Canada’s Hundred Days – Backgrounder

VETERANS AFFAIRS CANADA

On August 8, 1918, Allied forces on the Western Front launched a major offensive against the German lines near the town of Amiens, France.

The Battle of Amiens marked the beginning of Canada’s Hundred Days and the last three months of the First World War. During this period a series of impressive Canadian Corps victories on the Western Front solidified their reputation as elite shock troops.

Following the success of the Canadian Corps and their Allies in the Battle of Amiens, the Canadians were moved north back to Arras. Having little rest, they continued to pressure the German forces, breaking the Drocourt-Quéant Line on September 2, breaching the Hindenburg Line with the capture of Bourlon Wood on September 27, and then pressing on through Cambrai, Mount Houy, Valenciennes and into Mons, Belgium in October and early November 1918.

During the last three months of the First World War, the Canadian Corps advanced roughly 130 kilometres and took some 32,000 German prisoners and captured almost 3,800 enemy artillery pieces, machine guns and mortars. By the conclusion of Canada’s Hundred Days, 30 Canadians and Newfoundlanders had earned the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for valour they could receive.

Canada’s Hundred Days culminated with the end of the First World War and the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.