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Slag van Amiens, 8 Augustus-3 September 1918

Slag van Amiens, 8 Augustus-3 September 1918

Slag van Amiens, 8 Augustus-3 September 1918

Die slag van Amiens, 8 Augustus-3 September 1918, word dikwels gesien as die keerpunt op die Westelike Front (Eerste Wêreldoorlog). Die eerste helfte van die jaar is oorheers deur Duitse offensiewe, begin met die tweede geveg by die Somme (21 Maart-4 April 1918), wat die Britte amper na die buitewyke van Amiens teruggedryf het, wat 'n groot opbloei in die Geallieerdes veroorsaak het. lyne.

Die geallieerde teenaanval het begin tydens die tweede slag van die Marne (15 Julie-5 Augustus 1918). Dit was die mislukking van die laaste Duitse offensief en 'n Frans-Amerikaanse teenaanval (Aisne-Marne-offensief, 18 Julie-5 Augustus) wat die Duitsers uit die opvallende Château-Thierry gestoot het. Op 24 Julie, terwyl hierdie geveg aan die gang was, het die Geallieerde opperbevelhebbers byeengekom in Bombon om te besluit wat hulle volgende gaan doen. Die algemene aanname was dat die oorlog tot in 1919 sou voortduur, maar Foch beplan 'n reeks teenaanvalle vir 1918. Die aanvanklike doel was om die Duitsers uit drie ongemaklike belangrike persone te stoot, in St. Mihiel, Château-Thierry en Amiens. As hierdie aanvalle goed verloop, volg 'n algemene aanval.

Die Britse bydrae tot hierdie plan was die slag van Amiens. Selfs voor die vergadering in Bombon, het Haig generaal Rawlinson, onder bevel van die Vierde Leër rondom Amiens, opdrag gegee om voor te berei op 'n aanval op die belangrikste. Rawlinson het 'n plan vir 'n tenkgeveg ontwikkel. Rawlinson het 'n multi-nasionale weermag gehad, met Amerikaanse, Australiese, Kanadese en Britse afdelings. Hy het 530 Britse en 70 Franse tenks gekry, waarvan 96 voorraadtenks, 22 geweerdraers en 420 vegtenks was, waaronder 324 Mark Vs. Vir die doeleindes van die Amiens -aanval is Haig ook beheer oor die Franse Eerste Leër (Debeny) gegee, regs van die Britse posisie. Agt Franse afdelings sou deelneem aan die aanval op Amiens.

Die sleutel tot Rawlinson se plan was verrassing. Hy beplan 'n aanval van tien afdelings teen 'n front van 10 myl (met die Kanadese en Australiërs wat die meerderheid van die infanterie uitmaak). Dit was noodsaaklik dat die Duitsers nie vermoed wat kom nie-'n tydige Duitse teenbombardement kon verlammende ongevalle op die Britse aanval veroorsaak het. Gevolglik het Rawlinson beplan om aan te val sonder enige voorlopige artillerie -bombardement. Die aanval sou begin met die tenks, ondersteun deur infanterie en beskerm deur 'n kruipende spervuur. Die artillerie sou terselfdertyd met die tenk begin skiet. Regs het die Franse Eerste Leër nie tenks gehad nie. Om die verrassing te behou, sou die Franse terselfdertyd met die Britse aanval met 'n artillerie -bombardement begin en 45 minute later met hul infanterie opvolg.

Die Duitse linie is verdedig deur twintig moeë afdelings van die agtiende leër (von Hutier) en die tweede leër (Marwitz). In die vier maande sedert hulle die belangrikste gevang het, het die Duitsers 'n sterk verdedigingstelsel geskep. Volgens Ludendorff, 'was die afdelingsfronte smal, artillerie was volop en die slootstelsel was in diepte georganiseer. Alle ondervinding op 18 Julie is opgedoen. ”

Die aanval het op 8 Augustus begin. In die eerste paar uur van die geveg het ses Duitse afdelings in duie gestort. Hele eenhede het begin oorgee. Ludendorff noem 8 Augustus die 'Swart dag van die Duitse leër'. Teen die einde van die dag het die Geallieerdes nege myl oor die hele tien myl front gevorder. 16 000 gevangenes is gedurende die eerste dag geneem.

Die eerste fase van die geveg het op 11 Augustus geëindig. Die Duitsers het teruggetrek na die lyne wat hulle voor die eerste slag by die Somme gehou het. Haig was van mening dat hierdie lyne te sterk was om aan te val sonder 'n behoorlike artillerie -bombardement - die ou Somme -slagveld was 'n woesteny van dopkraters wat nie geskik was vir tenkoorlogvoering nie.

In plaas daarvan het Haig 'n tweede aanval verder noord geloods, met behulp van die Derde Leër (Byng) en 'n deel van die Eerste Leër (Horne). Die doel van hierdie aanval, bekend as die slag van Bapaume, was om die Duitsers terug te dwing na die lyn van die Somme. Hierdie aanval het op 21 Augustus begin. Nadat die Britse opmars op 22 Augustus 'n Duitse teenaanval gekry het, het die Britse opmars die Duitsers gedwing om terug te trek na die Somme. Die aanval het uitgebrei tot die Eerste en Vierde Leërs, terwyl die Franse hul eie aanval verder suid voortgesit het.

Op 26 Augustus het die Duitsers 'n nuwe lyn gehou langs die Somme suid van Péronne, dan oor die oop land na Noyon aan die Oise. Op 29 Augustus vang die Nieu -Seelanders Bapaume, in die middel van hierdie lyn. Die Australiërs het die volgende deurbraak gemaak en in die nag van 30 tot 31 Augustus oor die Somme geveg en Péronne gevang. Uiteindelik, op 2 September, breek die Kanadese korps, wat met die Eerste Leër veg, deur die Drocourt-Quéant-skakelaar, suidoos van Arras. Hierdie deurbrake het die Duitsers gedwing om die lyn van die Somme te laat vaar en terug te trek tot by die Hindenburg -lyn.

Die onverwagte omvang van die suksesse van die Britse en die Gemenebest-leërs by Amiens en Bapaume het Foch aangemoedig om 'n massiewe drievoudige offensief vir einde September te beplan, met die doel om die Hindenburg-lyn te breek en die Duitsers uit Frankryk te dwing (Meuse-Argonne-offensief, Slag van Vlaandere en Slag van Cambrai-St. Quentin).

Die Duitsers het baie swaar verliese gely tydens die slag van Amiens. Die Britte en Franse het 33 000 gevangenes gevange geneem en tussen 50 000 en 70 000 slagoffers die Duitsers toegedien. Die Britte het 22 000 man verloor, die Franse 20 000. Die groot drievoudige offensief sou sy hoofdoel bereik en die uiteindelike Duitse ineenstorting veroorsaak, maar teen baie hoër koste.

Boeke oor die Eerste Wêreldoorlog | Onderwerpindeks: Eerste Wêreldoorlog


Battles of the Somme 1918: Allied Summer Offensive

Die Tweede Slae van die Somme 1918 is in die somer van daardie jaar geveg, na die Duitse lente -offensief van Operasie Michael. Die geallieerde offensief van die somer begin met die Slag van Amiens op 8 Augustus. Die Franse leër val terselfdertyd ten suide van die rivier Somme in die Slag van Montdidier aan. Tien geallieerde afdelings was betrokke, waaronder Australiese en Kanadese magte wat saam met die Britse Vierde Leër gedien het. Die geallieerde magte het die Duitsers op die eerste dag van 8 Augustus verras en vinnig vorder ooswaarts van 'n paar kilometer, en honderde Duitse gevangenes onderweg geneem. Die beduidende vooruitgang het 'n groot deel van die grond wat die Geallieerdes in Maart, vroeër in die jaar, verloor het, teruggevind. Hierdie geveg was die einde van die dooiepunt van slootoorlogvoering aan die Westelike Front, die effektiewe kombinasie van infanterie, lugsteun en tenks. Dit was die begin van verskeie gevegte van Augustus tot November 1918, wat bekend geword het as die honderddae -offensief. Die geallieerde sukses van 8 Augustus was 'n swart dag vir die Duitse leër.

Die Britse Derde Weermag en die Verenigde State se II Korps het die aanval geloods om Albert op 21 Augustus te herower. Die stad Albert is op 22 herower en die stad Bapaume is op 29 Augustus ingeneem.

Die sukses van die Slag van Amiens het voortgegaan met die Tweede Slag van Bapaume vanaf 21 Augustus. Die Britse Derde Leër en die United States II Corps het die aanval geloods. Die stad Albert is op 22 herower en die stad Bapaume is op 29 Augustus ingeneem.

Gedurende die nag van 30/31 Augustus het troepe van die Australiese 2de divisie die moerasagtige grond en die Somme -rivier oorgesteek om teen die helling op te klim na die hoë grond van Mont St. Quentin. 'N Duitse posisie op hierdie heuwel kyk uit oor die stad P & eacuteronne en bied aan die Duitsers 'n goeie uitkykpunt oor enige Geallieerde aanval in daglig. Die Australiërs is suksesvol op die kruin van die heuwel, terwyl die Duitse reserwes daar aangekom het om die posisie te herwin. Die volgende dag het die Australiërs dit egter reggekry om die Duitsers heeltemal van die heuwel af te stoot en dit was uiteindelik onder geallieerde beheer. Die stad P & eacuteronne is op 1 September gevange geneem. Die betrokke Australiese eenhede het groot slagoffers gely, maar het 'n groot sukses behaal met die vaslegging van die posisie, wat gelei het tot die begin van 'n Duitse terugtrekking na die ooste.


Van Amiens tot wapenstilstand: Die honderd dae offensief

Die honderddae -offensief, ook bekend as die Advance to Victory, was 'n reeks geallieerde suksesse wat die Duitse weermag teruggestoot het na die slagvelde van 1914.

Die Duitse Lente -offensief was naby die breek van die Geallieerde frontlyn, maar hulle het net daarin geslaag om vas te hou. In die Tweede Slag van die Marne (15 Julie-6 Augustus) kon die Duitsers weereens nie 'n beslissende slag slaag nie en op 18 Julie het die Geallieerde teenaanval, onder leiding van die Franse, hulle weer teruggestoot. Die Marne sou die laaste Duitse offensief wees. Die Geallieerdes het nou die inisiatief aangegryp.

Samewerking was 'n belangrike faktor in die sukses van die offensief. Generaal Ferdinand Foch is in Maart 1918 aangestel as die opperbevelhebber van die geallieerde magte aan die Westelike Front.

Die bondgenote Beheer die lug

Die bondgenote Beheer die lug

Die honderddae -offensief het eintlik 95 dae gestrek, begin met die Slag van Amiens op 8 Augustus 1918 en eindig met die wapenstilstand op 11 November 1918.

Teen die somer van 1918 het die Geallieerdes beheer oor die lug. Britse, Franse en Amerikaanse vliegtuie was soms minder as hul Duitse eweknieë, vyf tot een. Hulle oorheersing in die lug het die Geallieerdes in staat gestel om Duitse posisies te fotografeer en hul artillerievuur van vliegtuie af te rig, asook om die Duitsers daarvan te weerhou. Dit het die Geallieerdes in staat gestel om hul voorbereidings te verberg en die Duitse leër te laat raai oor waar die volgende aanval vandaan sou kom.

Die Slag van Amiens Begin

Die Slag van Amiens Begin

Op 8 Augustus 1918 om 16:20 begin die Slag van Amiens. Dit was 'n oggend van swaar mis en die Duitsers was heeltemal verras. Sommige Duitse offisiere is na bewering gevang terwyl hulle nog hul ontbyt geëet het! Die Australiese korps en Kanadese korps was die hoof van die aanval en het vinnig agter die 534 tenks gevorder en binne enkele ure hul doelwitte bereik.

Toe die opmars op 11 Augustus gestaak word, het die Geallieerdes hul aanval na 'n ander deel van die lyn verskuif. Hierdie nuwe strategie het bygedra tot die sukses van die offensief deur die hulpbronne en mannekrag van die Duitse weermag voortdurend uit te brei. Die Geallieerdes het gedurende die somer en herfs van 1918 op hierdie manier aangeval, wat die toenemend uitgeputte en uitgeputte Duitse weermag min verligting gegee het.

Einde Augustus het die Geallieerdes veral Albert, Bapaume, Noyon en Peronne verower tydens die Tweede Slag van die Somme.

Die Amerikaners

Die Amerikaners

Einde Augustus was daar meer as 1,4 miljoen Amerikaanse troepe in Frankryk. Dit was die koms van hierdie nuwe troepe wat die Geallieerdes in staat gestel het om aan te hou veg ná hul aansienlike verliese tydens die Duitse Lente -offensief.

Die aanval op die St Mihiel-opvallende (12-15 September) was die eerste en enigste Amerikaanse aanval tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Dit was 'n betreklik maklike oorwinning, aangesien dit die Duitse leër op die terugtog gevang het, maar dit het die Amerikaanse leër as 'n formidabele vegmag gevestig.

Met die sukses in St Mihiel is die Amerikaners beweeg om die ambisieuse aanval wat Marshal Foch beplan het tydens die Slag van Meuse-Argonne, te ondersteun. Dit was die belangrikste bydrae van die Amerikaanse leër in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog en die verliese was groot onder hul onervare troepe.

In die Maak oop

In die Maak oop

Die geallieerde leërs het nuwe taktieke ontplooi om die dooiepunt van slootoorlog te oorkom. Artillerie, tenks en lugmag is suksesvol benut in 'n nuwe gekoördineerde wapenbenadering. Geallieerde sukses het gevegte uit die loopgrawe na die oopte laat beweeg.

Geallieerde artillerie oorheers die slagveld wat die weg baan vir 'n deurbraak. Duitse masjiengewere het hul vordering egter belemmer, sodat die meeste aanvalle onder die dekmantel van die duisternis plaasgevind het.

Tanks was nog steeds relatief nuwe wapens en was die nuttigste vir die verbrysel van doringdraadhindernisse, die vernietiging van masjiengeweerposte en in die geveg van dorpe. Hulle sou gevolg word deur klein groepies infanterie. Hulle het wiegies, rame van hout en staal, wat laat val kan word sodat hulle wye loopgrawe kon oorsteek.

Die vinnige beweging het probleme veroorsaak om voorrade aan die voorkant te kry, en min van die soldate wat in 1918 in die veld was, het opleiding in openbare oorlog ontvang.

Die Hindenburg Line

Die Hindenburg Line

Eind September het die geallieerde magte die Hindenburg -lyn in die gesig gestaar, 'n reeks sterk versterkte posisies wat die belangrikste Duitse verdediging gevorm het.

Die Slag van St Quentin -kanaal (29 September 1918) was 'n deurslaggewende oorwinning wat deur een van die sterkste dele van die Hindenburg -lyn gebreek het. Na die volledige deurbraak van die lyn vroeg in Oktober, het generaal Ludendorff gesê dat die "situasie van die [Duitse] leër 'n onmiddellike wapenstilstand vereis om 'n ramp te red".

Alhoewel dit nog 'n paar weke sou duur voor die wapenstilstand, was dit duidelik dat Duitsland nou nie die oorlog kon wen nie.

Die 'Swart dag van die Duitse leër'

Die 'Swart dag van die Duitse leër'

Gedurende die honderddae -offensief het die swak moraal in die Duitse leër aansienlik bygedra tot die geallieerde oorwinnings. Die mislukking van die Lente-offensief en die verrassende teenaanval op Amiens het die Duitse troepe gedemoraliseer. Ongeveer 30 000 Duitse soldate het tydens die Slag van Amiens oorgegee. Ludendorff beskryf die eerste dag van hierdie geveg as die "swart dag van die Duitse leër". Groot getalle Duitse gevangenes is ook tydens die Slag van St. Quentin -kanaal geneem. Die 46ste divisie alleen het meer as 4000 mans gevange geneem. Generaal Sir Henry Rawlinson het opgemerk dat die Hindenburg -lyn ondeurdringbaar sou gewees het as dit deur die Duitse weermag van twee jaar tevore verdedig is.

Die Kanadese korps Bereik Mons

Die Kanadese korps Bereik Mons

Die Kanadese korps bereik Mons om 04:00 op 11 November 1918. Hulle is omring deur juigende burgers terwyl hulle deur die strate marsjeer. Mons was die plek van die eerste geveg wat die Britse leër in Augustus 1914 geveg het en is gedurende die oorlog deur die Duitsers beset.

Die gevegte aan die Westelike Front het tot op die laaste minuut voortgeduur totdat die wapenstilstand om 11:00, op 11 November 1918, in werking getree het en vyandelikhede opgehou het.

Die Koste van oorwinning

Die Koste van oorwinning

Die honderddae -offensief het oorwinning meegebring, maar teen groot koste. Geallieerde ongevalle tussen Augustus en November 1918 was ongeveer 700 000. Die Duitse ongevalle was ongeveer 760,000 effens hoër.

Aanvanklik het die Geallieerdes nie verwag dat die offensief die oorlog sou beëindig nie, maar was van plan om hul laaste aanval vir die lente van 1919 te beplan. Hulle indrukwekkende wapenprestasie tydens die honderd dae het egter die gees van die Duitse leër gebreek en verliese veroorsaak waaruit hulle nie kon nie herstel.


Militêre konflikte soortgelyk aan of soos Battle of Amiens (1918)

Reeks massiewe geallieerde offensiewe wat die Eerste Wêreldoorlog beëindig het. Begin met die Slag van Amiens (8–12 Augustus) aan die Westelike Front, het die Geallieerdes die Sentrale Magte teruggestoot en hul winste uit die Lente -Offensief ongedaan gemaak. Wikipedia

Groot Duitse militêre offensief tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog wat die Lente-offensief op 21 Maart 1918 begin het. Gestart vanaf die Hindenburg-lyn, in die omgewing van Saint-Quentin, Frankryk. Wikipedia

Geveg tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog aan die Westelike Front van einde Augustus tot begin September, in die stroomgebied van die rivier die Somme. Deel van 'n reeks suksesvolle teen-offensiewe in reaksie op die Duitse Lente-offensief, na 'n pouse vir herontplooiing en aanbod. Wikipedia

Reeks Duitse aanvalle langs die Wesfront tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, begin op 21 Maart 1918. Om die Geallieerdes te verslaan voordat die Verenigde State sy hulpbronne ten volle kon ontplooi. Wikipedia

Deel van die honderddae -offensief van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog deur die Geallieerdes teen Duitse posisies aan die Westelike Front. Onvolledige gedeelte van die Canal du Nord en aan die buitewyke van Cambrai tussen 27 September en 1 Oktober 1918. Wikipedia

Lys van magte betrokke by die Slag van Amiens van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog het van 8 Augustus tot 11 Augustus 1918 geveg. Geallieerde magte by Amiens was onder die opperbevel van generaal Ferdinand Foch. Wikipedia

Slagorde vir Operasie Michael, deel van die Duitse Lente -offensief, het van 21 Maart tot 5 April 1918 geveg as een van die belangrikste verbintenisse van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Het geveg tussen gemengde Franse, Britse en Dominion -magte en die Wikipedia

Britse offensief aan die Wesfront tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Van 9 April tot 16 Mei 1917 val Britse troepe Duitse verdediging naby die Franse stad Arras aan die Westelike Front aan. Wikipedia

Die belangrikste stryd om die Eerste Wêreldoorlog wat op 29 September 1918 begin het en betrokke was by Britse, Australiese en Amerikaanse magte wat deel was van die Britse Vierde Leër onder die algemene bevel van generaal Sir Henry Rawlinson. Verder noord ondersteun 'n deel van die Britse Derde Leër ook die aanval. Wikipedia

Slag tussen die geallieerde magte en die Duitse leër, geveg tydens die honderddae-offensief van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Na die Tweede Slag van Cambrai het die Geallieerdes byna 2 myl gevorder en die Franse dorpe Naves en Thun-Saint-Martin bevry. Wikipedia

Slag tussen troepe van die Britse Eerste, Derde en Vierde Leërs en Duitse Ryksmagte tydens die honderddae -offensief van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Die geveg het plaasgevind in en om die Franse stad Cambrai, tussen 8 en 10 Oktober 1918. Wikipedia

Slag van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog wat plaasgevind het by Bapaume in Frankryk, van 21 Augustus 1918 tot 3 September 1918. Voortsetting van die Slag van Albert en word ook die tweede fase van die geveg genoem. Wikipedia

Die Tweede Slag van Villers-Bretonneux (ook die aksies van Villers-Bretonneux, na die eerste gevegte van die Somme, 1918) het van 24 tot 27 April 1918 tydens die Duitse Lente-offensief, oos van Amiens, plaasgevind. Dit was die eerste keer dat tenks teen mekaar geveg het, en dit was die grootste en suksesvolste tenkaksie van die Duitse weermag in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Wikipedia

Slag van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog wat deur die leërs van die Britse Ryk en die Franse Derde Republiek teen die Duitse Ryk geveg is. Dit het plaasgevind tussen 1 Julie en 18 November 1916 aan weerskante van die boonste dele van die rivier die Somme in Frankryk. Wikipedia

Slag tussen troepe van die Britse Eerste en Derde Leërs en Duitse Ryksmagte tydens die honderddae -offensief van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Die aksie het plaasgevind in en om die Belgiese munisipaliteit Honnelles, tussen 5 en 7 November 1918. Wikipedia

Die Britse leër tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog het die grootste en duurste oorlog in sy lang geskiedenis gevoer. Aan die begin van die konflik bestaan ​​uitsluitlik uit vrywilligers - in teenstelling met dienspligtiges. Wikipedia

Suksesvolle aanval deur die Australiese weermag en infanterie van die Amerikaanse weermag, ondersteun deur Britse tenks, teen Duitse posisies in en om die stad Le Hamel, in Noord -Frankryk, tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Beplan en onder bevel van luitenant -generaal John Monash, bevelvoerder van die Australiese korps . Wikipedia

Veldtog van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, wat deur die Geallieerdes teen die Duitse Ryk geveg is. Die geveg het van Julie tot November 1917 aan die Westelike Front plaasgevind om beheer oor die rante suid en oos van die Belgiese stad Ieper in Wes -Vlaandere, as deel van 'n strategie wat die Geallieerdes op konferensies in November 1916 en Mei 1917 besluit het. . Wikipedia

Die geallieerde leiers van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog was die politieke en militêre figure wat tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog vir die Geallieerdes geveg of ondersteun het. Nicholas II - Laaste tsaar van Rusland, titulêre koning van Pole, en groothertog van Finland. Wikipedia

Slag van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog het op 18 September 1918 geveg, waarby die Britse Vierde Leër onder bevel van generaal Henry Rawlinson betrokke was teen die Duitse voorposte voor die Hindenburg -lyn. Opgevang op 18 September deur die 12de Afdeling. Wikipedia

Oor die rol van Douglas Haig in 1918. Hoofkommandant van die British Expeditionary Force (BEF) aan die Westelike Front. Wikipedia


Nadraai

Die Slag van Amiens was 'n belangrike keerpunt in die tempo van die oorlog. Die Duitsers het die oorlog begin met die Schlieffen -plan voordat die wedloop na die see die beweging aan die Westelike Front vertraag het en die oorlog in 'n loopgraafoorlog oorgegaan het. Die Duitse Lente -offensief vroeër daardie jaar het Duitsland weereens die aanvallende voorsprong aan die Westelike Front besorg. Gepantserde ondersteuning het die Geallieerdes gehelp om 'n gat deur slootlyne te skeur en sodoende 'n ondeurdringbare loopgraaf te verswak. Die Britse Derde Leër sonder gepantserde ondersteuning het byna geen invloed op die lyn gehad nie, terwyl die Vierde, met minder as duisend tenks, diep in die Duitse gebied ingebreek het. Die Australiese bevelvoerder John Monash is in die dae na die geveg deur koning George V tot ridder geslaan.

Die Britse oorlogskorrespondent Philip Gibbs het die invloed van Amiens op die tempo van die oorlog opgemerk en op 27 Augustus gesê dat 'die vyand in die verdediging' is, en 'die inisiatief van aanval is so volledig in ons hande dat ons hom kan tref baie verskillende plekke. ” Gibbs erken Amiens ook 'n verskuiwing in die troepemoraal en sê: "Die verandering was groter in die gedagtes van mense as by die inneem van gebied. Aan ons kant lyk dit asof die weermag opgewek is met die enorme hoop om hiermee aan te gaan. vinnig sake "en dat," daar is ook 'n verandering in die vyand se gedagtes. Hulle het nie eers 'n dowwe hoop op oorwinning op hierdie westelike front nie. Al wat hulle nou hoop, is om hulself lank genoeg te verdedig om deur onderhandeling vrede te verkry. "

DEEL DIE BLADSY!


'N Wêreldoorlog is 'n oorlog waarin baie of die meeste van die magtigste en bevolkte lande ter wêreld betrokke is. Wêreldoorloë strek oor verskeie lande op verskeie kontinente, met gevegte in verskeie teaters. Die term word toegepas op die twee groot internasionale konflikte wat gedurende die twintigste eeu plaasgevind het: die Eerste en die Tweede Wêreldoorlog.


Storm van staal

Vir die aanhangers van podcasts kyk sir Hew Strachan HIER die slag van Amiens deeglik.

Rob Thompson het ook 'n referaat geskryf vir die Western Front Association oor die beplanning van die geveg en die logistieke uitdagings, klik HIER vir 'n PDF van die koerant.

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Kommentaar

Regtig mooi, is die n 8 x 6 rooster As dit die standaard is vir vierkantige bashing en wie die syfers doen. Kopieer dit ook na The Wargames Site. Dankie dat u dit geplaas het, ek hou van roosters en dit is net baie anders.

Dankie Norm, ek het op TWW geantwoord, maar as iemand anders dit lees: die roosters is 6 vierkante vierkante op 'n bord van 4 x 3 voet, wat die standaard Square Bashing -grootte is. Alle figure is van Peter Pig, behalwe twee tenks van PSC se uitbreiding van die Groot Oorlog!


Die gebruik van draadloos in die Slag van Amiens 8 - 11 Augustus 1918

'N Verhandeling ingedien as deel van die vereistes vir die graad MA in Britse Eerste Wêreldoorlogstudies aan die Universiteit van Birmingham. Hierdie werk het die WFA -prys gewen vir die beste proefskrif van 2013 wat tydens die WFA -presidentskonferensie van 2014 toegeken is.

Inleiding

  • Hoofstuk 1 Seine Intelligensie: Die planne vir geheimhouding en misleiding
  • Hoofstuk 2 Die gebruik van draadloos met die grondkragte
  • Hoofstuk 3 Die gebruik van draadloos met die Royal Air Force
  • Afsluiting
  • Bibliografie

Afkortings

  • ADM Admiraliteit.
  • AFA Australiese veldartillerie.
  • AIR Air Ministry.
  • AWM Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
  • BEF Britse ekspedisiemag.
  • CBSO toonbankbeampte.
  • CCHA Canadian Corps Heavy Artillery.
  • CW deurlopende golf.
  • GHQ Algemene Hoofkwartier (van die BEF).
  • GOC se hoofoffisier.
  • Hoofkwartier.
  • IWM Imperial War Museum, Londen.
  • LHCMA Liddle Hart -sentrum vir militêre argiewe, Londen.
  • NAC National Archives of Canada, Ottawa.
  • O.A.D Amptelike weermag gestuur.
  • OF ander geledere.
  • RA Royal Artillery.
  • RAI Royal Artillery Institute, Londen.
  • R.A.F. Royal Air Force
  • RFA Royal Field Artillery.
  • RFC Royal Flying Corps.
  • TNA National Archives, Londen.
  • WT Wireless Telegraphy.
  • WO Oorlogskantoor.

Inleiding

Daar is 'n algemene konsensus onder historici dat die Slag van Amiens tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog die begin van die einde aan die Westelike Front was. [1] Die doel van hierdie proefskrif is om die rol en bydrae van draadlose kommunikasie tot die sukses van die British Expeditionary Force (hierna BEF) in die vier dae van 8 tot 11 Augustus 1918 te ondersoek.

Die betekenis van Amiens en draadlose kommunikasie

Ten spyte van die konsensus hierbo, meen die Britse amptelike historikus, brigadier-generaal Sir James Edmonds, dat die sukses wat by Amiens behaal is, slegs 'is wat die Duitsers 'n gewone oorwinning sou noem'. [2] Edmonds het hierdie stelling verder verduidelik deur te verduidelik dat, hoewel Amiens nie 'n strategiese oorwinning was nie, dit tog die Duitse leër 'n beslissende slag vir hul moraal gegee het, wat 'n verlies aan geloof in die finale oorwinning tot gevolg gehad het. [3] Dit is egter waarskynlik meer akkuraat om te verklaar dat Amiens die agteruitgang van moraal in die Duitse leër vererger het, 'n afname wat begin het in die tydperk na die mislukte Maart -offensiewe. [4] Dit word bevestig deur generaal Erich Ludendorff, wat, hoewel hy na 8 Augustus as 'The Black Day of the German Army' verwys het, geglo het dat dit die vorige verlies aan dissipline en gevegskapasiteit was wat die hoofoorsaak van die ineenstorting was. [5] Hierdie dissiplineverlies was beslis duidelik by Amiens, waarvan 'n mate verkry kan word uit die aantal gevangenes wat deur die BEF geneem is, meer vyandelike troepe is in die ses dae van 6 tot 12 Augustus gevange geneem as in die vorige nege maande saam. [ 6] Amiens het die Duitse leër dus 'n beslissende slag toegedien en gevolglik verdien 8 Augustus die titel wat Charles Messenger bedink het: 'The Day We Won the War'. [7]

Paddy Griffith het aangevoer dat die mislukking van kommunikasie aan die Westelike Front die beperkende faktor was in die bereiking van 'n beslissende deurbraak. [8] Alhoewel Amiens nie 'n 'uitbreek'-stryd was nie, was dit tog 'n suksesvolle' inbraak 'waartydens kommunikasie 'n belangrike rol gespeel het. 'N Maatstaf van hierdie belangrikheid kan verkry word uit statistieke oor die telegraafverkeer van die Vierde Leër, wat toon dat daar van 8 tot 11 Augustus gemiddeld 6 100 telegrawe per dag hanteer is. [9] Daar is geen uiteensetting van hierdie syfers beskikbaar nie, maar die meerderheid is waarskynlik deur die grond- en pole kabelnetwerk hanteer eerder as deur draadloos. [10] Sedert die terugtog in Maart is dit egter erken dat draadloos 'n noodsaaklike kommunikasiemiddel is in mobiele oorlogvoering. [11] Gevolglik is 'n aantal maatreëls in die vroeë somer van 1918 getref om die integrasie van hierdie tegnologie in die standaard seinbeleid te dwing. Dit sluit in die toewysing van sekere dae wat uitsluitlik vir draadlose kommunikasie en oefendae gebruik moet word om die gebruik van draadloos in mobiele oorlogvoering te simuleer. [12] Amiens was die eerste werklike geleentheid om vas te stel of hierdie nuutgevonde vertroue in wireless geregverdig is.

Geskiedskrywing

Alhoewel die sukses by Amiens uiteindelik tot oorwinning in die weste gelei het, word hierdie tydperk van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog vreemd verwaarloos, maar Britte verkies om die 'modder en bloed' van die gevegte van 1916 en 1917 te onthou. [13] Jonathan Boff het getoon dat hierdie kultuur tot historici strek deurdat 24 werke uit die militêre geskiedenis gepubliseer is op die 90ste herdenking van die Slag van die Somme in vergelyking met slegs vier op die 90ste herdenking van die 'Honderd dae'. [14] Een van die meer voor die hand liggende verklarings vir hierdie gebrek aan historiese werke is die byna morbide bekoring van die tragedie van oorlog, maar Sydney Wise suggereer dat Britse historici hierdie tydperk vermy het vanweë die oorheersing daarvan deur die sukses van Dominion. [15] Eersgenoemde is meer aanneemlik as laasgenoemde. Daar bestaan ​​wel 'n aantal gesaghebbende werke, veral met betrekking tot die periode van die honderd dae, waarvan die definitief moontlik die verhaal van die vierde leër is deur generaal-majoor Sir Archibald Montgomery. [16] Hierdie werk is uit 'n unieke persoonlike perspektief geskryf, met die outeur bevoorregte toegang tot 'n magdom oorspronklike dokumente, en as sodanig is dit ryk aan operasionele detail. Dit ontbreek egter duidelik in detail met betrekking tot kommunikasie en sein. Meer onlangse sekondêre werke vaar in hierdie verband nie beter nie; voorbeelde hiervan is Amiens vir die wapenstilstand en The Day We Won the War. [17] Laasgenoemde noem byvoorbeeld nie die werk van vlieërballonne of artillerievliegtuie nie, wat albei wyd draadloos in die geveg gebruik is, ondanks 'n hoofstuk wat toegewy is aan lugoperasies. [18] Verbasend genoeg kan 'n soortgelyke kritiek op die Official History of the R.A.F. tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. [19] Die drie nasionale amptelike geskiedenisse bevat ook 'n gebrek aan verwysings met betrekking tot draadloos, daar is slegs tien in totaal drie Britte, drie Australiërs en vier Kanadese. [20] Laasgenoemde gaan in 'n redelike detail in op die bedrogplan by Amiens, waaroor hoofstuk 1 handel, maar gee min inligting oor die draadlose aspek van die plan. [21] 'N Omvattende geskiedenis van die werk van die seindiens is in 1921 geskryf en tot onlangs was hierdie werk die gesaghebbende teks. Die staccato -verhaal maak dit egter moeilik om te lees en word deur Paddy Griffith beskryf as 'positief die ondeurdringbaarste boek wat ooit oor die oorlog geskryf is'. [22] 'N Duidelik meer moderne en leesbare studie is Brian Hall se Ph.D. tesis oor kommunikasie, wat Jonathan Boff voorstel, sal Priestley's vervang en die 'standaardwerk' word. [23] Alhoewel hierdie werk 'n hoofstuk van 20 bladsye bevat oor kommunikasie tydens die Slag van Amiens, waarbinne draadloos in detail bespreek word, is daar geen meting van die belangrikheid daarvan tydens die geveg nie. [24] Die latere werk van Hall, wat toegewy is aan draadlose kommunikasie, beskryf die 'leerkurwe' met betrekking tot die belangrikheid van draadloos vir die mobiele stryd en die lewensvatbaarheid daarvan as 'n alternatief vir kabel. [25] Die beperking van hierdie werk is dat dit 'n wye omvang het en daarom nie kan stilstaan ​​by spesifieke aksies of verbintenisse nie. Amiens word slegs kortliks in die breër konteks van die honderd dae genoem.

Primêre bronne

Die meerderheid van die materiaal wat in hierdie proefskrif gebruik word, is vervat in die verskillende Oorlogsdagboeke by die National Archives, Londen. Daar is egter verskeie leemtes in hierdie rekords, waarvan die grootste in verband is met die draadlose waarnemingsgroepe, seinskole en kodebreek van laasgenoemde slegs 25 van die 3330 lêers het oorleef. [26] Boonop is daar slegs een dagboek van die weermagskole oor, en slegs een van die draadlose waarnemingsgroepe het albei betrekking op die Midde -Ooste -teater en bevat geen nuttige inligting nie. [27] Persoonlike koerante en herinneringe is nuttig, hoewel daar 'n duidelike gebrek aan herinneringe met betrekking tot draadloos personeel is. [28]

This dissertation will attempt to measure the effectiveness of wireless during the battle by analysis of three main subjects each with its own chapter. Chapter 1 will examine the importance of signals intelligence to the secrecy plan and what contribution it made to the fundamental objective of maintaining the element of surprise. The British Official History refers to this element of surprise as 'the essence of the Allied success'.[29] The key questions to be addressed in this chapter therefore are first, how important was the element of surprise to the overall success of the battle and second, what part did wireless play in maintaining the element of surprise? In order to answer these questions the secrecy plan will be broken down into three component parts namely the feint at Kemmel in Flanders, the feint at Arras, and the measures taken on the Fourth Army front at Amiens.

Chapter 2 will focus on a the use of wireless by the ground forces, including infantry, artillery, tanks, as well as ancillary formations such as the field survey companies. One of the key objectives of this chapter is to provide information that can assist in determining whether there is a relationship between combat effectiveness and the use of wireless. The initial problem is to determine which troops were the most combat effective. The Dominion troops gained a reputation as elite troops on the Western Front and this reputation was reinforced by Sir James Edmonds who believed that the Australian and Canadian officers and n.c.o's demonstrated superior leadership qualities in relation to their British counterparts.[30]Peter Simkins suggests that Edmonds criticism of British junior leadership is unjustified and has launched a convincing defence of British divisions.[31] Simkins cites the average success rate in opposed attacks for the nine British divisions who served in Fourth Army during the Hundred Days as 70.7 per cent.[32] This is identical to the figure for the five Australian divisions and similar to that of the four Canadian divisions, the latter achieving 72.5 per cent.[33] This comparative study of the combat performance of the British and Dominion divisions in Fourth Army will be mirrored with respect to the use of wireless in this dissertation. One of the problems faced in compiling this chapter was the paucity of primary sources in relation to the British divisions that took part at Amiens. This is in complete contrast to the Canadian and Australian records that contain a wealth of detailed information, which makes a comparison difficult. The key questions to be addressed in this chapter are first, to what extent was wireless used with the ground forces at Amiens, second, how does the use of wireless compare between the Dominion and British divisions and third, how important was wireless in the overall communications scheme.

Chapter 3 will examine the use wireless by the R.A.F., specifically aircraft and kite balloons. These balloons have received little attention from historians despite being a key component of the artillery counter battery function as well important gatherers of intelligence both at a tactical and operation level. This chapter will show that balloons were actually responsible for the neutralisation of more hostile batteries by wireless than dedicated artillery aircraft during the battle. This is despite the fact that artillery aircraft had been using wireless extensively since 1917 as Bidwell and Graham have observed:

By 1917, as 90 per cent of counter battery observation was done by airmen using wireless, the success of the artillery battle had come to depend on the weather being suitable for flying, on wireless reception and on a network of telephone lines from the receivers to the users of the airmen's information.[34]

The key questions that will be examined in this chapter are first, to what extent was wireless used with the air forces and second how important were these wireless equipped craft to the overall effectiveness of the artillery function.

In summary this dissertation will add to the historiography of both the Battle of Amiens and communications by examining the use of wireless in the most decisive battle of the First World War. Tim Travers has argued that technology was more important than tactics when it came to the combination of arms in 1918 this is perhaps going too far but there is little doubt that technology when used correctly is important in warfare.[35] This dissertation will show that the BEF was using new technology such as wireless to good effect and attempting to integrate it into an evolving weapons system. It will also show that wireless was a useful but not essential component of that system.

Chapter 1

Signals Intelligence: The plans for secrecy and deception

On 17 July 1918 General Sir Henry Rawlinson, GOC Fourth Army, wrote to GHQ outlining his proposals for the offensive and emphasizing the importance of secrecy:

The success of the operation will depend to a very great extent, as was the case on the 4th July, on effecting a complete surprise. Secrecy, in my opinion, is therefore, of vital importance and must be the basis on which the whole scheme is built up.[36]

The measures used to bring about surprise form the basis of the discussion in this chapter, particularly with respect to wireless. In addition, an attempt will be made to determine how effective these measures were and what contribution they made to the overall success of the operation.

The plan to bring about surprise at Amiens was highly complex but the majority of its components were encapsulated in three operational documents, two of which were issued by GHQ and one by Fourth Army.[37] At this stage of the war GHQ was exercising much more control over matters of operational security and pursuing a 'definite policy' of misleading the enemy.[38] The plan was essentially in three parts, namely preparations for a feint attack at Kemmel, preparations for a feint attack at Arras and finally, matters pertaining to general operational security. An overview of these plans can be seen in the charts below.

The Kemmel feint was not only aimed at deliberately misleading the enemy as to the location of a potential offensive but more importantly, it was designed to camouflage the movement of Canadian Corps from Arras to Amiens. With a fighting strength of 118,000 men the Canadian Corps was the largest Corps in the BEF and they were well known to the Germans as attacking troops.[39] As Rawlinson noted shortly after the battle: 'wherever the Canadian Corps was identified by the enemy, he would certainly expect an early offensive'.[40]

Diagram 1.1: The Kemmel Plan

This plan, issued on 27 July, involved the Canadian and Tank wireless sets along with their respective operators, two Canadian infantry battalions, and two Canadian casualty clearing stations, all being relocated from First Army to Second Army.[41] In addition the R.A.F. was ordered to make arrangements with Second Army for occupation of additional aerodromes and to steadily increase aerial activity on this front up to two days before the battle.[42] The object of these arrangements was:

. to give colour to a plan for the interpolation of the Canadian Corps into the line with a view to delivering an attack. The wireless stations will operate and the Battalions be put into the line.[43]

It was hoped that this would give the impression of an advanced party paving the way for the imminent arrival of the whole Canadian Corps and to make this seem more convincing false movement orders were issued on 28 July.[44] The historian S.F. Wise has commented that the measures of deception used to hide the movement of the Canadian Corps are well known.[45] This is not strictly correct as although many abridged accounts have appeared in historical works they tend to be based almost entirely on information contained within the Official Histories, are lacking in detail and contain a number of inaccuracies. For example, Tim Travers incorrectly states that when the Canadian Corps moved to Fourth Army they disguised their move by 'leaving their radio units behind'.[46] The source of this inaccuracy is probably Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson who, in an uncharacteristic misquote of the Canadian Official History, state that 'dummy wireless stations were set up at Arras'.[47] The Canadian Official History correctly places these dummy wireless stations in Flanders.[48] However, it is not only the location of the wireless stations that is incorrectly cited but also details of the actual units that took part. For instance, Shane Schreiber states that these units were the Canadian Corps wireless section they were however divisional units as instructed in the operational orders.[49] Some confusion on this point is justified though as it is difficult to extract a definitive answer from the war diaries regarding exactly which units were involved. The diary of the 1 Canadian Divisional Signal Company states that orders were received from First Army on 30 July to send the headquarters wireless set, along with wireless operators, to Flanders and that X Corps took receipt later that day.[50] The 1 Canadian Division's after action report confirms this but adds that it was the wireless sets of all four Canadian divisions that were sent north to Second Army.[51] However, there is no mention of this in the respective war diaries of those other divisions. Further confusion arises as a result of an entry in the GHQ war diary, which contains an instruction to Second Army, dated 2 August to immediately return the 2 Canadian Divisional wireless sets to Fourth Army.[52] This diary though makes no mention of any other Canadian divisional sets, including those of 1 Canadian Division.[53] This leaves two possible explanations, either one of the GHQ or 1 Canadian Division war diaries could be in error, or both the 1 Canadian and 2 Canadian divisional sets were sent and the GHQ instruction regarding the 1 Canadian divisional set was either omitted or not required. The latter is the most likely as the original instruction to send the wireless sets to Second Army asked for 'two Canadian Divisional Wireless Sets'.[54] The Director of Second Army Signals war diary does record receipt of two wireless sets from First Army but erroneously gives the date of receipt as the 25 July, which is two days before the initial instruction from GHQ was sent out.[55] Further weight is added to the wireless sets being from both the 1 and 2 Divisional Signal Companies as both of their war diaries make specific reference to X Corps on consecutive days. Although the diary of the 2 Divisional Signal Company does not make reference to a wireless set being dispatched it does record that a visit was made to X Corps on 29 July by its commanding officer as well as one other officer.[56]

The final inaccuracy with regard to the movement of the Canadian divisional wireless sets and their operators concerns what happened to them after arrival in Second Army. Daniel Dancocks suggests that they were assigned to Sydney Lawford's 41 Division but examination of that division's war diary reveals that it was American and not Canadian wireless personnel that were attached to that division on 29 July.[57] Evidence in support of these men being American is compelling due to the fact that the Second Army war diary records four battalions of American infantry beginning their attachment to 41 Division and 6 Division on 26 July.[58] Furthermore 41 Division was allocated to XIX Corps and not X Corps. As neither the X Corps war diaries nor its associated divisional war diaries contain any reference to the Canadians and their wireless sets, their attachment within Second Army remains a point of conjecture. Once established with Second Army it is not entirely clear what messages the Canadians sent, to whom they were sent and in what format they were sent. Regarding the latter, once again there is an ambiguity as Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie, GOC Canadian Corps, wrote that the messages were sent 'worded so as to permit the enemy to decipher the identity of the senders' whereas an after action report draft narrative states they were sent 'in clear'.[59] The latter would probably have raised too much suspicion, as the Germans were well aware that the BEF only sent messages in clear in emergencies.[60] One of the most likely methods that could have been used by the Canadian signallers to allow their identity to be discovered would have been to have reverted back to the insecure call sign system that had been replaced in First Army in May 1918. This system identified a formation by three letters such that the letters "AUO" would represent the Australian Corps and the "CAO" the Canadian Corps.[61] In addition, it would have been possible for the Germans to identify these units by the wavelength they employed. This had been recognised by GHQ by 5 August 1918 who were working on a system to allot new wavelengths although this was not done in time for the battle.[62]

The tank wireless sets were supplied by the 1 Tank Brigade Signal Company, whose war diary records that on 1 August 'Lt Mainprize and 10 OR's were sent for special wireless duty in Second Army area'.[63] Despite the fact that these men were performing this 'special duty' for nine days before returning to their unit very little information is available regarding the exact nature of their work. The British Official History simply records that 'great activity was exhibited by the wireless stations of First and Second Army on the tank wavelength which was well known to the Germans'.[64]

As the orders in Second Army area were being enacted a simultaneous plan was being put into effect on the front of First Army in the region of Arras.

Diagram 1.2: The Arras plan

The instructions contained in the Annexure to O.A.D 900/1 regarding this part of the deception plan read:

Every effort will be made by the First Army to foster the belief, which appears to exist, that an attack is imminent in the ARRAS sector.[65]

To assist this effort, on 27 July the First Army was instructed to make arrangements for one cavalry wireless set to be operated behind the Arras front.[66] Additionally, the wireless sets of the reserve divisions of First Army, together with those of the Second and Third Armies, were instructed to be setup and operated behind their respective fronts whilst wireless activity on all other fronts was ordered to cease.[67] The cavalry orders were changed on 30 July when instructions were given that only in the event of a relocation of the Cavalry Corps headquarters would the Corps wireless station be moved to First Army area.[68] Despite these instructions they were never implemented and instead the Cavalry Corps wireless duty station was simply dismantled under orders from GHQ and did not begin operating again until 2.30 a.m. on the morning of 8 August.[69] This change is probably due to GHQ realising that a silent wireless station could be just as useful as a dummy station with respect to the falsification of signals traffic. Two other activities were taking place within First Army front to complete the deception plan on this front. Firstly, a tank battalion was instructed to carry out manoeuvres in broad daylight as if in preparation for an attack, and secondly, Currie was busying himself with false plans for a feint in the Orange Hill area near Arras. This feint was first proposed by Currie at a conference with Rawlinson on 21 July and was as much about convincing Canadian troops of an impending attack as it was about convincing the Germans.[70] The next day, on the 22 July, he outlined the dummy plans to his divisional commanders and, according to the Canadian Corps CBSO, Lt. Colonel Andrew Macnaughton, gave a very convincing performance.[71]

Finally, a series of general security measures were implemented prior to the opening of the offensive on 8 August these were designed to maximise the element of surprise. They included dispensing with the preliminary barrage and instead relying on accurate survey techniques and the mass use of tanks, the engine noise of which being cloaked by low flying aircraft, minimising unusual activity near the front line and pasting a notice in the men's pay books ordering them to 'keep their mouth's shut'.[72] Even the lie of the country favoured a surprise attack with its covered approaches.[73]

Diagram 1.3: The general secrecy measures at Amiens

Additionally, in July 1918, the wireless security measures adopted by the British Armies in France were revised and improved. The improvements involved the use of 'silent days' and an overhaul of the wireless call signs used by all formations. A 'silent day' was usually a 12-24 hour period within which the use of field telephones, power buzzers and wireless was strictly forbidden. It was well known that any abnormal communications silence or activity, particularly with respect to wireless was a 'sure sign' that an offensive was impending.[74] Silent days were therefore an attempt to obfuscate the conclusions that would otherwise be drawn from listening in to the BEF's signals activity. John Ferris suggests that these periods of silence were random but it seems much more likely that they were deliberately planned, particularly with respect Amiens.[75] For example, the war diary of 30 Division records only three silent days for the whole of 1918 and these occurred on 24 July, 1 August and 10 August. The 30 Division was part of X Corps during this period and although there is no record of silent days in that formation's war diary a wireless operator in 30 Division confided to his personal diary that 24 July was a 'silent day for the corps'.[76] It would therefore seem probable that 1 and 10 August would also have applied to the whole corps. The three silent dates fall just before, and during the Battle of Amiens, and given that X Corps were located within Second Army, who were the hosts of a wireless deception plan with respect to the Canadian Corps, this would seem to suggest that these days were part of a carefully orchestrated plan.

In addition to the silent days the system of calls signs underwent a radical change beginning in May 1918 when, according to a captured German document, four letter codes were introduced to identify units.[77] This same document also states that the Germans had succeeded in penetrating this system by July 1918 after which call signs were changed daily these statements are quoted by John Ferris in his 1988 journal article.[78] A significant proportion of Ferris's article is based on this document, however the latter is fundamentally flawed for two reasons. First, what happened in May was not the introduction of four letter codes but rather the frequency of change became daily instead of bi-monthly, and second, in July it was not the daily change that was introduced but a much higher level of security through encryption of the call signs.[79] As a result, the statement that the Germans succeeded in 'penetrating this system' lacks credibility, as the system they claimed to penetrate was not the one in existence.[80] The conclusion that the Germans were not successful in penetrating the system of daily call sign changes is supported by another translated document, dated 1 August, from the German 51 Corps that noted 'a striking improvement has lately taken place in the telephone and wireless discipline of our enemies'.[81] This general tightening of wireless signals security ultimately helped facilitate the element of surprise at Amiens. How effective though were the other wireless deception measures at Kemmel and Arras and did they also succeed in their objective?

According to Sir Arthur Currie, when the offensive at Amiens was launched on 8 August the surprise was 'complete and overwhelming'.[82] Prisoners from four separate divisions, captured by the Australians early on 8 August, also stated that the attack had been a 'complete surprise'.[83] This is not entirely true as a number of prisoners captured on 8 August testified that two factors had led them to believe that an attack was expected, although not imminent these factors were an increase in air activity and movement behind the lines.[84] The latter had been a concern of 2 Canadian Division who, prior to the battle reported:

. a very large movement by day of heavy artillery and ammunition lorries. Although the visibility from the air was poor, it was certain that some of this movement was observed by the enemy.[85]

In addition, on 4 August the German Oberste-Heeresleitung reported that two Canadian divisions previously on the Arras front had been replaced and that this required particular attention to be paid to the fronts of the British Third and Fourth Armies.[86] A certain amount of suspicion was also raised by the communications silence that had preceded the attack.[87] It is interesting that no mention was made of the British Second Army front despite the fact that the Germans had established the presence of Canadian troops in Flanders.[88] The Australian Official History states that it was only the presence of Canadian Wireless and not infantry that was detected in Flanders, although the source of this assertion is unclear.[89] Ernst Kabisch states that both the presence of the two Canadian battalions and their wireless sets were detected, as does the German Official History.[90] Despite this the German Army staff did not update their situation maps, which, on the morning of 8 August, still showed the four Canadian divisions, clustered around Arras.[91] It is unlikely that this was as a result of the Orange Hill feint, it is probably more the result of incomplete intelligence confirming that the entire divisions had moved. The result of all of this uncertainty was that the German staff were confused, but not convinced enough by the deception plans to change their troop dispositions.[92] However, the uncertainty combined with the other secrecy measures was enough to give the offensive at Amiens a high degree of surprise, even if that surprise was not total. Prior and Wilson argue that the deception plans served only one purpose and that was that the Germans did not move their artillery positions.[93] They also argue that not enough time would have been available to improve the poor state of the defences and adding more troops to the front line would simply have increased the number of casualties.[94] Regarding the first point, the Germans did actually move their artillery positions back eight days before the battle as a direct result of the Australian raid on 29 July.[95] This made very little difference as 95 per cent of the German guns were still located prior to the battle.[96] The latter point regarding adding of troops is somewhat moot as the Germans would have been more likely to bring in Eingreif divisions as their defensive doctrine was based on elastic defence in depth which called for a weakly held front line and counter attack troops in the rear.[97]

Two Canadian authors have opined that the deception plans were a major factor in the success on 8 August.[98] These plans do appear to have at least confused the Canadian troops according to an entry in Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig's diary dated 7 August, which reads:

The move of some Canadian battalions and casualty clearing stations to our Second Army front seems to have quite misled the Canadian troops and many spoke of the "coming offensive to retake Kemmel"![99]

The evidence suggests though that the Germans were more confused than deceived by these plans. The wireless stations in Flanders do seem to have come to the attention of the Germans, even more so than the two infantry battalions according to the Australian Official History, which suggests that wireless did make a significant contribution to this confusion. Other wireless security measures such as the new system of wireless call signs, the introduction of wireless 'silent days' and instructions to the Canadian Corps not to open wireless stations before zero simply added to this confusion.[100] The result was that German intelligence did not detect the relocation of the Canadian Corps from Arras to Amiens.[101] This was the decisive factor in the surprise at Amiens.

Chapter 2

The use of wireless with the ground forces

This chapter will discuss the extent to which wireless was used by the ground forces during the Battle of Amiens. In order to facilitate this discussion, two questions will be posed namely did the Dominion divisions use wireless to a greater extent than the Imperial divisions and how did the use of wireless as a communications medium compare with other forms of communication during the battle?

The official signals policy that applied at the Battle of Amiens was laid down eight months before in the training pamphlet S.S 191.[102] This recommended that in the case of a move from static to open warfare each advancing division should make use of 'as many means of transmission as circumstances will admit'.[103] It was recognised that it would not always be possible to connect divisional communication routes by telephone and therefore suggested a number of alternatives such as visual signalling, portable wireless sets, mounted orderlies and message carrying rockets.[104] Emphasis was placed on restoring telephone communications as soon as possible. Wireless though was a new science and, as John Terraine observed, was not a habit carried over from civilian life.[105] This made the staff reluctant to adopt wireless, despite the official endorsement in the training pamphlets in addition, the certainty of buried telephone cables in static conditions had created an air of complacency. Since 1 April 1916 orders had been issued that cable must be buried to a minimum depth of six feet in order to ensure immunity from a 5.9-inch shell.[106] This reluctance persisted up to the Battle of Amiens as evidenced by an after action report from the 4 Canadian Signal Division:

In stationary trench warfare seven foot buried cable has made the telephone service so certain that all other methods of communication have become superfluous and it is only the keenest optimism that has maintained the efficiency of such alternatives as wireless, visual and cable wagons.[107]

Attempts had been made, during the early summer months, to encourage the use of visual signalling and wireless by the use of what became known as 'silent days'.[108] These days were the complete antithesis of those mentioned in the previous chapter in so far as they only allowed the use of wireless and visual, the use of the telephone and telegraph being strictly forbidden. Unfortunately these days were not always successful as recorded by an artillery officer in the 1 Canadian Divisional Artillery.[109] There were also significant inherent problems with wireless. These included a lack of trained operators, susceptibility to jamming, heavy weight of sets, conspicuous aerials and the problem of enciphering and deciphering each message.[110] Despite these problems wireless technology was improving rapidly in 1918 and this resulted in greater confidence in the medium. For instance the 1917 pattern 'spark' trench set, which became available in large numbers in 1918, was capable of transmitting on 16 wavelengths instead of just two.[111] A Canadian Corps wireless intelligence report suggests that by August 1918 the BEF's wireless technology was one year ahead of the Germans who had been suffering from material shortages.[112]

However, the use of wireless at corps, division and brigade level varied tremendously at Amiens as shown in the table below.

Table 2.1: The use of wireless between infantry formations


BATTLE OF AMIENS 1918, and Operations 8th August-3rd Sept 1918.

BATTLE OF AMIENS 1918, and Operations 8th August-3rd September, 1918.' by Lt Col Kearsey.

First published in 1950 this book is a reprint of that edition. This is one of a series of studies on campaigns and battles of the Great War by Lt Col Kearsey, designed to help the student of military history, particularly those studying for Staff College. Sub-titled
‘The Turn of the Tide on the Western Front' the book examines the offensive
that marked the beginning of the end for Germany.

The Australians with their Canadian comrades, launched on the 8 August 1918, the Battle of Amiens the great offensive that was to bring the war to a victorious end.

Setting out from the positions of Villers-Bretonneux and Hamel, the Australian troops in two hours had accomplished all their objectives, and the Canadian troops who had begun
the attack alongside them had advanced several kilometres. In just over 3 hours,
the enemy's front line had been overrun. In total, the Allied forces captured
29,144 prisoners, 338 guns, and liberated 116 towns and villages. Ludendorff,
the German commander, famously called the 8th August "the black day of the German
Army"


Australian infantry move forward

Australian infantry and pioneers move forward on 8 August 1918. The foggy conditions, which helped the attackers to surprise the Germans, are very obvious and the cameraman noted “the foggy weather made it impossible to get a connected story of good quality film”.

These, together with the British III Corps, were supported by more than 2,000 guns from the Royal Artillery, over 500 tanks from the Tank Corps and over 1,900 aircraft from the Royal Air Force and its French equivalent.


Battle of Amiens, August 10, 1918

Saturday We were up this a.m. at 5 o’c and moved about 12 miles up the line tis a great day am well, (11:20 a.m.) After a forced march this a.m. we pulled into action after a hurried lunch about 400 yds from the front line After an advance of 12 miles we were stopped by machine gun nest


Today’s reports are not particularly consistent, but the general outline is clear. At 1:30 this morning the 5 th Canadian Divisional Artillery is ordered forward in support of an attack by the 32 nd Division, (1) a British division which has been attached since yesterday to the Canadian Corps and is about to move forward to take the place of the 3 rd Canadian Division. (2) The 32 nd ’s artillery have been delayed because of German bombing last night. (2) The brigade leaves its camp near Dromart at dawn to be in a positions of readiness near Beaufort by late morning Percy has enough time to jot in his diary after a hurried lunch they go into action “on the run, kits and equipment flying in all directions.” (3) They are close to the front lines, too close, in fact, within machine-gun range, and only 700 yards behind the front-line infantry. Since the infantry are being held up by those machine guns, the battery retires to a position beside a stretch of disused trench, to the east of Folies. (3,1)

Why this happened is unclear: The 13 th Brigade officers say they were too close because they received wrong information from the 32 nd Division (1) much later, Nicholson, Canada’s official historian of the Great War, says that “by some misfortune the 32 nd Division jumped off a mile or more short of its assigned start line.” (4) In other words, the Canadians were where they were supposed to be the British weren’t.

I’ll quote again from the 43 rd Battery History: “So you will see that we are not qualified to give the military details of these operations and it remains only to discourse a little concerning the way in which the … fighting affected us, ‘who never could know and could never understand.”’ (5)

Generally the problem, when the infantry are moving quickly (13 km the first day another 6 yesterday), is getting the guns close enough to provide effective cover and wire-cutting. Today, the third day of the Battle of Amiens, the advance is slowing as German resistance is stronger: reinforcements are arriving – four fresh German divisions opposite the Canadians – with replacement guns and deadly machine guns. (6)

And they are now facing each other across land that shows the scars of much earlier fighting, “a belt some three miles wide pitted with shell-holes and the remains of old trenches, and befouled with tangles of rusty barbed wire overgrown with long, concealing grass. There was no lack of good sites for machine-gun posts, and the attackers were quickly to realize that the operation had suddenly reverted from open pursuit almost to the former pattern of trench warfare.” (4)

The infantry are attacking Le Quesnoy, Parvillers and Damery, and make some progress in the morning, but by the afternoon they are stalled, “stopped by machine-gun nest” says Percy. “Nest” is such a cosy word, but we must think of wasps rather than fledglings.

“The villages were alive with machine-gun nests which were used to deadly effect on the allied troops.” (7) The 5 th CDA guns will remain in action all night. (8)

***
The photograph © IWM (Q 9334) shows Canadian 18 pounders going forward. It will be taken about seven weeks from now.

The first map (from the McMaster University Digital Collection) shows Beaufort (A) where the 13th Brigade gathered in readiness, Folies (B) east of which they took up firing positions, and Parvillers-Daméry which are the infantry’s objectives. The second map (from the Canadian War Museum) indicates with purple dots where these locations are in reference to the territory we have been covering since the early morning of August 8th — a long way from that first position near Cachy and from last night’s near Dromart (also marked).


5. The battle was the start of the Hundred Day Offensive, which led to the end of the First World War.

American soldiers on their way to the Hindenburg Line.

After the Battle of Amiens, a fresh offensive began in Albert on August 21 st that ultimately pushed the Germans back 55km. On August 27 th Phillip Gibbs, a British war correspondent stated that the Germany ‘is on the defensive’ and credited Amiens with a change in the morale of the Allied troops, saying the army was geared up with ‘enormous hope.’

Then the Germans were pushed back to the Hindenburg Line, a major defensive point of theirs constructed in the Winter of 1916-1917, and a series of battles were held there before the British army broke through on October 8 th . It was this breach that forced German commanders to face up to the fact that the war had to end. Towards the end of 1918, they retreated through territories they had gained in 1914, and fighting took place up until 11 am on November 11 th , 1918 when the Armistice took effect.

The Hundred Days Offensive saw the tides of fortune turn against Germany in the First World War. From there the fate of the German Army was sealed. After the Battle of Amiens, it was only a matter of time before the war would be over, with Germany on the losing side.


Kyk die video: The Tank Corps at the Battle of Amiens 8 August 1918. Geoffrey Vesey Holt (Desember 2021).