Battle of Amiens: Prince William, Theresa May mark offensive that turned WW1

The Duke of Cambridge and Prime Minister Theresa May attended commemorations on Wednesday for the centenary ...

Posted: Aug 8, 2018 3:40 PM
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 3:40 PM

The Duke of Cambridge and Prime Minister Theresa May attended commemorations on Wednesday for the centenary of the Battle of Amiens -- the turning point in the Allies' victory in World War One.

Amiens Cathedral in northern France played host to the event, which remembered the battle in 1918 that marked the beginning of the "hundred days" offensive, the closing chapter of the war.

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"The Battle of Amiens marked the beginning of the end of the First World War," said Gen. Nick Carter, head of the British armed forces, the Press Association reported.

A string of military victories following the Battle of Amiens led to the surrender of Germany's armed forces and the armistice that brought the war to a close in November 1918.

Over 500 tanks from the UK's fledgling Tank Corps were sent into the battle, along with more than 1,900 British and French aircraft. Some 2,000 artillery guns supported the tens of thousands of troops -- many of them Australian and Canadian -- that led the offensive.

The Allied troops captured several miles from the Germans on the first day of the offensive, which ended the deadlock of trench warfare that epitomized the entire conflict. The result of the battle convinced the German high command that the country could not win the war.

Prince William and May gave readings during Wednesday's commemoration service and wreaths were laid as a mark of respect. They also met with relatives of soldiers who fought in the battle.

General Carter said: "It was a remarkable achievement over the course of the war to expand the military, molding a new citizen-based force into a very accomplished fighting force, against a backdrop of rapid technological change."

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