November 20 – December 8, 1917
Cambrai, France – Western Front
Allied Powers – British Empire
Central Powers – German Empire
The Allied army had launched the tanks initially at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.
The offensive was launched on November 20, 1917, with 476 tanks and over a thousand guns. Six divisions of the British infantry attacked the German Second Army, led by General Georg Von Marwitz. They were supported by two divisions of the British cavalry. The German troops in the Flesquieres were taken by surprise and were forced to retreat over three miles to Cambrai. The British forces, however, could not effectively follow up on their initial success.
General Marwitz organized counterattacks and slowly recovered almost all the territory lost to the Allies. Over twenty divisions of the German army labored for a week to repel the British forces. By the end of the battle, on December 8, 1917, the offensive turned into a stalemate with no decisive victory.
While neither side could claim a victory in the Battle of Cambrai, the offensive established the efficacy of the tanks beyond doubt. German troops lost about 50,000 soldiers in the battle while the BEF recorded a loss of 45,000 soldiers. The battle provided a boost to the development of tanks in Britain.
|Major Battles of World War I|
|Battle of Mons - 1914||Battle of Fler- Courcelette - 1916|
|Battle of Tannenberg – 1914||Battles of Gaza - 1917|
|Battle of Heligoland Bight - 1914||Second Battle of Aisne - 1917|
|First Battle of Marne – 1914||Second Battle of Arras - 1917|
|First Battle of the Masurian Lakes – 1914||Battle of Messines – 1917|
|First Battle of Aisne – 1914||Battle of Passchendaele - 1917|
|First Battle of Albert - 1914||Battle of Caporetto - 1917|
|First Battle of Arras – 1914||Battle of Cambrai - 1917|
|First Battle of Ypres – 1914||German Spring Offensive - 1918|
|Gallipoli Campaign – 1915||Hundred Days Offensive - 1918|
|Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes – 1915||Battle of Le Hamel - 1918|
|Battles of Isonzo – 1915||Second Battle of Somme - 1918|
|Loos-Artois Offensive - 1915||Second Battle of Marne - 1918|
|Battle of Verdun - 1916||Battle of St Mihiel - 1918|
|Battle of Jutland - 1916||Battle of Cambrai - 1917|
|First Battle of Somme - 1916||Battle of Vittori Veneto - 1918|