Ludolf von Quast
von Quast (1850-1939), a successful German infantry
General, almost succeeded in inflicting a heavy defeat
upon the British at Lys during the German Army's major
Spring offensive of 1918.
entered the army in 1870 and had risen to
Lieutenant-General rank by 1910. Three years later
he was appointed to command of 9th Army Corps.
highly competent and often successful, Quast's public
profile was slight. As commander of the German
Sixth Army he nevertheless came close to smashing the
British First Army's line along the River Lys in April
1918 as part of Operation Georgette, ably supported by
Georg Bruchmuller's spectacularly effective short, sharp
preliminary artillery bombardment.
was Quast's success at Lys which resulted in the British
Commander-in-Chief, Sir Douglas Haig, issuing his famed
Order of the Day of 11 April 1918, commonly referred to
as his 'Backs to the Wall' communiqué.
the event Quast, who had succeeded in outflanking
Allied-held Armentieres (which was subsequently
abandoned) and advancing some 5.5 km to the Lys River,
was prevented from a complete breakthrough by the
resolute, defiant defence exhibited by Hugh Jeudwine's
British 55th Division.
his near victory Quast never again looked like breaking
through to the crucial Channel ports, as the German Army
began its long retreat of Summer 1918.
von Quast, who received the prestigious Oakleaves in
addition to the Pour le Merite award (received in August
1916) on 10 April 1918, died in 1939.
geb. Radensleben 18.10.1850, gest. Potsdam
© A. Schulze Ising,