Armistice 100: The Battle of Amiens - the beginning of the end of the First World War

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The Battle of Amiens began on this day in 1918 - it was to be the beginning of the end of the First World War.

Although the battle was over by the 12th, it marked the start of a concerted counter attack by the Allies, known as the Hundred Days Offensive.

British troops at the Battle of Amiens. Photo courtesy of Imperial War Museum.

British troops at the Battle of Amiens. Photo courtesy of Imperial War Museum.

It was later described by German General, Erich Ludendorff as the black day of the German Army.

Allied forces advanced seven miles on the first day alone and by August 10, they had extended that to 12 miles. Reports from the front indicated the use of smoke bombs to shield the Allied advance. It was also one of the first major battles involving armoured warfare and as such it marked an end to the trench warfare which had preceded it.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported on the struggle as it happened.

Speaking at a rally in Wales on August 10, Prime Minister, David Lloyd George said: “I find one place we have captured is a very important place, right opposite Amiens. There we have driven the enemy from the start of the offensive, up to now, a distance of 12 miles. (Cheers.) If you had known the anxiety we had, owing to the fact that the railway from Amiens was under gunfire... Recently, we were able to put through 20 trains a day.”

He went on: “This is due undoubtedly to the brilliant qualities of our troops and to the French troops and now, I understand, the American troops.”

He said the victory had resulted in the capture of 30,000-60,000 troops and 900 canon.