99 years ago today the most important event of the 20th century took place, the launch of the last great German offensive in World War One. WWII was merely a post-script to what happened on that day.
By early 1918, the Germans were in a tight spot. Although Russia had been knocked out of the War by the Bolshevik Revolution and the agreement of Brest-Litovsk, which had ceded enormous territories, the Germans and their Allies were suffering the effects of the prolonged British naval blockade and deep discontent on the home front, with war weariness and strikes breaking out. Also, they were facing the prospect of millions of fresh American troops arriving in the months ahead.