In the summer of 1918, the end of World War I was at hand. Military commanders previously were planning for the conflict to extend into 1919, or even 1920, but it was becoming increasingly clear to the Allies that victory was in sight.
The Central Powers, conversely, were facing humiliating defeat.
The period between August 8 and Armistice, November 11, 1918, is known as the Hundred Days Offensive. During this time, nearly 6.5 million Allied troops faced off against 3.5 million German troops.
Some of the battles fought during the Hundred Days Offensive include:
- The Second Battle of the Somme
- Mont Saint-Quentin
- Battle of the Scarpe
- Meuse-Argonne Offensive
- Canal du Nord
The Allies were advancing on the Hindenburg Line, a series of manmade defensives built by the German Army. The defensives were named after Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, the supreme leader of the German forces.
The Allies, however, gave it this name. The Germans called it the Siegfried Line.
It was located near the French-Belgian border and was 6,000 yards of concrete and barbed wire. The southern end of the fortification was its most vulnerable, and the Allies took advantage of this vulnerability.
By early autumn, the Allies had reached the Hindenburg Line, breaking through on Sept. 29.
The breakthrough sent the Germans into retreat. For them, the war was lost.
Updated: 26 October 2020