The Hundred Days Offensive - The Germans had merely suspected before that perhaps they might lose the war; now they knew they would, and they were devastated. The end was coming.
View a diary of events from each and every day from Aug 8th 1918 to the Armistice on 11th Nov 1918. The entries provide a fascinating picture of the war as it was viewed at the time.
AUG 8th -Great Allied Attack. -The British Fourth Army and the French First Army attack on a twenty-mile front from Avre River, at Branches, north to the neighbourhood of Morlancourt. The greatest depth of advance is about seven miles. Prisoners total 7,000.
AUG 9th -Allied battle-front extended, and the attack is renewed. On the front of British Fourth Army, Canadian and Australian troops capture line of outer defences of Amiens. English and American troops attack in angle between the Somme and the Ancre and take Morlancourt. Total prisoners captured by Allies exceed 24,000. French attack south of Montdidier and take 2,000 prisoners.
AUG 10th -French develop attack south of Montdidier, which falls into their hands, and progress on whole front between Avre and Oise, penetrating farthest south into the wooded region between Rivers Matz and Oise. British advance their line north of the Somme.
AUG 11th -Germans heavily attack British positions at Lihons, but are repulsed. French gain ground between the Avre and the Oise. South of the Avre they occupy Marqueviliers and Grivillers and reach line Armancourt-Thilleloy.
AUG 12th -British line advanced in neighbourhood of the Roye Road and east of Fouquescourt. South of Somme, our troops capture Broyart. French capture Gury.
Announced British in Siberia joins the Czechs on the Ussuri front.
AUG 13th -French progress to north-east of Gury, gain footing in the park of Plessis de Roye and reach Belval. Announced 28,000 prisoners captured by French First Army and British Fourth Army since the morning of August 8th.
AUG 14th -Germans evacuate forward positions at Beaumont-Hamel, Serre, Puisieux-au-Mont, and Bucquoy.
French progress between Matz and Oise, and capture Ribecourt, and advance north and east of Lassigny Massif.
AUG 15th -French complete capture of the Lassigny Massif. Canadian troops capture villages of Damery and Parvillers (between Chaulnes and Roye).
The United States severs relations with the Bolshevists.
AUG 16th - Continued progress towards Roye, and between latter and Lassigny.
AUG 17th -British progress on a front of nearly a mile north of Lihons. French progress north and south of the Avre, capturing trenches of Caesar's Camp in the region west of Roye.
AUG 18th -British carry out successful operation between Vieux Berquin and Bailleul, advancing to a depth of from 1,000 to 2,000 yards. The village of Oultersteene is captured.
AUG 19th -French, completing successes between Carlepont and Fontenoy, capture Morsain; total prisoners since August 18th number 2,200. Between the Matz and the Oise, they capture Fresnieres and reach western outskirts of Lassigny. British advance in Merville sector and enter that town.
AUG 20th -Magnin's New Blow.-General Mangin's Tenth French Army attacks on a front of 16 miles from the region of Bailly as far as the Aisne. On the left it reaches southern borders of Forest of Ourscamps, in centre it captures Lombray, on the right the villages of Vezaponin, Tartiers, and Courtil are captured. The average advance is 2 1/2 miles, and over 8,000 prisoners are taken.
British gain further ground astride the Lys, taking l'Epinette. North of Merville, Vierhouck and La Couronne are taken.
AUG 21st -General Byng's Attack. - British Third Army opens an offensive on a ten-mile front, north of the Ancre and advances three miles; Beaucourt, Bucquoy, Ablainzeville, and Moyenneville taken in first stage of advance, and later Achiet-Ie-Petit and Courcelles.
AUG 22nd -Recapture of Albert.-British attack between Somme and Ancre, and advance two miles on the front of over six miles. Albert is reoccupied.
AUG 23rd -British front active from south of Arras to Lihons. Among many villages captured are: Gomiecourt, Achiet-IeGrand, Bihucourt, and the ridge overlooking Irles.
Australians capture Bray.
AUG 24th -Great British Advance in Somme Sector. - By the night British troops are astride the Thiepval Ridge and take La Boisselle, Ovillers, Mouquet Farm, Thiepval, Grandcourt.
New Zealand troops drive towards Bapaume taking Loupart Wood, Grevillers and Biefvillers. British Guards on extreme left take St. Leger and Henin-sur-Cojeul.
AUG 25th -British enter Neuville Vitasse, and master whole of the road from Albert to south of Bapaume, taking Martinpuich, Le Sars, Warlencourt, Mametz, and Mametz Wood. Total prisoners since August 21st exceed 17,000.
AUG 26th -New Battle of Arras. -British attack along both banks of the Scarpe, and, north of the river, reach outskirts of Roeux; south of the river Canadian divisions take Orange Hill, Wancourt, and Monchy. On the Canadian right, high ground between Croisilles and Heninel is captured, and below this Bazentin-le-Grand. South, again, Australians advance north and south of Somme and take Suzanne and Cappy.
AUG 27th -British hold outskirts of Bapaume, and capture Roeux, Gavrelle, Longueval, and Vermandovillers.
AUG 28th -British take Croisilles, Hardecourt, and Curlu; French take Chaulnes and Nesle.
AUG 29th - Fall of Bapaume and Noyon.
AUG 30th -British take Bullecourt and Heudecourt but lose them again. Later Bullecourt is retaken. French enter Chevilly and British enter Bailleul.
M. Lenin shot at in Moscow.
AUG 31st -British regain Kemmel Hill. British capture 57,318 German prisoners and 657 guns during August.
SEPT 1st -Australian troops capture Peronne. Sailly-Saillisel, Saillisel, Bouchavesnes, and Rancourt taken. On the Lys front, Neuve Eglise is captured.
SEPT 2nd -German "Switch" Line Broken.-Canadians break through the Drocourt-Queant line on front of six miles. They capture Cagnicourt and Villers; prisoners total 10,000.
General Mangin takes Neuilly.
SEPT 3rd -South of the Lys River British take Richebourg-St Vaast and establish themselves between La Bassée road and Estaires, which is occupied.
SEPT 4th - Canal du Nord forced. British force passage of the Tortille River and Canal du Nord, north of Moislains. Northern outskirts of Havrincourt Wood, east of the canal line are reached. West bank is gained opposite Démicourt and Boursies Moeuvres is occupied, and Hill 63 and Ploegsteert captured.
French compel German retreat between Nord Canal and the Oise and from the line of the Vesle.
SEPT 5th -British advance north and south of Peronne and north-east of Wulverghem. French reach the Aisne between Condé and Vieil-Arcy.
Japanese troops enter Khabarovsk.
SEPT 6th -French occupy Chauny, Ham, and Tergnier. British capture southern and western portions of Havrincourt Wood.
SEPT 7th -British reach line Beauvois-Roisel-Havrincourt Wood.
SEPT 8th -British enter area of defensive systems constructed by them prior to German March offensive on the southern portion of battle-front. Prisoners taken during first week of September exceed 19,000.
French carry Vaux, Fluquiéres, and Happenrourt.
SEPT 9th -British capture Gouzeaucourt Wood, and French push across Crozat Canal.
SEPT 10th -French progress east of Crozat Canal and British north-east of Neuve Chapelle.
SEPT 11th -British capture Attilly, VendelIes, and Vermand.
French defeat counter-attack to the south-east of Roupy.
SEPT 12th - Great American Offensive. -American First Army, assisted by French units, attacks in the St. Mihiel sector, and advances five miles; 8, 000 prisoners taken.
British capture Havrincourt and Moeuvres with 1,500 prisoners, and capture whole of Holnon Wood. French occupy Savy.
Liner Galway Castle torpedoed; over 154 missing.
SEPT 13th -Complete Success of General Pershing's First American Army; the St. Mihiel salient flattened out; prisoners increased to 15,000, and 200 guns taken.
Austria issues Peace Note.
SEPT 14th -British progress south and north of Holnon Wood.
British evacuate Baku.
SEPT 15th -British capture Maissemy, and advance astride the Ypres-Comines Canal. French capture Vailly and Mont des Singes.
Victory in Balkans. - Serbian and French troops carry Bulgarian positions in mountainous zone of the Dopropolje and take 800 prisoners.
SEPT 16th -Slight advance in neighbourhood of Ploegsteert and east of Ypres. French progress north - east and east of Sancy.
Gotha raid on Paris.
Franco-Serbian advance, on front of 16 miles, reaches depth of five miles. Over 1,000 prisoners and 30 guns taken.
SEPT 17th - Franco-Serbians reach the Cerna.
SEPT 18th - British Third and Fourth Armies attack between Holnon to Gouzeaucourt, storm outer defences of Hindenburg line, particularly before Le Verguier, Villeret, and Hargicourt, and west and south-west of Bellicourt. Lempire taken; 6,000 prisoners. French capture Savy Wood and Fontaine-Ies-Clercs.
SEPT 19th -Great British attack in Palestine. between Rafat and the sea. Infantry advances 12 miles to Tul Keram, while cavalry advance east of Shechem and north-east on Afuleh and Beisan; 8,000 prisoners.
British gain ground north of Ga uche Wood; over 10,000 prisoners to date.
SEPT 20th -French take Benay, south of St. Quentin.
In Palestine General Allenby 's cavalry occupies Nazareth, Afuleh, and Beisan.
SEPT 21st - The Turkish Debacle. - British infantry advances in Palestine to the line Beit Dejan-Samaria-Bir Asur, while the cavalry operates south from Jenin and Beisan. The prisoners total 18,000, and 120 guns are captured.
SEPT 22nd -The Victory in Palestine. - British seize passages of Jordan at Jisr ed Damieh. The Seventh and Eighth Turkish Armies cease to exist; 25,000 prisoners and 260 guns counted.
Bulgarians retreat on 100-mile front, embracing Lake Doiran in east and Monastir in west. Allies take Ghevgeli.
SEPT 23rd -French reach the Oise about three miles north of La Fere.
SEPT 24th -Bulgarians retreat in disorder to Strumitza, harassed by pursuing Allies.
French capture Francilly-Selency.
SEPT 26th -Franco-American attack in Argonne on a 40-mile front from the middle of Champagne to the Meuse; French, under General Gouraud, advance on the left several miles; American First Army, under General Pershing, advances to an average depth of seven miles, taking Montfaucon and Varennes.
British enter Strumitza.
SEPT 27th -Battle for Cambrai. - British attack from Sauchy I'Estrées south to before Gouzeaucourt. Boudon Wood, Beaucamp, and Flesquiéres captured. The Canal du Nord is crossed, and Sauchy I' Estrée and Sauchy Cauchy are taken; prisoners total over 10,000.
Americans take Véry, Epionville, and 8,000 prisoners.
SEPT 28th -Allied Blow in Flanders. - Belgian and British offensive from Dixmude to Ploegsteert. Belgians capture most of the Houthulst Forest and 4,000 prisoners.
British capture Gouzeaucourt, Marcoing, and Fontaine-Notre- Dame. French capture Somme-Py and heights north of Fontaine-en-Dormois, and Malmaison Fort.
SEPT 29th -British and American troops attack north-west of St. Quentin. Main Hindenburg defences on eastern bank of ScheIdt Canal stormed by the 46th Division. During last t hree days over 22,000 prisoners captured on St. Quentin-Cambrai front.
French occupy Forest of Pinon and reach the Ailette. They cross the St. Quentin-La Fére road and advance 1 ¼ miles between Ailette and the Aisne.
Allies in Belgium take Passchendaele, Gheluvelt, and Messines; 6,000 prisoners are captured.
SEPT 30th -Bulgaria accepts Allied terms and surrenders. General Berthelot's army attacks Germans between Vesle and the Aisne. British-Belgian advance reaches the Roulers-Menin road. The number of prisoners taken by British and Arabs in Palestine since Sept 18th is 60,000. British capture 66,300 prisoners in France during September.
OCT 1st -French troops capture St. Quentin. North of St. Quentin British take Levergies and Estrées and win high ground south of Le Catelet and village of Vendhuile. The Rumilly-Beaurevoir-Fonsomme defences are broken.
British occupy Damascus; over 7,000 prisoners taken.
OCT 2nd -German retreat between the Vesle and the Aisne, and from Armentiéres to the south towards Lens. Fleurbaix is taken. French capture Challerange, in Champagne.
OCT 3rd - In Champagne French carry crest of Blanc Mont and, north-west of Rheims, Cormicy.
German retreat on Lille. Germans continue to retreat on a 20-mile front from Armentiéres to Lens, evacuating Armentieres, La Bassée, and Lens. British advanced troops reach general line-Avion, Vendin-le-Vieil, Hautay, and Herliesand are east of Bois Grenier.
North of St. Quentin British attack on an eight-mile front, and advance three miles. Sequehart is taken and the ScheIdt Canal crossed, and Le Catelet and Gouy taken.
Announced Prince Max of Baden appointed German Chancellor.
OCT 4th -British advance towards Lille, occupying Wavrin and Erquinghem. French and American troops advance between Rheims and Verdun.
German Note to President Wilson inviting opening of peace negotiations.
OCT 5th -British advance east of the breach in the Hindenburg line and take Beaurevoir and Aubencheul.
King Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicates in favour of his son, Crown Prince Boris.
Germans retreat on 28-mile front towards the Suippe and the Arnes.
OCT 6th -French pursuit of the enemy along the whole of Suippe front.
British gain Fresnoy.
Allied troops take 80,000 prisoners to date in Palestine.
OCT 7th -Heavy fighting continues on the Suippe to north and north-east of Rheims. French follow up German retreat, cross the river near Bertricourt and capture the village.
Across the Aisne, Berry-au-Bac is recaptured.
Beirut occupied by French, Sidon by British.
OCT 8th -Great British Victory. - British, French, and American troops attack in Picardy on a 21-mile front from Cambrai to St. Quentin, inflicting a heavy defeat on enemy; over 10,000 prisoners and 200 guns captured. General Gouraud takes Isles -sur-Suippe.
President Wilson demands explanation of Prince Max 's Note.
OCT 9th - Fall of Cambrai to British. - French advance five miles east of St. Quentin, and in valley of Aisne take Grand-Ham and Lançon.
OCT 10th - British capture Le Cateau.
Irish mail boat Leinster torpedoed; 451 missing.
OCT 11th - Widespread German Retreat. - In Champagne, French pressure compels the enemy to abandon on a 37-mile front all positions north of the Suippe and the Ames. Farther to east French progress and occupy Machault and many villages. They enter Vouziérs.
British capture Fessies, and advance north and south of River Sensée.
OCT 12th - General advance of the French continued. La Fére captured.
British progress towards the valley of the Selle and reach outskirts of Douai.
Serbians capture Nish.
German Government accepts President Wilson's terms.
OCT 13th - French capture Laon. British cross Sensée Canal at Aubigny-au-Bac.
Germans abandon Chemin des Dames, St. Gobain Forest, and line of the Suippe.
OCT 14th - Battle in Belgium. - Belgian, French, and British forces attack from Dixmude to Wervicq. Roulers and Isegham are taken, also Cortemarck Station, 15 miles from Bruges; over 8,000 prisoners captured.
Italians occupy Durazzo.
OCT 15th - Further Allied Advance in Belgium.-British capture Menin; over 12,000 prisoners taken in two days.
President Wilson's Reply to German Note of October 12 published.
OCT 16th - British, fighting east of Ypres, capture Comines and Welverghem.
French and Belgians take Ingelmunster and Lichtervelde.
To south-west of Lille British cross the Haute Deule Canal.
OCT 17th - Ostend, Lille, and Douai occupied by allied forces.
Vice-Admiral Sir Roger Keyes lands at Ostend; British Fifth Army occupies Lille. British, American, and French attack between Le Cateau and Bohain, and advance three miles; over 4,000 prisoners taken.
OCT 18th - British and American troops continue to advance and enter Bazuel.
British occupy Roubaix and Tourcoing.
Zeebrugge and Bruges occupied.
OCT 19th - Allied advance between the Oise and Le Cateau continued.
French storm the Hunding Stellung.
French reach the Danuhe in the region of Vidin (Bulgaria).
OCT 20th - British force passage of Selle River five miles from Valenciennes, and gain high ground overlooking Valley of the Harpies; 3,000 prisoners.
East of Vouziérs French reach out skirts of Perron.
OCT 21st - German reply to President Wilson published.
OCT 22nd - Troops of the British First Army enter suburbs of Valenciennes, and north of it penetrate into Raismes Forest.
French and Belgian forces attack along the line of Lys Canal towards Ghent; the canal is crossed and 1,100 prisoners taken.
OCT 23rd - Big British advance between the Scheldt and Le Cateau. The First Army pushes through the Raismes Forest and takes Bruay.
OCT 24th - British resume attack on the whole front between the Sambre-et -Oise Canal and the ScheIdt, and overcome enemy's resistance. Over 7,000 prisoners since the morning of 23rd.
President Wilson's reply to German Note of October 21 published.
Allied offensive in Italy on Trentino front and on the Middle Piave.
OCT 25th - British progress on front south of River ScheIdt; Sepmeries and Querenaing captured.
French progress on eight-mile front on the Souch, and on a 17-mile front between the Souch and the Aisne, near Chateau Porcien.
British reach Kirkuk.
OCT 26th - Italians advance in Grappa sector and hold Asolone and Pertica. They take 4,000 prisoners.
British occupy Aleppo.
General von Ludendorff resigns.
OCT 27th - The Tenth Italian Army, under Lord Cavan, attacks on the Piave, which is crossed at island of Grave di Papadopai. Over 9,000 prisoners taken.
British occupy Muslimie Station.
General Marshall's eastern column approaches outskirts of Altun Keupri, 60 miles south-east of Mosul.
OCT 28th - Austria-Hungary Capitulation. – Austria-Hungary, in reply to President Wilson's Note of October 18, declares herself ready to negotiate a separate armistice.
British take Kalat Shergat, on Tigris.
OCT 29th - Great Italian advance. Passage of Monticano, north of Oderza, by Tenth Army; Mt. Cosen and Conegliano captured; 33,000 prisoners.
OCT 30th - Surrender of Turkish Army on Tigris after a battle near Kalat Shergat; 7,000 prisoners.
OCT 31st - Sweeping Defeat of Austria - Italians completely break down the resistance of Austrians, who are in full retreat from Asiago plateau to the sea; prisoners exceed 50,000.
Austrians cross Italian fighting-line for purpose of obtaining an armistice.
Surrender of Turkey - An armistice comes into operation at noon. Terms include free passage for Allied Fleets through Bosphorus to Black Sea; occupation of forts in Dardanelles and Bosphorus necessary to secure their passage, and immediate repatriation of all allied prisoners of war.
NOV 1st - British attack on six-mile front and reach the southern outskirts of Valenciennes. Franco-American troops advance between Aisne and Meuse.
Count Tisza, formerly Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister murdered in Vienna.
Serbians reoccupy Belgrade.
NOV 2nd - Franco-American attack makes great progress; Semuy and southern bank of Canal des Ardennes captured.
Fall of Valenciennes to British.
Von Lettow-Vorbeck's force, marching into Rhodesia, attacks frontier post of Fife.
NOV 3rd - Italian troops and naval forces land at Trieste.
Austria Surrenders. - General Diaz, Italian Commander-in-Chief, signs an armistice, to take effect at 3 p.m., Nov. 4.
NOV 4th - British, with Debeney's army on their right, begin great offensive on thirty-mile front from the east of Valenciennes to outskirts of Guise. Landrecies is captured, and over 10, 000 prisoners and 200 guns.
Franco-American attack between Aisne and Meuse, opened on November 2, completely successful. Argonne cleared of enemy.
Italians report that since October 24. Allied Armies have captured 300,000 prisoners and 5,000 guns.
NOV 5th - Germans in full retreat in the west; British press on occupying Forest of Mormal and Le Quesnoy. French occupy Guise and capture Sains. Between Aisne and Meuse, they are over the Ardennes Canal. Continued American advance.
Marshal Foch announced as being in supreme strategical direction of all forces operating against Germany on all fronts.
NOV 6th - Text of armistice terms between Allied Powers and Austria-Hungary published.
Great German retreat continues from the Scheidt to the: Meuse.
President Wilson 's Note to Germany conveying decision of Versailles Conference as to armistice, also stating two qualifications of the terms already laid down.
Americans reach Sedan.
NOV 7th - British advance five miles, entering Avesnes, taking Bavai, and reaching Haumont, three miles from Maubeuge.
Announced Kiel and Hamburg in hands of committees of workmen and soldiers. Part of German Fleet is flying the Red Flag.
German armistice delegates at Marshal Foch’s Headquarters.
NOV 8th - Armistice terms handed to German delegates.
Prince Max of Baden resigns as Chancellor.
Revolution movement spreading in Germany.
British take Condé and Maubeuge.
NOV 9th - Abdication of the Kaiser, who takes refuge in Holland.
Herr Ebert, a Majority Socialist, becomes Imperial Chancellor.
French capture Hirson.
NOV 10th - British reach Mons.
Revolution in Berlin.
NOV 11th - Canadians capture Mons.
Hostilities Suspended. - Armistice between Allies and Germany signed at 5 a.m.; hostilities cease at 11 a.m.
At suspension of hostilities, British troops had reached the line-Franco-Belgian frontier east of Avesnes, Jeumont, Givry, four miles east of Mons, Chievres, Lessines, Grammont.
Allied forces on the Dwina defeat Bolshevists.
The First World War was the first ‘total war’, a term used by historians to describe a conflict in which states organised the entirety of their resources and population to help wage the war. Soldiers, sailors and airmen were no longer drawn from a minority of the population, instead representatives of nearly every family, on every street in the UK, were mobilised. The death of ‘Tommy Atkins’ was defined as a heroic sacrifice in the effort to defeat Imperial Germany and preserve the sovereignty of the British Empire, as well as a human tragedy and the loss of a valuable citizen thanks to the extension of various civil rights, like voting, to a broader spectrum of the population.
The prevalence of First World War memorials and symbols from that conflict such as the poppy indicates what a milestone the Great War was for war commemoration; that Armistice Day, 11th November, is still commemorated every year, despite there having been a Second World War only decades later, is evidence enough. Mass casualties had previously prompted efforts from states to look to their dead and treat them better, but nobody was prepared for the sheer scale of the violence enacted between 1914 and 1918. Entire communities, entire generations, were wiped out and people didn’t want to forget. It wasn’t just the dead who were honoured in this case either, for the first time thousands of servicemen survived wounds that would have previously killed them. Returning to the Home Front, they brought evidence of the brutal war closer to home than ever before, through their injuries, their experiences and their stories.
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