The start of the final sprint: the liberation offensive

The start of the final sprint: the liberation offensive

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Redactie 03 September 2015 0
The allied liberation offensive began in August 1918. The allies launched an offensive over the entire western front, in order to push the Germans back for good. It was now or never. The German troops were at the end of their tether after the failure of their spring offensive. Revolution threatened in Germany. On the allied side, two million fresh American soldiers had joined their ranks. For the first time in the war, all of the allied troops were under the authority of one commander-in-chief, the French field marshal Foch.
 
In the Westhoek, the Belgian, British and French troops began their attack on 28 September. Later on, they were supported by American units. Bit by bit, the allied soldiers had to capture the well-constructed German defensive lines
 
The German army consistently withdrew, but often offered heavy resistance. Villages and towns, which until then had remained undamaged, suddenly became the theatre of war, and were destroyed in those last months of the war after all. The allied bombardments also killed many civilians. 
 
By 19 October, the Belgian coast had been completely liberated. On 31 October, the allies crossed the Leie River and on 9 November the Schelde. Two days later, the Armistice was signed. 

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