The Last Hundred Days

Alec MacDougall
Trench Warfare (condensed) (Transcript)

August 28

Day: 21 - The Battle of the ScarpeAllie Image

In three days of intense fighting, the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions[3] reported their total casualties as 254 officers and 5,547 other ranks. They captured more than 3,300 prisoners, 53 guns and 519 machine guns, and had seized an important portion of the Germans strong Fresnes-Rouvroy defence system.

Victoria Cross recipient:

[3] A division is a section of a Corps, made up of two or three brigades.

August 29

Day: 22 - The Battle of the ScarpeAllie Image

In the northern sector, Brutinel's Brigade[4], under the orders of the British army, advance the line roughly one kilometer by seizing Bench Farm and Victoria Copse, with the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion establishing posts right up to the Scarpe River.

[4] Brutinel's Brigade was the first fully motorized unit within the forces of the British army, made up of machine guns mounted on armoured vehicles.

August 30

Day: 23 - The Battle of the Scarpe, Official EndAllie Image

Troops of the Canadian Corps clear portions of the Fresnes-Rouvroy trench system in their sector, including Upton Wood. After holding all day under heavy fire, they drive off a German counterattack, capturing 50 prisoners and five machine guns.

August 31

Day: 24 Allie Image

In a surprise dawn attack, troops of the Canadian Corps seize the Ocean Work, a strong point in the German trenches south of Haucourt which had held out the previous day.

September 01

Day: 25 Allie Image

Troops of the Canadian Corps capture the Crow's Nest, an enemy strong point on a high bluff overlooking a large section of the Drocourt-Quéant Line. After three stubborn German counterattacks, all of them pushed back, the Canadians capture 200 prisoners, nine light trench mortars and upwards of 80 machine guns.


A Canadian cyclist shouting down a dug-out in German for men to come out.  Advance East of Arras.  September, 1918.  Photo: Library and Archives Canada/PA-003071

A Canadian cyclist shouting down a dug-out in German for men to come out. Advance East of Arras. September, 1918. Photo: Library and Archives Canada/PA-003071

September 02

Day: 26 - Battle of the Drocourt-Quéant LineAllie Image

The Drocourt-Quéant Line is assaulted and overrun on a frontage of more than six kilometers. Troops of the Canadian Corps capture the Buissy Switch and the villages of Villers-lez-Cagnicourt and Cagnicourt. Others manage to achieve the objective of the day, the Red Line, and take the village of Dury, but can advance no further.

Victoria Cross recipients:

September 03

Day: 27 - Battle of the Drocourt-Quéant LineAllie Image

By nightfall, the Canadian Corps controls all ground west of the Canal du Nord, between Sains-lez-Marquion and the Sensée River, but suffer casualties of 297 officers and 5,325 other ranks between September 1 and 3. In assaulting and capturing both the Fresnes-Rouvroy and Drocourt-Quéant lines, the Corps penetrates more than eight kilometers.

September 04

Day: 28 Allie Image

The German High Command throws seven divisions at the Canadian Corps and the British Third Army to counter their advance. The Corps captures approximately 6,000 unwounded prisoners.

September 05

Day: 29

British and French troops cross the Somme River. The Germans are driven from the banks of the Vesle River.

September 06

Day: 30

The village of Ham is captured by French troops, while British troops advance east of Peronne.

September 07

Day: 31

Havrincourt Wood is captured by British troops, while French troops capture the town of Tergnier.

September 08

Day: 32

British and French troops reach the old Hindenburgh Line, a German defence system, from Cambrai to near Soissons.

September 09

Day: 33

British troops begin to evacuate from the town of Baku in Azerbaijan, a country next to Iran.

September 10

Day: 34

The Allies bomb the German submarine shelters at Bruges and the docks at Ostend, cities in Belgium.

September 11

Day: 35

Troops of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) prepare to launch an attack at St. Mihiel, one of the first solo operations of the AEF since its entry in the First World War.

Operation: The Battles of the Hindenburg Line - September 12 to October 9, 1918

September 12

Day: 36

Troops of the British army capture the village of Havrincourt in the Battle of Havrincourt, while the Americans begin their offensive at St. Mihiel.

September 13

Day: 37

American troops break through the St. Mihiel salient taking some 13,000 prisoners.

September 14

Day: 38

British troops advance on the town of Cambrai and around the village of La Bassée, while American troops are within roughly 16 kilometers of the city of Metz, a city France and Germany have long claimed as their own.

September 15

Day: 39

British troops capture the village of Maissemy while an Allied offensive opens on the Serbian front.

September 16

Day: 40

French troops capture the villages of Vailly and Mont des Singes.

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