Le Laonnois PDF

This article needs additional le Laonnois PDF for verification. Three battles were fought along the Chemin des Dames east-to-west ridge located to the north of Paris during the First World War.


All are named after the river which flows on the south side of the ridge. Anglo-French counter-offensive following the First Battle of the Marne. During World War I, the Chemin Des Dames lay in that sector of the Western Front held by the French Army. Its strategic importance made it the staging ground of several major battles that took place between 1914 and 1918.

The front line then remained static until March 1917, during which time several thousand soldiers died in local attacks or coup de main operations. The best-known battle, called the Second Battle of the Aisne, took place between 16 April and 25 April 1917. To soften up the German defenses, General Robert Nivelle, an artilleryman by training and experience, inflicted a six-day artillery preparation involving 5,300 guns. This, of course, provided ample warning that a major French attack was coming. This situation developed into a threat of complete disintegration. General Philippe Pétain, who had opposed this offensive, was called in to take over from Nivelle and to reestablish order. This he did without harsh collective punishments.