Fifth Army (United Kingdom)

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Fifth Army
Active 1916–1918
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Army
Engagements First World War
Sir Hubert Gough

The Fifth Army was a field army of the British Army during World War I that formed part of the British Expeditionary Force that fought on the Western Front between 1916 and 1918.


The Fifth Army was created on 30 October 1916 by renaming of General Sir Hubert Gough's British Reserve Army.[1] It participated in the Battle of the Ancre, which became the final British effort in the Battle of the Somme.[citation needed]

In 1917, the Fifth Army was involved in the Battle of Arras and then the Third Battle of Ypres. The following year, the Fifth Army took over a stretch of front-line previously occupied by the French south of the River Somme and on 21 March bore the brunt of the opening phase of the German Spring Offensive, known as Operation Michael.[1] The failure of the Fifth Army to withstand the German advance led to Gough's dismissal and the disbanding of the broken army. In April and May 1918, the Fifth Army was nominally commanded by General Sir William Peyton,[2] but when it was reformed as an army some months later, its command was given to General William Birdwood; it saw little action in the remainder of the war.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b "The British Armies of 1914-1918". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "William Eliot Peyton". Centre for First World War Studies. Retrieved 19 January 2008.