|General Charles Mangin
The fourth German spring offensive of 1918 was launched on 9 June west of Soissons. It began successfully enough, gaining six miles on the first day. General Charles Mangin, in disgrace after the French failure on the Chemin des Dames and the ensuing mutinies of the previous year, had been placed on the shelf. Mangin's Sixth Army had borne the brunt of the main attack, the centerpiece of Robert Nivelle's bold assault. With the failure of the attack, Mangin was, along with Nivelle, rapidly removed from effective command (Nivelle to North Africa). Mangin suffered from being one of few senior French officers to publicly favor Nivelle's doomed strategy.
Thirteen months later, however, Generalissimo Ferdinand Foch needed a commander of grit and aggressiveness to deal with the latest crisis. Possibly in desperation, on 10 June he gave command of XXXV Corps to the despised Mangin to slow down the German advance.
Mangin ordered a counterattack for the next morning. It succeeded sufficiently to cause Ludendorff to call off his offensive as a failure by its fifth day. Mangin was back. His aggressiveness would prove to be tremendously valuable for the remainder of the 1918 campaign. He was quickly given command of the combined French-American 10th Army that successfully conducted the offensive phase of the Second Battle of the Marne. In November, he was to command the French forces in the U.S.-French Lorraine Offensive, which was cancelled due to the Armistice.