August 12, 1918 – Decisive Allied Victory at Amiens, Hundred Days Offensive Begins
Pictured – “We cleared the lot in front of us… Because from then on it
was advance. From then on it was always advance.” – Pte William Gillman.
Four days of battle at Amiens ended on August 12, 1918. As high as 75,000 Germans were wounded, captured, or dead. A desperate final German counter-attack had been halted by the British Cavalry Corps, finally back in action after years of waiting behind the lines. The Amiens railroad junction had been taken, and a salient pushed towards Paris eliminated.
Most importantly, the victory at Amiens destroyed German morale. German troops had believed they were finally on the verge of victory in spring 1918. The defeat at Amiens convinced them, devastatingly, that was not the case. British advances in technology, staffwork, and tactics had rolled up a part of the German front-line in only days. The Allies had reached the apex of their “learning curve,” and finally mastered warfare on the Western Front.
The British continued their advance. Together with the French, Americans, and Belgians, they embarked on the Hundred Days Offensive, which would be the last great battle of the war. Over the next 90 days the German army would be destroyed in the West and an armistice concluded. From then on it was always advance.