Battle of Amiens Facts

Battle of Amiens Facts
The Battle of Amiens was a pivotal World War I battle fought August 8 to 12, 1918 near Amiens in northern France. The battle was one of the first in the Allies' Hundred Days Offensive, which marked the beginning of the end of the war. Although the British led the Allied effort, Australian and Canadian soldiers contributed about half of the forces. The Americans played a small but important role in support, sending one division to the front. The Allies took seven miles on the first day alone and by the end of the battle it was a clear strategic and tactical victory for the Allies: the Germans were forced to retreat and would never again win a major victory. The majority of the German casualties were actually prisoners taken. More than 50,000 Germans were taken captive, many of them who surrendered rather than fight.
Interesting Battle of Amiens Facts:
The area around Amiens had been the scene of intense fighting between the Germans and Allies months earlier when the Germans launched their Spring Offensive. The Germans were able to take Amiens in the spring, which was a major reason in the depletion of their forces.
The Australians were led by Lieutenant General John Monash.
General Arthur Currie was the commander of the Canadian forces during the battle.
Tanks played a more significant role in this battle. Once again, most of the tanks were British Mark Vs, while the Germans on the other hand had virtually none.
The Allied attack was coordinated to coincide with the Germans' retreat from the Marne area. Attacking in the Amiens sector would mean that the German forces retreating from the Marne would not have the time to dig back in to new trench formations.
The Allies attacked without a significant barrage of artillery fire, as was usually the case. They hoped for the element of surprise.
General Georg von der Marwitz was the commander of the German forces.
One of the major reasons for Allied victory was the cutting of German supply lines. The Allies bombed all the railways in the area so the Germans were not able to bring supplies or fresh reinforcements to the battle.
By 1918, air combat had evolved to become somewhat sophisticated. Both sides used airplanes to bomb ground targets and at Amiens the British used their Handley Page O-400 bomber planes to not only bomb ground targets, but to cover the sounds of attacking tanks.
The British also used small tanks known as Whippets.
German General Erich Ludendorff referred to the first day of the battle as "the black day of the German Army."
In addition to more than 500 tanks, the Allies also utilized a number of armored cars for scouting and flanking operations.
The German loss at Amiens ended all hope for a Central Powers victory in World War I. The alliance began to unravel shortly thereafter, desertions in the German Army rose, and the officer corps began to approach the war differently. Realizing that they could no longer win, the German high command began to position for a favorable armistice.

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