The Final 100 Days: The Fighting Continues - October 17, 1918

Battle resumed. Elements of 3 Canadian Divisions began moving against the German Army, who had begun retreating in earnest. 

The 12th to the 17th of October were characterized by routine in the Canadian sector. Each day began with a “test barrage” - a brief artillery strike on suspected German positions - followed by a waiting period to see whether or not German forces would retaliate. More often than not, Canadian Forces would find these positions deserted, as the German Army had begun retreating freely. 

C.P Hull’s 56th Division (which had held the line alongside the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions) was now rotated out of the front line, being replaced by David Watson’s 4th Canadian Division. This struck down Currie’s plan to have his divisions operating in a “Two in, two out” manner; this both conserved valuable war materiel and the lives of Currie’s men. 

By now, Canadian engineers had created a number of crossings over the Canal de la Sensée, allowing the 3 Divisions to advance. German forces abandoned strongpoints along the opposite bank, and the Corps swept forward. 

The 1st Brigade swiftly secured the villages of Dechy & Sin-Le-Noble, while the 2nd captured Ferio and Roucourt before consolidating their gains and holding for the night. 

Further south on the line, the 6th Brigade leapt across the Canal from their position at Paillencourt and captured ground before preparing for the next day’s operations. 

The Corps were mobile again. Victory was within the Allies grasp; but they would have to pay a blood cost to see the war close.