Author(s): MESSENGER Charles
8 August 2008 is the 90th anniversary of the most decisive day of the Great War: the British attack at Amiens which broke clean through the German defences. In earlier offensives, a gain of a few hundred yards counted as a 'victory', but this time our troops advanced seven miles in a day. German commander-in-chief General Ludendorff called it the 'Black Day' of the German Army. The long agony on the Western Front was nearly over. Spearheaded by tanks and armoured cars and supported by the RAF, the attack was led by the Australian and Canadian Corps, with British and French troops on the flanks. Elaborate deception measures were employed to ensure surprise. The first day's ambitious objectives were achieved: armoured cars raced deep enough into the German defences to shoot up a corps headquarters. The operation bore many of the hallmarks of the German Blitzkrieg of twenty years later. This book will seek to show how the attack was conceived, the preparations, and the actual assault itself, as well as what happened on the subsequent days and how Amiens paved the way for the final victorious Allied advance.
It will draw on both primary and secondary sources, as well as eyewitness accounts and will aim to recreate the atmosphere of the time. The book will also examine the tactics employed, showing how sophisticated for their time they had become, as well as the weaponry used. In addition, it will gauge the character of the Australian, British, Canadian, French and German troops who took part.
"No one should be permitted to express an opinion on Haig's generalship unless they can prove they have studied 'The Hundred Days'. This is the book they should start with." -- Allan Mallinson THE TIMES 16/08/08 "The result is a compelling account of one of the most dramatic events in Military History, told in Charles Messenger's thoroughly enjoyable style." -- Angela Taylor THE OFFICER MAGAZINE "Messenger tells the story with the type of drive that the men on the ground would recognize. Excellent, mostly rarely seen, photos too. Messenger has done his bit to ensure that we must never forget Britain's immense victory." SCOTTISH LEGION NEWS a fascinating story dramatically told which deserves to be widely appreciated and valued by the British public. -- Tim Newark MILITARY ILLUSTRATED
Charles Messenger was a regular officer in the Royal Tank Regiment. He then left the army to take up a career as a military historian. His second career has proved hugely successful, and he has published a large number of books, concentrating on the two World Wars. He is at present working on a multi-part television series on the history of powered flight.