The Allies were the ones to achieve a breakthrough and victory in 1918 rather than Germany due to a numerous of reasons from the development of new tactics to the entry of America and the German’s falling morale. World War One had been in a stalemate since 1914 and was in desperate need of one side to breakthrough, which occurred in 1918 with the German offensive. Though Germany broke the stalemate, it was unable to hold its attack and for reasons historians differ on the Allies were able to achieve victory in 1918. During the war a much greater understanding of the potential of using many weapons in an attack was developed. The British came to appreciate the defensive value of machine guns and tanks which many saw as the most important weapon despite Kitchener’s rejection of them as ‘pretty little toys’. The improvements to weapons particularly tanks helped the Allies achieve a victory in 1918 as the problems of engines not being powerful enough to move through mud was fixed. The modification of the tanks tracks also meant that they wouldn’t pick up as much mud stopping them for being bogged. In 1917, the Allies used tanks in a massed charge for the first time with tanks using their guns or simply rolling over the top of trenches to take out the enemy. Historian Michael Duffy said ‘The tank, which helped to make trench warfare redundant, restored movement to the battlefield’ this statement proves how important tanks were to getting the war moving again which was vital to the Allies achieving victory. The development of new tactics like ‘bite and hold’ and rolling barrage allowed the Allies to force the Germans into a steady retreat and finally to surrender. The previous tactic implied by the Allies the single action breakthrough was a failure as the operations took too much time to mount and did not have the element of surprise. The ‘bite and hold’ tactic was relatively straightforward and was usually successive as it had a limited objective. The aim was to seize part of the enemy line and to hold it against counter attack, it was most successful if the enemy could be surprised and the defence united before the German had time to prepare a strong counterattack. The ‘bite and hold’ tactic imposed high casualties of Germans as German operational orders dictated that any lost position be mmediately retaken in counterattack, without any regard to the local tactical situation. This meant that this new tactic could take a high toll on the enemy and contributed to the wearing down of the Germans. The rolling barrage was designed to place a curtain of artillery fire ahead of advancing infantry, creeping continuously forward just ahead of attacking troops. The rolling barrage wasn’t a new tactic it was just improved in 1918 previously generals had used it in large areas and had been to slow in their movements. However, in 1918 the rolling barrage saw more success as it was used on a smaller scale and involved the use of tanks that had also improved since the beginning of the war. The use of tanks gave the infantry extra protection and with some airplanes dropping ammunition to the soldiers in the battlefield, it allowed men to be well prepared. Historian’s opinions vary on whether the rolling barrage was a failure of a small but necessary part of the winning warfare. The new tactics contributed to the Allies breakthrough and victory in 1918 as they used attacking tactics and no longer just defensive ones. The decision to transfer overall command to Foch was decided by Allied government representatives on 26th of March in the wake of the powerful German Spring Offensive, which had been launched five days earlier. Foch was handed total control over the Allied forces in a period of crisis with many fearing the Germans were headed to victory. Foch was able to unify the Allied armies and oversea each countries tactics in the battlefield stopping Germanys plan of dividing Britain and France. The Allies were more organised and were working better together to defeat the Germans under the leadership of Foch because the generals of each countries weren’t arguing with one and another and there was finally someone who had the final say. The decision to have one person in charge of the whole Allied army helped the Allies to gain victory in 1918 as they were finally organised enough to make a planned attack using all the troops and weaponry. The experiences on the British and German home fronts influenced the war enormously with Britain coping better than Germany at home. The British were forced to create an industry capable to supply an army of millions meeting the needs of war as they had seriously lagged behind in the beginning of the war. The demand for war munitions meant that factories worked round the clock to ensure that soldiers were well supplied with ammunition. This led to accidents as safety was sometimes seen as secondary to producing munitions. The workers in the factories were now women who wanted to do their bit for the war but the handling of ammunition caused many health problems to these women down the track with many unable to reproduce. The government made arrangements to purchase the entire Australian and New Zealand meat export but there were still food shortages leading to long queues and the issuing of ration books. The food shortages led to meatless days and people being urged to hand over any spare land for food production. Although the home front was struggling in Britain they were able to keep up the resources needed for the troops at the front line something that Germany was struggling to do. The large supply of ammunition, medical treatment and food that the Allies had soon became aware to the German soldier in 1918 after the German offensive. The realisation that the Allies had plenty of resources to continue on fighting angered the German soldier as their government and generals had told them the Allies were doing it tougher than them. The Germans who were struggling to find food to eat and were running out of supplies lost a lot of morale after this discovering enabling the Allies to attack them when they were down. Food became a critical issue for the German front within six months of the outbreak of war but nothing was done at first to confront the problem that was caused by Britain’s Royal Navy’s blockade of German trade. In 1914 one-third of Germany’s food was imported so the blockade caused dire effects, however it was not the only cause of the food shortage with the changes in farming and the bad weather of 1916-1917 adding to the problem. The changes in farming were due to the limited supplies of nitrates that had to be used for munitions meaning they weren’t available for fertiliser causing crops to die. The horse used to plough the field were need as army transport and the farmers were often called up to war due to Germany’s conscription policy. The years 1916 to 1917 had bad seasons with terrible winters that were filled with heavy rain leading to poor harvests. The severe frosts destroyed much of the potato crop with turnips a food traditionally given to horses becoming a standard part of the German diet as a substitute. The differences in home fronts changed the morale of the soldiers and the attitudes of the civilians and with the Allies getting by all right, they were able to keep their effort going and achieve a victory. The withdrawal of Russia from the war was essential to Germany’s ability to hold on in the war for a little bit longer. Ludendorff knew that it wouldn’t be long before the American’s arrived at the front line with new able bodies ready to fight, causing a likely defeat to Germany. He knew that if Germany was to survive they needed a victory before the Americans arrived and he was granted this when Russia withdrew from the war. The withdrawal of Russia meant that Ludendorff didn’t have to worry about a war on two fronts anymore, with Russia descending into civil war they wanted out quick and Germany saw this as an opportunity to take territory that could help boost their resources. Since the war was over on the Eastern Front Ludendorff was able to transfer his troops and supplies over to the Western Front but he made a great error during this transfer. Historian, A. Pickard talks about how Ludendorff’s decision to leave a million soldiers on the Eastern Front to bully Russia into signing the treaty was a tactical mistake. “Another great strategic error by Ludendorff was to prove decisive at this moment. Way out east where the Germans had forced the Russians to sign a peace on March 3rd 1918, there were another one million German soldiers. Why were they there?… they were being used as an occupying force to enforce the most annexationist terms of any treaty signed in this conflict. ” The decision meant that the other soldiers who had fought alongside those men left on the Eastern Front were sent straight to the Western Front without any rest angering the soldiers. Ludendorff didn’t need to leave a million soldiers as Russia was desperate to get out of the war they were going to sign, he just wasted his resources. Russia’s withdrawal from the war was important to the Allies victory as it gave Ludendorff the ability to take a great gamble to finish the war with one more mighty offensive and although it didn’t end the war it pulled it out of stalemate and began the Allies journey to victory. The entry of America didn’t have a very big military or economic impact but did cause a massive increase in morale within the Allied forces. The arrival of fresh American troops was to be of the greatest importance to the Allied war effort. The entry of America led to an immediate jump in morale for the Allied forces with American troops being spread across British and French units along the front. The German army now had to face a new enemy who was stronger than Britain and France and who would be able to send unlimited numbers of fresh men to the front to relieve the battle-hardened French and British forces. Something that Germans would not be able to do as even with conscription Germany was running out of men. Historian David Kennedy reinforces the idea that entry of America was merely a morale boaster and that their military contribution was minimal. The actual military contribution of the United States to the fighting in the end of the conflict was absolutely minimal. In so far as the presence of America made a difference in Germany’s decision to surrender, it was not because the entrance of America into the war, and its demonstrated capacity to move its army across the Atlantic in huge numbers, now faced the Germans with the prospect of a virtual endless limitless supply of reinforcements that could be brought to the Allied side. ” The entry of America gave the Allies the feeling that the war could now be won and further damped German’s loss of morale. The Allies victory in 1918 wasn’t caused by one factor but by multiple factors that allowed the Allies to achieve a breakthrough. The improvements in technology, tactics and command all played a role in helping the Allies win the war. The difference in home fronts, the withdrawal of Russia and the entry of the USA helped boost morale and got the war moving again. The Allies were the side to achieve a breakthrough and victory in 1918 rather than Germany because they had more resources and were able to continue on fighting while the Germans were seriously struggling.