100 Days

The Allies launch a series of offensives against the Germans known together as the Hundred Days Offensive.

The Spring Offensive was the last time the German Army tried to take the initiative on the Western Front. After that the Allies launched a series of successful offensives that finally brought an end to the war. Together these offensives, beginning with Amiens in August 1918, are called the Hundred Days Offensive.

Right up until August 1918, the leading Allied generals and politicians believed that the war would inevitably continue into 1919. Then the scale of the Allied victories and advance in early August gave them reason to think, and to hope: could they keep up the pressure and force the Germans to surrender during 1918? Although it would be costly in terms of soldiers’ lives to fight hard now, if they succeeded in the long run this would save lives.

After Amiens the Germans were pushed back to the Hindenburg Line. The next task for the Allies was to break through this tough fortification.

General Ferdinand Foch, who had been placed in overall command of Allied forces on the Western Front in April 1918, planned for the Allies to launch attacks right along the Hindenburg Line. In September French and American forces launched the Meuse-Argonne Offensive against the southern section of the Hindenburg Line. A few days later British and French troops launched the Battle of St Quentin Canal, in the centre of the line. Meanwhile the Belgian Army under King Albert attacked near Ypres at the northern end of the German line.

By early October the Allies had broken through right along the Hindenburg Line and the German forces were in chaos.

At this point the German high command realised that the war was over.

American soldiers advance with a special miniature artillery gun during the final attacks of the war.

A British soldier pictured with two refugee children in Belgium.The German army is in retreat and the end of the war is days away.

See the progress of the Western Front on our animated battle map