Published By Ben Hillidge
100 Days. 8 August – 11 November 1918
With the collapse of the Kaiser Offensive the Allies began preparations for a counter-attack which would be the final advance lasting for 100 Days from 8 August 1918 to the Armistice, and end of the war, on 11 November 1918.
The Offensive was a series of advances each in different sectors – The Somme, Arras, Bethune and Ypres. Overall the offensive had 3 objectives; to regain the ground lost during the Kaiser Offensive; to overcome the German defensive lines, particularly the Hindenburg Line, that had been the start line for the Kaiser Offensive; and, finally, a general advance to push the German Army back through Belgium and eventually into Germany. The Offensive ended with the Armistice on 11 November. At that time the ‘frontline’ was into Belgium but well short of the German frontier – the British halted at Mons, the same place where they had retreated from in 1914.
The Battle of Amiens and Advance in Picardy.
The Battle of Amiens, 8-17 August, in the most southerly of the British sectors, was a great success. The British broke through. The German army was heavily defeated and began a general retreat back to their old front line – the Hindenburg Line. This was a massive and ‘impregnable’ line of defences built in 1916 and occupied in February 1917 when the Germans made a strategic with drawl to the new line.
On The Somme the advance continued on 21 August back across the old Somme battlefields to reach the Hindenburg Line at the end of the month. Elsewhere too, the British moved forward and at Arras operations to overcome the Line began on 26 August. Also, at Ypres, the breakout from the Salient commenced on 18 August.
During August 1918 Men on the Gates were involved in the following actions –
- Bethune. Les Harisoires. 1 Bn King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) 8 August 1918
- Battle of Amiens. Morlancourt, 9 Bn Royal Fusiliers. 8 August 1918.
- Bethune. Locon. 1/4 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 10-17 August 1918,
- Bethune. Robecq. 24 Bn Welsh Regiment. 20 August 1918.
- Bailleul. Locre. 2 Bn South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers). 21 August 1918.
- Somme. Courcelles le Comte. 7 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 20-24 August 1918.
- Bailleul, Oppy. 1 Bn Worcestershire Regiment. 27 August 1918.
- Somme. Morval. 14 Bn Welsh Regiment. 30 August 1918.
Battles of the Hindenburg Line.
Operations to overcome the Hindenburg Line began on 2 September and would continue throughout the month. The first weeks were engaged on the approach to the Hindenburg Line and establishing positions for the final assault on the Line itself. By October the Line had been breached tand the advance would continue towards the River Selle.
During September 1918 Men on the Gates were involved in the following actions –
- Somme. Mont St Quentin. 26 Bn Australian Infantry . 2 September 1918.
- Somme. Rancourt. 4 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 2 September 1918
- Arras. Eterpigny. 1 Bn King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). 1 September 1918.
- Place. 5 Bn Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). 2 September 1918 (to be done)Private 116087 Alfred Jones. Maesbury & West Felton
Battle of Epehy 18 September 1918
- Battle of Epehy. Fresnoy-le-Petit. 1 Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. 18 September 1918.
- Battle of Epehy, St Emilie & Ronssoy. 10 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 18 September 1918.
- Battle of Epehy. Villers Guislain. 12 Bn County of London Regiment. 21 September 1918.
Attacks on the Hindenburg Line
- Hindenburg Line. The Quadrilateral. 10 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 19-23 September 1918
- Hindenburg Line. The Quadrilateral. 1 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 24-25 September 1918
- Hindenburg Line. Roisel. 67 Coy Labour Corps. 23 September 1918
- Hindenberg Line. Anneux. 2/4 Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. 28 September 1918.
Advance in Flanders. Ypres. 28 September – 31 October 1918
In the north part of the British sector operations began on 28 September 1918 to break out of the Ypres Salient and advance into Belgium.
During the Advance in Flanders Men on the Gates were involved in the following actions –
- Advance in Flanders. Ypres. 35 Bn Machine Gun Corps. 28 September 1918
- Advance in Flanders. Terhand, Belgium. 2 Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 29 September 1918.
- Bethune. Richbourg L’Avoue. 9 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 30 September 1918
October – November 1918
With the Hindenburg Line breached and secured the advance continued eastward in pursuit of the enemy.
Battle of Cambrai 8-13 October 1918,
- Battle of Cambrai. Gouy. 84 Brigade Royal Field Artillery. 7 October 1918
- Battle of Cambrai. Abancourt. 11 Bn Manchester Regiment. 9 October 1918.
- Battle of Cambrai. St Quentin. 1 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 15 October 1918.
Battle of River Selle, 17-25 October 1918.
- Battle of River Selle. Saint Benin. 3 Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) 16-19 October 1918.
- Battle of River Selle. Montrecourt. 9 Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 23 October 1918.
- Battle of River Selle. Briastre. 1/8 Bn Lancashire Fusiliers. 23 October 1918.
Battles of Valciennes (1-2 November) and of Sambre (4 November)