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The Battle of Amiens

Headstones from the Laventie German Military Cemetery, Laventie, France of territorial guard Alfred Schirmer and Corporal Albert Levy. Schirmer died on August 8, 1918, Levy on August 10, both likely in the Battle of Amiens.
Text:
Alfred Schirmer
Landsturmmann
† 8.8.1918
Albert Levy
Gefreiter
Gef. 10.8.1918

Headstones from the Laventie German Military Cemetery, Laventie, France of territorial guard Alfred Schirmer and Corporal Albert Levy. Schirmer died on August 8, 1918, Levy on August 10, both likely in the Battle of Amiens. © 2013 by John M. Shea

Image text

Alfred Schirmer

Landsturmmann

† 8.8.1918



Albert Levy

Gefreiter

Gef. 10.8.1918

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When Foch, Pétain, Haig, and Pershing met on July 24, they agreed the Allies wouldn't be ready for a general offensive??? until September, but that they would continue local offensives. The British would attack to the north, in the Amiens salient, from Ypres south, and secure the Paris-Amiens rail line.

On August 8, at 4:20 AM, with no preliminary bombardment, shielded by fog, British, Australian, Canadian, and French troops struck east of Amiens on both banks of the Somme. The Germans were completely surprised. Supported by 2,000 guns, 1,700/800? aircraft, and 456/487? tanks, including Britain's new Whippets, the Allies broke the German line, advancing over six/up to nine? miles, and capturing 15,000 prisoners and 400 guns on the first day.

The attack shattered German morale. Ludendorff later called this "the black day of the German Army,” and told the Kaiser peace negotiations should be initiated. The Kaiser agreed: "We are at the end of our reserves. The war must be ended.:" Liddell Hart, p. 255.

Foch struck and struck again, taking advantage of the rapid rail transport of troops behind the front to conduct local offensives. On August 10, the French took Montdidier on the southern flank of the Amiens salient. A week later, another French army attacked further south. On August 21, an additional British army advanced north of the initial offensive. On August 26, another British army struck further north at Arras. Ludendorff ordered a retreat along the Amiens front and on the Lys to the north from the territory gained during Operation Georgette in April. The Australians took Péronne on the Somme on August 30 (31?). On September 2, the Canadians advanced. On September 2, Ludendorff ordered a second retreat. By early September, the German had withdrawn to the Hindenburg Line. The Allies had taken 110,000 Germany prisoners.

British and Commonwealth troops continued their adv

1918-08-08

1918-09-04