Tuesday, August 07, 2018

History of the Hundred Days

A soldier of the Great War, RIP August 8, 1918

Tomorrow, August 8, marks the centenary of the start of the "Hundred Days Campaign," which also means it is just one hundred days from the end of the four year long centenary of the First World War itself.

The Hundred Days Campaign began with the Battle of Amiens. Canadian troops were closely engaged.  Indeed they remained closely engaged in what were (for the First World War) rapid advances that continued to the end of the war -- and suffered a substantial proportion of all Canadian wartime casualties, too.

Canadian historians tend to point to the Hundred Days to affirm the vital role of the Canadians on the western front and in the final campaign in particular.  British, French and American accounts often manage to cover the same period without much attention to the Canadian contribution.  There's truth to both positions: the Canadian performance was very much right up at the sharp end, but in total numbers of troops engaged and terrain covered, the Canadians were a small part of a very large campaign.

Today, however, the Guardian online, as part of its Hundred Days anniversary coverage, has a vivid story of Amiens Fowler, an 18 year old Canadian who is named for her great-great grandfather, a Canadian soldier who died at Amiens a hundred years ago (that's him in the photo above).

Photo:  The Guardian

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