100 Days Until Armistice
Amiens was a pivotal point in the First World War. Acting as a vital railway and communications junction for the Allied forces, the German Army nearly pushed them from it during the spring and summer offensives of 1918. With safeguarding this stronghold a priority for the Allies, an advance on German positions was ordered for the August 8th, 1918, with the elite Canadian Corps spearheading the assault. Although they outnumbered and outgunned the defending German divisions, the Canadian Corps had to overcome significant obstacles, such as the 200 metre wide River Luce. These problems were compounded by the over 20 kilometres they had to cross to reach their objectives. Tasked with leading the Canadians into battle was their Commander, Sir Arthur Currie.
Currie is regarded by many as one of the key figures in the Canadians – nay, Allies – success at Amiens. His deft strategy was vital to the secrecy of the attack; it was Currie who initially sent Canadian medical staff and units north to Ypres in an effort to deceive the Germans. In addition, Currie avoided preliminary bombing of the German defence, rendering their attack on August the 8th as a complete surprise. The effective use of combined arms (such as tanks, airplanes, artillery, and the infantry), coupled with the ambush of the Allies pushed the Canadians to their objectives, and secured the British Army their most successful victory of the war to date. In fact, in German general Erich Ludendorff’s own words, August 8th was “the black day of the German Army”, in large part due to the contribution of the Canadian Corps and Arthur Currie’s work.
This year, No Stone Left Alone hopes to honour Currie as we have countless other veterans by placing a poppy on his grave, located at Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal, Quebec.
For more information, please visit nostoneleftalone.ca