Start of the Allies’ Hundred Days Offensive

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By Euronews
Start of the Allies’ Hundred Days Offensive

1918: August 8

The Hundred Days Offensive was launched by the Allies on August 8 with the Battle of Amiens, an attack by more than 10 Allied divisions and 500 tanks on enemy positions which achieved complete surprise.

The offensive broke through the German lines with the tanks spreading panic and confusion in enemy rear positions. By the end of the day, the Allies had gained 24 kilometers between the enemy lines, captured over 17,000 soldiers and killed around 30,000 German soldiers. The death toll was much lower among the medley of British, Australian, Canadian and French troops, with a total of 6,500 casualties.

Two days later, the Germans were pushed back towards the Hindenburg Line, losing the salient they had managed to occupy during Operation Michael in March. On August 21, the Allies launched a decisive attack near Albert, north of Amiens, pushing back the German 2nd Army over a 55-kilometer front. The town was captured the following day, while Bapaume fell to the Allies on August 29.

Fighting resumed in Amiens as Australian troops crossed the Somme River on August 31, breaking through the German lines at Peronne and Mont Saint Quentin. By September 2, the Germans had been forced back to near the Hindenburg Line, from where they had commenced their Spring Offensive.

Main picture: personnal collection, public domain