100 Days Offensive

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100 Days Offensive The Hundred Days (18 July-11 November 1918) was the final Allied offensive of the First World War on the Western Front. The stalemate on the Western Front had been broken by the great German offensives of the spring and summer of 1918, which had pushed the Allies back up to forty miles and created a series of huge salients in the Allied line. They had failed to achieve their main objective, which had been to separate the British from the French and capture the channel ports, and had drained much of the strength out of the German army. One result of the crisis caused by the first of the German offensive (second battle of the Somme), had been the appointment of Marshal Foch as commander-in-chief of all Allied armies on the Western Front. As the German offensives began to run out of power, Foch began to plan the Allied counterattack. This was to begin with a series of attacks designed to eliminate the salients in preparation for a final campaign in 1919. If the initial attacks went well, then Foch hoped to launch a major offensive that he hoped would push the Germans back off French soil. Even if that succeeded, there was every chance that the Germans might choose to defend their own borders, leaving the final campaign still to be fought. Phase One – Clearing the Salients The Hundred Days began with a French counter-attack. The final German offensive, the Champagne-Marne Offensive, 15-18 July, made very little progress, and on 18 July the German salient (Château-Thierry or Marne salient) was attacked from the west (Aisne-Marne Offensive, 18 July-5 August). By the time the French offensive ended, the Germans had been pushed back to the line of the Aisne and Velse rivers. The next step was the elimination of the Amiens salient. This had been created during the second battle of the Somme, and extended over the old Somme battlefield of 1916, past
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