The Last Hundred Days

Alec MacDougall
Trench Warfare (condensed) (Transcript)

September 17

Day: 41

German troops counterattack and recapture the village of Moeuvres, taken from them by the British on September 12.

September 18

Day: 42

British and Australian troops capture the village of Épehy, taking some 9,000 prisoners and capturing 100 guns.

September 19

Day: 43

British troops capture the village of Lempire and French troops advance beyond the village of Contescourt.

September 20

Day: 44

French troops hold fast against five German counterattacks on their new positions near Allemant, north of the Aisne River. They advance east of Essigny-le-Grand.

September 21

Day: 45

After a series of deceptive moves, British troops break the Ottoman Line at the Battle of Megiddo, in Palestine, routing the Ottoman Army.

September 22

Day: 46

South of St. Quentin, French troops reach the outskirts of the village of Vendeul and gain ground east of the village of Sancy.

September 23

Day: 47

French troops advance their line east of the St. Quentin Canal. They reach the Oise River, roughly five kilometers north of the town of La Fère.

September 24

Day: 48

French and British troops co-operate in an attack in the St. Quentin sector and make good progress in spite of German strong resistance around the hamlets of Salency (Noyon) and Gricourt.

September 25

Day: 49

In Palestine, the British cavalry reaches the Sea of Galilee in pursuit of Turkish troops, who are fleeing towards Damascus.

September 26

Day: 50

In a joint attack on a 65-kilometer front, from the middle of Champagne to the Meuse River, the French and American armies advance several kilometers and capture Montfaucon and Varennes, among many other villages.

September 27

Day: 51 - The Battle of the Canal du Nord, September 27 to October 2Allie Image

The battle area map

On the left, troops of the Canadian Corps reach the Douai-Cambrai road and make its main objective, the Blue Line[5], by 2:00 p.m., in the face of a reawakened German resistance at Chapel Corner. On the Corps right, having advanced roughly four kilometers, Canadian troops are held up just past Bourlon Wood.

Victoria Cross recipients:

  • Lt G. T. Lyall
    102nd Battalion, 4thCanadian Infantry Division
  • Lt S. L. Honey
    D.C.M., M.M., 78th Battalion, 4th Canadian Infantry Division
  • Lt G. F. Kerr
    M.C., M.M., 3rd Battalion, 1st Canadian Infantry Division
[5] A colour was often used to designate a specific objective, in this case a blue line drawn on a map, the troops were to reach during a battle.

September 28

Day: 52 - The Battle of the Canal du NordAllie Image

On the right, Canadian troops advance as much as two kilometers in a day of heavy fighting, clearing out the rest of the Marcoing Line trench system in their sector. Meanwhile, troops in the Corps center clear the villages of Raillencourt and Sailly, which straddle the Marcoing Line trench system. They are halted, however, by heavy German shelling short of the Douai-Cambrai road.

In Flanders, troops of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment push forward close to five kilometers, at a cost of only 15 casualties. They assist in clearing Château Wood and establish a line at Polygon Racecourse.

Victoria Cross recipient:

  • Lt M. F. Gregg
    M.C., Royal Canadian Regiment, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
Canadians constructing a bridge across Canal du Nord. Advance east of Arras. September, 1918. Photo: Library and Archives Canada/PA-003456

Canadians constructing a bridge across Canal du Nord. Advance east of Arras. September, 1918. Photo: Library and Archives Canada/PA-003456

September 29

Day: 53 - The Battle of the Canal du NordAllie Image

On the left, Canadian troops take some 250 prisoners and 20 machine guns in the village of Sancourt, then reach the village of Blécourt and take 80 prisoners there before having to withdraw. On the right, Canadian troops push forward to the junction of the Arras and Bapaume roads, and two battalions fight their way to the outskirts of Neuville St. Rémy, a suburb of the town of Cambrai. In exceedingly bitter fighting, the Canadian Corps suffers 2,089 casualties.

In Flanders, troops of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment advance nine kilometers, capture a new six-inch gun along with a number of machine guns and prisoners.

Victoria Cross recipient:

  • Capt John MacGregor
    M.C., D.C.M., 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division

September 30

Day: 54 - The Battle of the Canal du NordAllie Image

It is an unsuccessful day of operations on the Canadian Corps center and right, as a planned smoke screen fails and unprotected flanks[6] suffer enfilade fire[7]. The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry is, however, able to take the village of Tilloy.

[6] The side of an advancing or stationary military unit or group of soldiers.
[7] Weapons fire directed across the front of an attacking force.

October 01

Day: 55 - Official End of The Battle of the Canal du NordAllie Image

The day's gains represent an advance of about a kilometer and a half, the only achievement of significance being the gain of the high ground east of Tilloy. The 1st Canadian Division itself suffers more than 1,000 casualties. In five days of fighting, the Canadian Corps had captured more than 7,000 prisoners and 205 guns.

Victoria Cross recipient:

October 02

Day: 56 Allie Image

There was little action in the Canadian Corps sector, as the remainder of the 1st and 4th Canadian Infantry Divisions are moved into reserve, leaving the Corps' front in the hands of the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions.

October 03

Day: 57 Allie Image

In Flanders, after a short period in reserve, troops of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment fight off stiff German counterattacks at Ledeghem train station, which was preceded by heavy shellfire. Not a single German soldier comes within 45 meters of the Newfoundlanders' forward positions.

October 04

Day: 58

American troops attacking west of the Meuse River gain ground northeast of the Argonne Forest. Germany, through Switzerland, sends a note to American President Woodrow Wilson inviting peace negotiations and an armistice.

October 05

Day: 59

In the face of continued Allied advances, the Germans fall back towards the Suippe River.

October 06

Day: 60 Allie Image

In Flanders, troops of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment defend their positions around the area of the Ledeghem train station for four days, fighting off repeated German counterattacks before being relieved during the night.

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