"Backs to the Wall" order
"Backs to the Wall" Order: The special Army Order issued April 12th, 1918, by Earl Haig at the crisis of the great German "Push." It ran: "Every position must be held to the last man. There must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end." American official statistics show that the German superiority over the Allies on the Western Front in rifle-strength amounted to 324,000 rifles on April 1st, 1918. The Allies did not attain superiority in rifle strength until the end of June; and then came the turn of the tide.
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.13.
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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