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Operation Michael began on 21st March in the North-east France between Lens and Le Fere. The
        allies  made  significant  early  gains,  but  eventually  over  72,000  British  troops  were  taken  prisoner.
        (William Martin).

        Although the British Army was the most mechanised of all the armies in the Great War, it still relied
        largely on horse power for the transportation of supplies, guns, ammunition and men, particularly in
        the extremely muddy conditions. A driver in WW1 rode on team horses which    pulled    wagons, guns,
        ambulances and    equipment. Each driver was responsible for his horses and he teamed up with two
        other drivers in order to pull the wagons. (Edward Brigden)

        The  First  World  War  was  extremely  labour  intensive  -  hundreds  of  miles  of  new  trenches  were
        continually being built, old ones repaired or maintained. As the horrendous conflict continued, there
        was an acute shortage of manpower to do this hard and exhausting work.    Sir Douglas Haig requested
        an increase in the force of an additional 21,000 men and this demand was filled by importing men from
        China (where the British followed a French lead and signed an agreement with the Chinese for a supply
        of men). India, South Africa, Egypt and other places within the British Empire were also called upon to
        supply manpower. By the war’s end a total of about 300,000 such workers had been engaged. It was
        thought that as many as 50,000 Chinese workers were working in France, rising to 96,000 by August
        1918. (Frederick Corke).

        By late September 1918, Marshal Foch had finalised his plans to deliver a succession of hammer blows
        on the Western Front and on 26th September he launched an attack in the Argonne region of eastern
        France  involving  some  600,000  allied  troops,  5,000  guns  and  around  500  tanks  and  500  aircraft.
        (Captain North).

        War in the Air. The Royal Flying Corps was the    air-arm of the British Army during the First
        World War until it officially merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on 1st April 1918 to form the
        Royal Air Force. During the early part of the war, the RFC supported the British Army by artillery
        co-operation  and  photographic  reconnaissance.    The  men  were  known  as  observers.    This  work
        gradually led RFC pilots into aerial battles with German pilots, and later in the war, including the
        strafing of enemy infantry and emplacements, the bombing of German military airfields and later the
        strategic bombing of German industrial and transportation facilities. (Thomas Humphrey)

        The  Russian  Revolution.    Following  the  dramatic  Bolshevist  Revolution  in  1917,  Winston
        Churchill  (Minister  for  Munitions  in  Lloyd  George’s  Government)  decided  to  send  several  British
        battalions  to  Russia  to  support  the  “white”  Russians  (who  were  opposing  the  “red”  Communist
        Russians) in the bitter battle for the soul of the huge Russian Continent.

                  th                  th
        On the 18  July 1918, the 25  Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, left the relative security and comfort of
        their Hong Kong barracks to embark on the ship “Ping Suie” and immediately set sail    for Russia.
        Some  16  days  later,  on  3   August,  after  a  largely  trouble  free  voyage,  they  landed  at  the  port  of
        Vladivostok. They were to remain in Russia for almost a year and travelled thousands of miles on the
        notorious Trans-Siberian Railway. (Henry Wells).

        Although the war officially ended on 11th November 1918, thousands of soldiers died after this date.
        Men were scattered across the Globe and it  would take many,  many months for the authorities to
        stand-down and repatriate the vast numbers into civilian life.    By a cruel twist of fate, a pandemic flu
        outbreak occurred in 1918, when vast numbers of civilians and servicemen, whose resistance had been
        substantially lowered over the four long and hard years of warfare, succumbed to the deadly virus.
        (George Mepham and William Crombie).
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