The Final 100 Days - September 30, 1918

Heavy rain preceded the Canadian assaults on September 30th. On the front lines, the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Canadian Divisions endured the miserable conditions, ready to move on their objectives.

Though the 12th Brigade had succeeded in penetrating southern portions of the Marcoing Line, the German defenders still stood resolute in the 1st Division’s sector. Today’s objective tasked the 4th and 1st Battalions with piercing the line and capturing Abancourt. Machine gun fire raked the front, harassing both Battalions, and forcing the 4th to dig in.

Some success came from the 3rd Brigade, which had secured Blecourt by 10 AM. 

The 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions waited anxiously on the outskirts of Cambrai. The canal crossing at Eswars, just outside of Cambrai, served as the objective for the day. In the face of stiff German defences, the assault was to be preceded by a protective smokescreen; however, the screen was weak and failed to cover the advancing Battalions. The 54th, 75th, and 87th Battalions were annihilated - the 75th so much so they had to be removed from the line the following day. 

All in all, the day’s operations secured the Allies around 1.5 kilometres. It was clear Cambrai would fall, but nobody knew what it would cost.