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Pursuit to the Selle: Wikis


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The Pursuit to the Selle, a portion of which is referred to as the Battle of the Selle, (October 17 - October 26, 1918)[1] was a series of skirmishes between allied forces and the German Army, fought during what is known as The Last Hundred Days of World War I, and which occurred after the Second Battle of Cambrai.

The pursuit began with an advance by the Canadian Corps, parts of which were temporarily under the command of the British 22nd Corps, with support from the New Zealand Division and the British First and Third armies. After the Battle of Cambrai, on day four of the pursuit, the allies advanced almost two miles and liberated the French towns of Naves and Thun-St-Martin. Although the capture of Cambrai was achieved significantly quicker than expected, and with moderately low casualties, German resistance northeast of the town stiffened, slowing the advance and forcing the Canadian Corps to dig in. On October 11, Lieutenant Wallace Lloyd Algie earned the Victoria Cross for gallantry in action. On October 15, Belgian troops captured the villages of Iseghem and Cortemarck, then on October 17, what is commonly known as the "Battle of the Selle" began. On October 18 the 1st and 4th Canadian Divisions advance more than 8 miles, securing twenty more villages.

At that stage in the pursuit, the German Army was broken, and retreating at a forced but controlled pace. On October 24, the German Army counterattacked at the Canal de la Dérivation, but were repulsed and pushed back by the Belgian Army. On October 25, the Battle of Selle ended, and the next day, October 26, Erich Ludendorff, First Quartermaster General of the German army, resigns under pressure from Kaiser Wilhelm II.




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