The Final 100 Days - August 26, 1918

Once again, a near insurmountable task lay before the Canadian Corps. The inherent difficulty of the operation was made worse by two factors - the Germans’ knowledge that the Canadians were in the area, and the absence of an artillery barrage preceding the battle. 

Realizing this, Currie made the decision to begin the campaign with a night attack. Although beginning an assault in the pitch black was certainly risky, it seemed a safer option than launching an assault in broad daylight. The early morning of August 26th was made worse by a drenching rain falling on the Corps. 

Despite the rough start, the day was a success for the Corps. The 2nd, 4th, and 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles captured Orange Hill and Monchy early in the day, while the Royal Canadians engaged in stiff trench fighting. The villages of Guemappe, Wancourt, and Neuville-Vitasse all fell firmly under Canadian control as well. 

Though not of the same magnitude as Amiens, the Canadians had advanced an astonishing 5.5 kilometres before digging in. The heavy rain that had fell that morning continued, turning the battlefield into muck, and making the next day’s work even more difficult.