The horrific third battle of Ypres finally ended at Passchendale on November 10, 1917. Ten days later, at Cambrai, the British launched the first massed tank assault in history. But they faced determined German resistance and within three days only 92 tanks out of the original 378 remained operational. After facing a savage counter-attack by the Germans using aircraft, gas, and storm troops, the British fell back to form a defensive line.
Fighting continued throughout the winter, and early in 1918 the German Command, strengthened by divisions brought from the Russian front, decided to launch a massive offensive to gain final victory. On March 21, in the morning fog, they attacked, and supported by artillery from over 6,000 guns, advanced 14 miles within three days. In May, they drove the French Army back 40 miles. However, German losses were high, and the Allied armies, now joined by the Americans, launched a massive counter-attack, from which the Germans never recovered. On November 11, 1918, "the bloody war was over".
©2002 Max Arthur and the Imperial War Museum; (P)2003 Random House Audiobooks