ANZAC Centenary 2014-2018: Sharing Victoria's Stories



By mid-1918 it was at last apparent that the Allied leadership had come to some conclusions about the best way of fighting the war. At the same time it was apparent that the Allies, having successfully halted the March German breakout, had dealt a significant blow to German morale. The German Army was no longer the force it had once been. As at Hamel, the key to success was now seen to be the use of massed artillery protecting advancing troops with a curtain of shells falling just in front of their advance. An important part of this tactic was the increasing accuracy of the gunners.

Soldiers and horses at AmiensWhen the Allies attacked the German lines along a broad front the objective was to relieve any possibility of the city of Amiens falling back into German hands. The attack began in the morning in thick fog. The Germans had little idea of the number of troops involved or the extent of what was to come. By mid-afternoon it was apparent that all major objectives had been secured by the Allies and that the battle had achieved significant success. The Australians suffered about 3,000 casualties among total Allied casualties of about 9,000. The artillery had been crucial in allowing the infantry to reach their first objectives. Then tanks had been sent in as a second wave which created chaos among the German defenders. Fresh troops then leap-frogged through the first wave.

Later, German resistance improved and the battle continued in places for several more days. However, the Germans, who suffered 27,000 casualties in the first phase of the battle, were unable to provide the solid, almost impregnable, defence of earlier years.

Do you have an ancestor who served at Amiens? Share your story.