Spearheading the Great British Offensive
David Cameron’s landmark, two-volume Australians on the Western Front 1918 concludes with the story of the central role Australian troops played in the final German defeat
Following on from volume 1 of Australians on the Western Front 1918: Resisting the Great German Offensive, volume 2, Spearheading the Great British Offensive, concludes with a detailed account of the final battles of World War I and the defeat of German armed forces on the Western Front.
In compelling detail, David W. Cameron recounts the military successes and challenges of the Australian Army Corps, led by Lieutenant General John Monash, during a number of key battles, including the Battle of Hamel on 4 July; the Battle of Amiens on 8 August, and the Battle for Mont St Quentin and Peronne in September; culminating in the week-long battles for the Hindenburg Outpost Line and the Hindenburg Line itself, during which many Australian and American troops tragically lost their lives just as the war was finally drawing to a close. Ultimately, however, the breaking of the Hindenburg Line by Australian, Canadian, British and American troops delivered a crucial blow to the German army, who surrendered unconditionally to the Allies one month later.
This book once again draws on the diaries and letters of the Australian soldiers on the battlefields to piece together the story of their heroic actions against enemy forces, placing them within the broader context of the ‘war to end all wars’.
“SOMBRE TRIUMPH This volume traces the Australian presence on the Western Front from Sir John Monash's genius at the Battle of Hamel to the end of World War I. It is only five months from that victory to the Armistice but these were vital days in crushing Germany's military might. The arrival of the US army was vital, but there was a significant collapse in German morale, especially after the Allies' Amiens offensive that ushered in what is known as the "100 Days" that led to the Allies' victory. Cameron takes us through important battles essential to the cause - Chipilly, Lihons, Montbrehain and the more well-known Mont Saint-Quentin. He gives insights into the impact of the fall of Germany's key defence, the Hindenburg line, and how it was not the concrete fortress many Australians had imagined, but something more strategic, built into the landscape.”
NICK RICHARDSON, Herald Sun
“Cameron recounts the military successes and challenges of the Australian Corps, during which many troops tragically lost their lives just as the war was finally drawing to a close. Ultimately, however, the breaking of the Hindenburg Line by Australian, Canadian, British and American troops delivered a crucial blow to the German army, who entered into an armistice with the Allies one month later. This book bears witness to the sacrifice and victories of the Australian Corps, which acted as ‘shock troops’ for the British Expeditionary Force despite their ongoing casualties and dwindling reinforcements.”
Marcus Fielding, Military History and Heritage Inc