The Final 100 Days - September 15, 1918

A quiet day on the Western Front.

A British victory at Havrincourt was followed by the swift capture of Maissemy, a small hamlet just 5 km north of the French positions at St. Quentin. 

American forces continued to “mop up” around Saint-Mihiel. Their rapid advance had brought them within range of the guns defending Metz, though no attempts to capture the city would be made. Troops originally assigned to capture the city would be used in the forthcoming Meuse-Argonne offensive instead. 

As plans for offensive actions on the Western Front were being drawn, the Vardar Offensive began in Bulgaria. The offensive had two aims; firstly, forcing Bulgaria out of the war, and secondly, recapturing territory which had previously belonged to Greece and Serbia. 

Bulgaria had joined the war late in 1915, and though they only compromised a fraction of the Central Powers’ forces, it played an important role in facilitating transportation and communication between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. 

The opening day of the Vardar Offensive saw a combined Franco-Serbian-Greek force break through the Bulgarian front line, and inspired a huge wave of desertions in the Bulgarian Army. The artillery barrage preceding the attack had shattered the morale of many Bulgarians, and the Allies captured over 800 prisoners. 

To the Central Powers, it was clear the war was over. So clear, in fact, that the Austrian government opened communications with American President Woodrow Wilson, suggesting talks of peace. Though Wilson would reject their proposal, the action spoke for itself. The Central Powers were collapsing, and the War would soon be over.