chapter  8
‘The Greatest Day Since the Marne’: The Battle of Soissons – July 1918
Pages 26

In June 1918, Foch had drawn Pétain’s attention to the key importance to the Germans of the major rail junction at Soissons; by mid July, this was supplying the troops of German 9 and 7 Armies all the way down to Chateau Thierry.2 Pétain in turn notified GAR that a major offensive was planned against the Marne Salient.3 Foch waited until the last German offensive finally petered out in mid July before launching his grand offensive. The opening battle of this series of offensives was to be at Soissons and this is examined in this chapter. As the majority of tanks were on French X Army’s front, this will be considered in most detail, although there will be a discussion of the parts played by IX and VI Army (see Map 8.1).