In an effort to shatter the outlying defended of the Hindenburg Line, French and British forces combined in a joint assault on German positions just outside St. Quentin.
As a linchpin of the St. Quentin - Cambrai Line, capturing St. Quentin stood as a priority on the Western Front. Piercing the Hindenburg Line was the ultimate goal for the Allies on the Western Front.
Allied Supreme Commander Ferdinand Foch planned for multiple offensives on multiple fronts, preventing the depleted German forces from concentrating their defences in any one area.
The upcoming Meuse-Argonne Offensive would be handled by the A.E.F and elements of the French 5th and 4th Armies; capturing St. Quentin and the surrounding area fell to the French 1st Army, the 2nd American Corps, and the elite (but severely depleted) Australian Corps.
The capture of Cambrai would depend on the 1st and 3rd British Armies - with help from the Canadian Corps.
To provide a stable and secure jumping off point for the assault, a joint Franco-British assault on the towns of Salency and Gricourt. In spite of an Allied belief that low German morale would result in relaxed defences, stiff resistance delayed the capture of the towns. Despite the delay, the Allies had come within two miles of St. Quentin, and the final push towards ending the First World War was within their sights.