,000 died of wounds, 80,000 were wounded, 20,000 of whom were fit to return to their units by 30 April and 5,000 were taken prisoner. In 1920 Hayes wrote that British casualties were 160,000 and Russian casualties 5,183 men.

Nivelle was sacked as French Commander-in-Chief and moved to North Africa. He was replaced by the considerably more cautious Pétain with Foch as chief of the General Staff; the new commanders abandoned the strategy of decisive battle to one of recuperation and defence, to avoid high casualties and to restore morale. Pétain had 40–62 mutineers shot as examples.

7 thoughts on “After the Nivelle Offensive –   bookscover2cover

  1. Congratulations!
    This really is one of your most powerful pieces. Even reading it a second time, third time, fourth time — still powerful.


    • Thanks, Jen. I really can’t remember how, but I know this was sparked by one of our rambling chats… about having to shoot someone. As you do :-$

      And thanks for Paloma’s comment, too. Good name, Paloma 😉

      • 🙂 Glad to lend some support — perhaps it balances out the chattiness, LOL

        We’d been talking about St. Stephen after I saw that Odilon Redon painting at the National Gallery — and one comment led to another — ahem — [looking embarrassed]

      • Ah yes, so it was. Well remembered!

        Hey, if it wasn’t for that chattiness I’d be minus a handful of stories and 100% of the haiku that grace (ahem) this here blog 😉

      • Yay! My (virtual) big mouth is useful on occasion! 😉

        So glad you started writing haiku — you and I both know it isn’t effortless by any means — but you make it *look* effortless and that is quite an achievement. Good to know you’re enjoying it too. 🙂

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