Battle of Amiens: Black Day of the German Army

Soldiers during the Battle of Amiens

Battle of Amiens: Black Day of the German Army

The Battle of Amiens was fought August 8-11, 1918, near Picardy, France.

It was part of an Allied counteroffensive after several German offensives failed in the spring.

The battle also is known as the Third Battle of Picardy. It is the first battle in what would later become known as the Hundred Days Offensive.

The nations involved were Canada, Great Britain, Australia, France and Germany.

“Amiens, called the ‘black day’ of the German army by one of its commanders, shook German faith in the outcome of the war and raised Allied morale,” Canadian War Museum says.

Major Battle Events

  • Secrecy was needed to ensure the attack went as planned. To bluff the Germans, some soldiers and a casualty clearing station were sent to Ypres to serve as decoys while the rest of the Canadian Corps was moved.
  • The attack involved the infantry, artillery, cavalry and air force. Nearly 600 tanks also were used.
  • The British, French, Canadians and Australians attacked on August 8. The Germans were caught off guard, and Allied objectives were quickly met. The Canadians advanced the farthest — eight miles.
  • After August 8, the Allies received more resistance, but still won the engagement easily.
  • German morale was low. Nearly 20,000 German soldiers surrendered and were taken prisoner.
  • The war was mobile for the first time since trench warfare began in 1914.

End Result

  • The Canadians’ August 8 push was the most successful day for the Allies in the entire war.
  • It also is the first battle where Canadians and Australians attacked together.
  • Allied officials believed the war would continue into 1919 and 1920. However, the battle proved the end was in sight.
  • Canadian casualties totaled 11,800.

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Updated: 26 October 2020
Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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