Talk:Operation Michael

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I believe its incorrect to name this article as "First battle of the Somme" as irregardless of the (1918) next to it, the title would suggest an article on the Somme offensive of 1916.

Not to mention that the article's text refers to the "Second battle of the Somme". I think there is a mistake here. --Chancemichaels 01:21, 23 October 2006 (UTC)Chancemichaels
I agree: First Battle of the Somme (1918) is not a good title. Operation Michael or Battle of St. Quentin (1918) would be much better. --Rumping 13:27, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I note that Battle of the Somme (disambiguation) explains the situation vis a vis official nomenclature. First Battle of the Somme of 1918 would be a suitable title. GraemeLeggett 14:53, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Very bad summary of Operation Michael, the first offensive of the 1918 Spring Offensive.[edit]

This is a very bad summary of Operation Michael and also has a misleading name in reguards to the 1916 Battle of the Somme.

I am currently writing a coursework paper on Operation Michael, "Why did Operation Michael fail after it's initial success?". I would be glad to post it and/or contribute to the article once my essay as been graded and cleared in August 07. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by GBobly (talkcontribs) 00:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC).


I notice that the map doesn't show Operation Mars against 3rd army which is mentioned in the text. I fear that this may give a misleading impression of the efectiveness of the German attacks. Are there other maps we could add which show it?Keith-264 (talk) 17:23, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

I believe that article as it currently stands warrants this tag. It relies exclusively on British //English? - the units involved box indicates Australia, Canada, New Zealand, but these do not appear in the text// sources. (When I first began copyediting, the weird formatting of some of the text led me to suspect copy and pasting, possibly in violation of copyright, although I could not trace the original source(s).) In addition, it could do with some tidying. Much of the text refers to small-scale actions, the location and relevance of which is unclear unless combined with large-scale maps. HLGallon (talk) 14:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Further to my last: I have reviewed some of the on-line sources cited within the text. Much of the text has indeed been copypasted, from the various pages under the Commonwealth War Graves Commission section dealing with the offensives of 1918. I'm not too sure of the copyright status of this site's text, but I think some rewriting is required to avoid accusations of cribbing. HLGallon (talk) 08:47, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

At least the outcome is sourced and written from the German point of view. I can't speak for the rest of it. Dapi89 (talk) 12:16, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

As I read this article for the first time, I must agree with the complaint that it is written almost entirely from the British viewpoint. There is little mention of German units' actions during the operation, but more importantly, the narrative fails to show how an operation that had been intended by the Germans to surround the British forces and remove them permanently from the war, degenerated into a mere advance, a grab for territory. There's little information about the Germans' thinking as they watched their plan go astray. This was the Germans' most important operation in the West since 1914; they staked everything -- their remaining resources, the victory or defeat of Germany -- on the success of this operation; nevertheless, they watched it fail and allowed it to do so. Why? Cwkmail (talk) 10:23, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

I think that the recent changes look pretty good but I fear that some of the details suggest that the German methods (Hutier-Bruchmuller) were new. I suggest that they were incremental changes that had appeared in all of the western front armies in 1917 and that the 'German excellence' view ought to be tempered by reference to this. Keith-264 (talk) 09:24, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Apropos, why wouldn't three years' practice in attacking German defences make the British familiar with German defensive methods? Having confounded the German defence-in-depth at Ypres in 1917 despite the pony weather whouldn't they be expect to be thoroughly conversant with these methods?Keith-264 (talk) 09:29, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Austrian troops in the order of battle[edit]

Well, I know that the Austrians sent a limited number of troops and artillery batteries for the Spring Offensive, yet I have yet to find any proper "Order of Battle" for either of the German armies involved, or find any proper references to Austrian units involved in the battle.

AFAIK the Austro-Hungarian artillery was highly regarded by the Germans and the number of batteries involved in the Spring Offensive was not insignificant. So, does anyone have access to a proper OOB for the Spring Offensive, namely the German 17th, 18th and 19th armies?

Thank you in advance. :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:32, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 04:32, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I placed the original tag. There has been a large amount of non-POV material added, mainly by mass copy-and-pasting from the article Spring Offensive, but a vast amount of cruft remains. There are too many quotes with little context, and the 1/1 Herts war diary is useless without a very large-scale map to illustrate its entries. I'm still not 100% happy about its copyright. HLGallon (talk) 13:43, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree on the strange prominence given to 1/1 Herts. Not really sure why it's needed in such detail. Andrew Gray (talk) 22:57, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


Added some of the missing footnotes and references, tidied some prose and added categories as per wiki.Keith-264 (talk) 00:25, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Done as much loose-ending as I can until I fetch some other sources. I'm not sure about the Beds battalion narrative either.Keith-264 (talk) 14:52, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
The average strength of a German Division in 1918 stood at 12,300 men, 3,000 horses, 48 artillery pieces, 120 mortars, 78 heavy machine guns, 144 light machine guns, and 6–12 trucks.{{sfn|Grey|1991|p=?}}[page needed] moved this as can't find a reference, added something from Kitchen to compensate.Keith-264 (talk) 14:50, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Confusion in text[edit]

Too many missing words and self-contradictions in sentences. Example "A British infantry division was now nine battalions strong, reduced from four battalions" Reduced to nine from four? This is obviously not what was meant. But, what was meant? There are many such instances. Article needs to be cleaned up and contradictions corrected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

I edited a sentence in "Day 2", so as to say that the commander of the 16th Manchesters wasn't annihilated, but that his unit was. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:03, 21 March 2014 (UTC) Terry Thorgaard (talk)

Added some more citations from the OH and tidied prose in a few places.Keith-264 (talk) 19:39, 21 March 2014 (UTC)


I altered the coordinates to represent a wider area than St. Quentin by picking Chaulnes as the approximate centre of the Michael battlefield and only using the 50km criterion of degrees and minutes ( It's an experiment so feel free to alter.Keith-264 (talk) 08:32, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

@Irondome, I think your edits have been pretty good but I think that the article needs a re-write so I'm not sure that piecemeal changes are worth your effort. Keith-264 (talk) 16:27, 1 June 2016 (UTC) @Irondome, thanks for the thanks; I remember now that all I did to the article was sort out the references and use the OH to cite paragraphs. It was when I decided that the 1918 fighting on the Western Front was so different to 1915–1917 that it was almost a different war and that it would take as much time to study it as the previous period, so it would have to wait. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 08:32, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Shortened the sfns using |display-authors=1 and tidied the references. Keith-264 (talk) 08:51, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Hi Keith, thanks for that! My library on this period is pretty shite so I am having to read and re-read the article (and also the summer counteroffensives and the 100 days) so I can er edit the article(s) if that makes sense..Give us a shout if you can recommend any good stuff on google books. I'm a tight git and can't afford expensive tomes at the mo. Beer or books is a tricky one ;) Simon Irondome (talk) 20:01, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Beer! Keith-264 (talk) 20:30, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Plural titles[edit]

Please note that there has never been an Armies and there has never been a Generals; its generals Haig and Gough. Smith was promoted to major-general and became Major-General Smith. Thank you Keith-264 (talk) 10:54, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

No-one is talking about "an Armies". The distinction is between a word ("army", "general", "king" or whatever) used as a common noun (uncapitalised) or as a title (capitalised). Whether it's singular or plural makes no difference. There were two armies; their titles were the 17th Army and the 2nd Army; or, in a more economical construction, they were the 17th and 2nd Armies. Your second sentence – "Smith was promoted to major-general and became Major-General Smith" – illustates the same distinction very well. But by your wider logic, one should write such an inconsistent and flawed sentence as, "At the strategy meeting, General Smith proposed an advance on the left flank, while generals Jones and Brown argued for the right." GrindtXX (talk) 13:42, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
"...generals Jones and Brown argued for the right". I think you put this bit very well, except for the wayward full stop.Keith-264 (talk) 13:59, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
This issue seems to come up every now and then and we all have our opinions about it (so there is no point in me adding mine). Just wondering if anyone actually knows of any references which cover this, rather than each of us straining to try to remember grammar lessons from school. I suspect the Australian Style Guide might have something, also the Chicago Manual of Style but I don't have access to either. Anyone got access to these? Also is there anything for British English? What about Canadian English? Anotherclown (talk) 23:12, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
My copy of the Chicago Manual is the 14th edn (1993) (so not up to date: we're now up to the 16th). It contains the following:
7.16 [re titles of persons] "The title is also capitalized if it refers to more than one name:
Mayors Cermak and Walker
Doctors Joseph and Hershall"
7.43 [re place-names] "The University of Chicago Press now recommends that when a generic term is used in the plural either before or after more than one proper name, the name should be capitalized if, in the singular form and in the same position, it would be recognized as a part of each name. Formerly such plural terms were capitalized only when preceding the proper names.
Lakes Erie and Huron
Mounts Everest and Rainier
the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains
the Hudson and Mississippi Rivers
the rivers Hudson and Mississippi"
I also have a copy of the Oxford Style Manual (2003), but that doesn't appear to contain anything relevant. GrindtXX (talk) 00:36, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't feel bound by US usage, I write in English (of sorts). ;o)) Keith-264 (talk) 00:45, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Very common usage in British English: "Princes William and Harry". HLGallon (talk) 04:17, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
Sadly true. Keith-264 (talk) 07:48, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
I've certainly seen examples of both in Australian usage. Conceding of cse that we have not exhausted the search for a reference which covers the issue yet (although US usage seems to have been established per the above); however, given that it seems as though either way is used fairly commonly I wonder if MOS:RETAIN / some kind of "live and let live" policy might be the easiest way to handle this? Anotherclown (talk) 23:02, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
I remember now that French, David (2002). Raising Churchill's Army doesn't capitalise plurals but given the shocking negligence of copy editing by commercial publishers, I'm not sure that printed usage is always a reliable guide. I agree L and LL is the pragmatic course. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 08:06, 13 October 2016 (UTC)