24th Jul 1918: Allied Commanders agree to go on the offensive

Foch, Petain, Haig, Pershing July 1918At a meeting at Foch’s headquarters with the Commanders-in-Chief – Haig, Petain and Pershing – the decision was made that the turning point had been reached and now time to go on the offensive across the front. The offensives must come as a surprise, and should follow as much as possible soon after the previous one to keep the enemy stretched and unable to effectively manipulate his reserves. The attack at Amiens would come first, not just because of the flat terrain that suited both the tanks and cavalry, plus being at the junction between the British and French forces enabling both to be engaged, but on no other part on the battlefield was the morale so high as that of the Australians on the Somme, and been so dominant over the enemy for four months as a result of their continuous peaceful penetration operations. However the Australians had been in the line and forward area first stopping and then harassing the Germans since April, and although not exhausted most brigades were reporting that the men were in need of a decent rest to face any major future effort. The Canadian divisions on the other hand had largely been in reserve, rested, up to full strength and being kept back for the pending offensive. It would be the two Dominion Corps that would spearhead the attack with four divisions each, supported by two divisions of the British III Corps (58th & 18th Divisions) on the left flank north of the river Somme and three divisions of the French XXXI Corps on the right flank south of the Luce.

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