The Final 100 Days: Capture of Valenciennes - November 2, 1918

Canadian Corps picked up where yesterday’s efforts left off. The battle for Valenciennes continued. 

The previous day’s operations had seen Valenciennes entrapped by Canadian Forces on two sides. To the south, the 46th Battalion had dug in just beside the Canal d L’Escaut, and the 47th Battalion followed suite on the western bank of the canal. 

Throughout the night, the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles closed the crescent as they infiltrated the northern end of Valenciennes. Operating in conjunction with the 72nd, 38th, and 54th Battalions, the CMR advanced through the suburbs and finally into the city itself. 

Urban fighting was a difficult task for the attacking Canadians. 4 years in the trenches bred a certain type of fighting doctrine, and the drastic differences between the two presented just another obstacle for the attackers. Enemy strongpoints scattered throughout rubble, cellars, and elevated positions took a toll on the Canadians - but as in the past, these obstacles were overcome. 

By day’s end, Valenciennes had fallen into Canadian hands. 

The campaign had been a total success for the Canadians. Though the Corps had suffered 121 killed and 380 missing, this stood in stark contrast to the losses suffered by the Germans. Through two days of fighting, 800 Germans were killed and over 1800 surrendered. 

Victory at Valenciennes. The impressive nature of the operations was something every Canadian soldiers could be proud of. But with the close of the war drawing ever closer, some wondered whether the capture was worth the cost. In spite of their thoughts, the Canadians would continue to march towards victory on the Western Front.