Amiens

8th - 12th August 1918

The Amiens Offensive pushes German forces back 10 miles and some German soldiers don’t fight at all.

With the Spring Offensive over, it was the turn of the Allies to launch a major effort in August 1918.

Using everything they had learned about using artillery, tanks, aircraft and infantry in a combined attack, the Allies attacked along a 15-mile front near Amiens in France. Their aim was to secure an important railway line that ran from Amiens to Paris.

The attack was overwhelmingly successful and the Germans fell back 10 miles.

There were even more worrying aspects of the battle for the Germans. Some of their soldiers simply fled the battlefield, refusing to fight at all. About 15,000 quickly surrendered. When General Ludendorff heard about this he called 8th August "the Black Day of the German Army".

On 10th August another attack forced the Germans to abandon the town of Montdidier, which they had taken during the Spring Offensive. This left the important railway line safely in Allied hands.

The offensive came to an end on the 12th. 40,000 German soldiers had been killed or wounded and 33,000 taken prisoner. The rest retreated back to the Hindenburg Line.

German prisoners captured on the first day of the Amiens Offensive.

They say an army marches on its stomach - and this is certainly true. Food is very important for keeping soldiers happy and strong. In this film soldiers are seen peeling potatoes even grinding coffee. At the end soldiers are seen serving up food to local people who have perhaps become refugees because of the fighting.