Was World War I
an avoidable debacle ?
August 21, 1918 – September 3, 1918
Somme River Valley, France – Western Front
Allied Troops – British Empire
Associated Troops – USA
Central Powers - Germany
The Second Battle of the Somme was part of the Hundred Days Offensive launched by the Allied troops in 1918. The Battle of Amiens had been launched on August 15, 1918, by the BEF. General Haig called the offensive off after a victory as his men were weary and had run short of supplies.
The Third Battle of Albert fought by the BEF and the U.S. troops later that month was the first phase of the Battle of the Somme. The battle was fought from August 21 to August 23, 1918. The second phase of the Battle was the Second Battle of Bapaume fought from August 31 to September 3, 1918. The defending German Second Army retreated over 34 miles to La Fere. On August 22, Albert was conquered by the Allied troops.
The victorious BEF launched another attack on the German troops on August 26 while the Australian troops engaged the Germans at Saint-Quentin and Peronne on September 1. The Canadian troops distinguished themselves by the gallant victories at Drocourt-Queant. The German troops suffered heavy damages and retreated to the Canal Du Nord. The ensuing Battle of Canal Du Nord found the Canadian troops victorious and the Germans retreated to the Hindenburg Line by September 4, 1918.
A number of smaller battles were fought at the Hindenburg Line, and fighting ended with the armistice on November 11, 1918.