The Last 100 Days on the Western Front
The Great War 1914-18
By mid-July 1918, the Allies perceived the German attacks known as the Ludendorff Offensives were coming to an end and by the 8th August, on the tactical maps it looked as if the whole of the Allied front was advancing in one continuous line. This was the beginning of the so-called '100 Days' which would eventually lead to the end of the war.
After initial advances the Allied counter-attack looked as though it might be in danger of losing impetus, but on the 29th September a thrust forward from the Ypres Salient managed to push forward several miles. Over the coming weeks, Germany's allies, including Bulgaria, Turkey and the Austro-Hungarian army, sought peace terms with the Allies. The British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, had long advocated defeating the Central Powers by 'knocking away the props from under Germany' and the end was now in sight.
We focus on events in the north of Belgium, as the Belgian army advanced towards the German Fourth Army, to the south also advancing in unison was the British Second Army and together with French support they liberated the town of Roeselare from four years of German occupation. The small Belgian army had been holding its positions around the Yser Canal and now this was its opportunity to take part fully in an advance. Other towns in the area were soon liberated, including Torhout, Dixmuide and Nieuwpoort. On the 25th October, King Albert of Belgium entered the town of Bruges and on the 11th November the Armistice was signed and the war was finally over.
This tour will also take you to the town of Veurne where King Albert, who commanded the Belgian army, had his headquarters and where hospitals to treat the wounded were also established. We will visit the so-called 'Trenches of Death' which are today preserved as a memorial to the Belgian army which held the line here and suffered the brunt of the fighting. The part played in the war by the Belgian army is often overlooked in favour of the larger armies of Britain and France. This tour will remedy that and show how vital its role was and the price it paid in killed and wounded. We will make visits to British, Belgian and German military cemeteries as a mark of respect and to compare how each country remembers their war dead.