Britain and the Western Front in 1918

By 1918 the British Army had, like all of the warring nations, suffered many casualties. Much of the army was now made up of conscripted men, rather than the professional soliders who had formed the BEF in 1914. The Western Front had also changed. There were now American forces on the front in increasing numbers and the contribution of forces from the empire had grown in number. This, however, does not mean that the British had a limited role in the war in 1918. On average the british held 87 miles of front line trenches on the Western Front in 1918 and troops levels were proportionally higher in 1918 than they had been at any time in the war (23% the size of the French army on the Western Front, see this page for statitstics for other years).

Key roles on the Western Front:

British forces were heavily involved in defending the front when the Spring Offensives were launched.

The Ypres Salient continued to see lots of fighting.

Britian acted as a staging post for troops coming from America and the empire.

British troops continued to relieve pressure on the French army.


It must also be remembered that the war was not just fought on the Western Front. In 1918 British forces were successful in the Middle East and the Royal Navy had a crucial role in ensuring that supplies and troops continued to reach Britain and France. The Royal Navy was also hugely successful in blockading German ports and thus cutting off German supply lines.


British Military Aviation in 1918 – RAF History of the role of British air power in the First World War.

National Army Museum – Timeline of 1918 which shows how British troops were involved.

History Learning Site – the Spring Offensive. Details how Alied, including british, troops coped with the German attacks.

Star of Mons in the Ascendant – The Closing battles of Britain’s army in the First World War.

 First World War Homepage
Causes of the First World War – Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
Schlieffen Plan – Public Reaction to the Outbreak of War
British Expeditionary Force –  Interactive Timeline of the First World War
Simulation: Life in the Trenches – Statistics
Changing role of Women – War Poetry
British Contribution to Western Front – Development of New Weapons
Creeping Barrage – Western Front in 1918
Home Front in the First World War
Timeline Infographic: Causes of World War OneLudendorff and the Spring Offensive

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