Hundred Days 8 August to 11 November 1918
On 8 August 1918, the Allies launched the largest attack of the World War I, east of the French town of Amiens. They won an unprecedented victory on the Western Front, and battle began the final phase of the war on the Western Front, which we now call 'the hundred days'.
The Battle of Amiens was the first time all five Australian infantry divisions attacked together.
The attack was so overwhelming that Erich Ludendorff, the German Chief of Staff, called it the ‘black day of the German army’. Some 9000 Allied troops became casualties on the first day, including close to 2000 Australians.
Of some 450 guns captured by the Australians in the Battle of Amiens, one is the 11-inch artillery piece mounted on a railway carriage that is now on display in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
In the final months of the war, the Allies maintained the offensive. They eventually drove the Germans back to the Hindenburg Line from which their own offensive had been launched in March 1918.
During this phase of the war, the Australians fought in a series of battles, most famously at Mont St Quentin and Peronne, before fighting their last infantry battle on the Western Front at Montbrehain on 5 October 1918.
Main battles involving Australians:
- Battle of Amiens 8 to 12 August 1918
- Battle of Chuignes 23 August (part of Battle of Albert)
- Second Battle of the Somme 21 August to 2 September 1918
- Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin 31 August to 3 September 1918
- Battle of St Quentin Canal (Bellicourt) 29 September to 10 October 1918