Amiens 1918: The Black Day of the German Army by Alistair McCluskey

By Alistair McCluskey

During the spring of 1918 of worldwide battle I (1914-1918), Germany were at the offensive at the Western entrance yet had did not holiday the Allies at any aspect. In July that they had been pressured again from the river Marne and have been once more at the protecting. The Allies have been now able to elevate the strain. The Amiens zone was once chosen and arrangements have been made in nice secrecy with diversionary task at different issues at the line. 32 divisions have been concerned (twelve French, 8 British, 5 Australian, 4 Canadian and one American) supported by means of over 500 tanks and overwhelming airpower. the 1st day observed an Allied strengthen of five miles throughout a 12-mile entrance, with over 27,000 German casualties. development used to be then much less brilliant yet by the point the conflict ended on August eleven Germany had misplaced 75,000 males, and suffered a critical blow to morale. Amiens used to be awesome for its winning software of the recent combined-arms strategies, totally integrating infantry, artillery, armor and airpower on the graduation of the Allies' ultimate, war-winning offensive.

Published at the ninetieth anniversary of the conflict, this publication units the strategic scene and obviously describes the scuffling with, highlighting the importance of the newly constructed equipment of conflict and detailing the troop pursuits that caused the step forward and quick boost that used to be completed.

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The German front line runs through the dark field running parallel to the lane. The first objective was on the far edge of Malard Wood. The southern tip of Gressaire Wood is in the top left corner and the Chipilly Spur runs across the centre. According to German records, the 265th Reserve Infantry Regiment 'was liquidated' by the 174th Brigade in this area. (IWM Q 61681) 31 W N A. 0420hrs: III, Australian and Canadian corps launch attack. 0500hrs: 109th Division ordered to Harbonnieres. 0505hrs: 42nd and 37th divisions of XXXI Corps launch attack.

Their supporting artillery batteries had occupied their new positions between Villers-aux-Erables and Mezieres by 1400hrs; however, due to the inability to deliver ammunition to them, their rate of fire was greatly reduced to conserve their stocks. To compensate for this, the 332nd Tank Company was detailed to support the 42nd Division's attack on Fresnoy. Despite the frantic urging from their commander, 42nd Division's troops could not deliver their attack before 1930hrs. Meanwhile, the 153rd Division had decided independently to attack Fresnoy in order to secure their left flank as they advanced on Hangest.

As a preparatory bombardment was being fired on Mezieres, troops of both divisions noted a lack of defensive fire coming from the village. Realizing that the village was unoccupied by the Germans they quickly moved 53 FRENCH FORCES: 1 1/332nd Tank Company 2 2/332nd Tank Company 3 3/332nd Tank Company 49th Company, 3rd Tirailleur Battalion SlOth Company, 3rd Tirailleur Battalion 6 11 th Company, 3rd Tirailleur Battalion 79th Company, 9th Tirailleur Battalion 8 10th Company, 9th Tirailleur Battalion 9 12th Company, 9th Tirailleur Battalion 1021 st Company, 6/332nd Infantry Regiment 11 22nd Company, 6/332nd Infantry Regiment 12 23rd Company, 6/332nd Infantry Regiment 13 1st Company, 16th Battalion de Chasseurs Pied 14 2nd Company, 16th Battalion de Chasseurs Pied 15 3rd Company, 16th Battalion de Chasseurs Pied 16 4th Company, 16th Battalion de Chasseurs Pied 17 5th Company, 16th Battalion de Chasseurs Pied a a a a a EVENTS 1 1830hrs: artillery barrage fired on Fresnoy and the Petit Bois.

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