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For the first major tank offensive, see Battle of Cambrai (1917)
Battle of Cambrai (1918)
Part of the Hundred Days Offensive of World War I
Canadian troops on Arras- Cambrai road-1918.jpg
Canadian Troops advancing along the Arras-Cambrai Road
Date 8 October - 10 October 1918
Location Cambrai, France
Result Decisive British Empire victory
Belligerents
 United Kingdom
CanadaCanada
 New Zealand
German Empire German Empire
Commanders
United Kingdom Henry Horne
United Kingdom Julian Byng
United Kingdom Henry Rawlinson
Strength
21 British divisions
3 Canadian Divisions
1 New Zealand Division

The Battle of Cambrai was a battle between troops of the British First, Third and Fourth Armies and German Empire forces during the Hundred Days Offensive of World War I. The battle took place in and around the French city of Cambrai, between 8 October and 10 October 1918. The battle incorporated many of the newer tactics of 1918, in particular tanks, meaning that the attack was an overwhelming success with light casualties in an extremely short amount of time.

Contents

Battle

Although there were three German lines, spanning some 7,000 yards, the sector had been quiet for some time so it was lightly garrisoned: the 20th Landwehr and the 54th Reserve, supported by no more than 150 guns. [1] The German defenders were unprepared for the "hurricane bombardment" by 324 tanks. [2]

On October 8, the 2nd Canadian Division entered Cambrai and encountered sporadic and light resistance. However, they rapidly pressed northward, leaving the "mopping up" of the town to the 3rd Canadian Division following close behind. When the 3rd entered the town on October 10, they found it deserted. Fewer than 20 casualties had been taken.

Aftermath

Although the capture of Cambrai was achieved significantly quicker than expected, German resistance northeast of the town stiffened, slowing the advance and forcing the Canadian Corps to dig in.

Notes

  1. ^ Keegan (UK ed), p 396
  2. ^ Keegan (UK ed), p 397

References

  • Keegan, John; The First World War, UK Ed (Pimlico edition, London, 1999)
  • In the footsteps of the Canadian Corps
  • Berton, Pierre, Marching as to war, 2001.
  • Bauls, Drew P, "The Great War", 1994

External links

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