Battle of St. Quentin Canal

What was happening in 1918?

World War I began in 1914. This war was fought between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers of Europe. The Central Powers comprised of Germany, Austria-Hungary and the allied states. The Allied Powers comprised of Britain, France, Russia, Italy and later the United States of America.

USA had initially decided to stay neutral during the war. But in 1917, Germany started attacking American ships in European waters. So USA was forced to declare war on Germany and joined the Allied Powers. USA joined the war at a time when the allied powers were nearly exhausted. The American help proved critical in helping turn the tide of the war.

Before the Battle of St. Quentin Canal

Early in the year 1918, Germans launched their Spring Offensive to push westwards into the allied territory. The allied forces, comprising mainly of French, American and British troops were able to halt the German offensive and launch their own counter-offensive.

The allied offensive came to be known as the Hundred Days Offensive. During this assault, the allied forces attacked the German lines all along the western front. The large-scale assault resulted in many key victories. The Battle of St. Quentin Canal took place during this assault. It was aimed at breaching the German Hindenburg Line.

When and where did the battle take place?

The Battle of St. Quentin Canal took place along the Hindenburg Line in France. It was fought from September 29, 1918 to October 10, 1918.

Commanders on both sides

On the side of the allied powers, Australian general Sir John Monash led the assault. He commanded a total of 14 divisions of troops, including 2 American divisions.

The German commander during the battle was Adolph von Carlowitz. He commanded nearly 13 divisions of German troops.

The Fighting

The purpose of the allied attack during the Battle of St. Quentin Canal was to breach the German line of defense, called the Hindenburg Line. The attack began on September 29 when the Australian troops attacked the line.

They were supported by American troops and nearly 150 tanks. Within a short time, the American troops were able to break through the Hindenburg Line, breaching through German defenses.

Following this major achievement, the British forces then crossed the strategically important St. Quentin Canal. They were able to defeat the Germans defending this position and took.

The allied forces continued their attack and the breach in the Hindenburg Line continued to widen. By October 2, there was a breach of 17 kilometers in German defenses. By October 10, the breach was even wider and everyone knew beyond doubt that the Hindenburg Line had been breached.

Result and Aftermath

The allied forces secure a crucial victory during the Battle of St. Quentin Canal. Breaking through the German Hindenburg Line was very important for the allies to push back the German forces.

By succeeding in doing so, the American and Australian troops in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal scored a massive gain for the allied powers. On the German side, the breach of the Hindenburg Line severely deflated the morale of the soldiers and the Germans began to think that they might lose the war.

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