The Citadel Falls
The Last Battles
In August of 1918 the German defences had been sorely tested in every sector. In the relatively limited portion of the front it occupied, the strong Canadian Corps had not finished its job. On 26 August it once again spearheaded the 2nd British Army that was launching another attack in the direction of Cambrai. By the 28th the Canadians had advanced eight kilometres, taking 3,000 prisoners and seizing 50 guns and 500 machine guns. This action brought them within reach of the Hindenburg Line.
Although the artillery continued to play its role, the Canadian infantry took a break. On 2 September, tanks and infantrymen resumed their advance behind a rolling artillery barrage. After a difficult 3.5-kilometre advance, the Canadians counted 5,500 casualties. They would have the consolation of being awarded seven Victoria Crosses. Indeed one result of this rather minor engagement was that it enabled the Allies from the western front to get at the Hindenburg Line without resistance. With problems looming, the Germans began to consolidate a new fallback position between Antwerp and the River Maas that was named the Herman Line. With Arras liberated, preparations were made for the next stage, crossing the Canal du Nord to take Cambrai - events that would occur between 27 September and 11 October.
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