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Strategy and Success at Amiens

Heroes Remember

Strategy and Success at Amiens

What they call “The Last Hundred Days” was started with the Battle of Amiens and I was there. It was highly secret. The Battle of Amiens was the biggest surprise that anybody had in the war. The Battle of Amiens was, I think it was August the 8th, 1918, I'm not hundred percent sure of that date but I think that's what it was. They sent a radio crew up to around Ypres front which was a hundred miles further north and filled the air full of fake messages as though there was a battle going to take place, you know, and then all these things were floating around and they know the Germans would pick them up. And they filled the air full of this so the Germans were expecting an attack on the Ypres front and they hit them down on Amiens front which was a hundred miles further south and they went over the top at 4 o'clock in the morning and they went eight miles that day. Now the battle order, La Luce River ran here and the French were on the other side of La Luce River. Then there was the 2nd Canadian Division that I was in and then the 3rd Canadian Division, then the Australian Division and then the 151st Highland Division which was a crack division of the British troops, these were all crack troops, you see. The Canadians captured 27,000 prisoners and the whole thing of 45,000 prisoners besides all the ones that were killed, an awful lot killed besides that. So that's why Ludendorff said it was a black day for the Germans. The Last Hundred Days they called it and the Battle of Amiens started that and the Canadians were in almost continuous battle from then until the Armistice Day.

Mr. Burton describes the use of extra radio traffic at Ypres to divert the Germans while the Canadians moved south to prepare for the Battle of Amiens. He discusses the unprecedented territorial success of this surprise attack, as well as the taking of forty thousand German prisoners by the allied forces.

Robert Burton

Robert Burton was born on February 21, 1896 in Dundas, Ontario. After public school, he was accepted into university which he attended from 1914 to 1916, in the Canadian Officer Training Corps. For a time, he worked at Massey, checking shrapnel shells. Despite being shortsighted, Mr. Burton was recruited into the 13th Brigade in Mar, 1916. In England, he joined the 5th Division, a reinforcement unit, and deployed to France with the 2nd Division as a sapper. Mr. Burton became a mounted courier at Courcelette, and had several interesting experiences in that capacity. He witnessed and was attacked by Gotha bombers at Arras, and was shelled at St.Pol. Mr. Burton also served in the trenches at Amiens. During the 2nd World War, he was a very successful engineering instructor at camp Petawawa, where he attained the rank of Major.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Burton
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
2nd Division (Special Force)

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