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The Battle of Valenciennes 1918

The final two weeks of October 1918 had seen substantial gains by Allied armies along the entire front. Never in the war were the advances so swift, the distances so far. What had been a war of trenches was transformed

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My Hundred Days of War, October 16th, 2018

My Hundred Days of War, the sequel to Malcolm MacPhail’s Great War, was published today. The jacket illustration comes largely from this shot, taken 100 years and 7 days ago in the northern French city of Cambrai by a Canadian

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The capture of Cambrai October 9th, 1918

To the weary troops, the very name Cambrai was special: the largest French city awaiting liberation, and visions of its grandeur flowed. Early on the morning of October 9th 1918 the first Canadian troops tentatively entered the city. The battle

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The second Battle of Cambrai 1918

By the 28th of September 1918, if ever thoughts arose that the German army was on its last legs, the battle of Cambrai soon dispelled them. This northern French city, an ancient capital, had been in German hands since 1914,

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Battle of the Canal du Nord

Bounced from the formidable Drocourt-Quéant Line three weeks earlier, the army of General von Below withdrew behind the Canal du Nord, blowing bridges as it went. The Canal du Nord, 20-metres wide with marshes, trenches and machine-gun nests behind, ran

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Breaching the Drocourt-Quéant Line

In the fall of 1918 no German position was as strongly held as the Drocourt-Quéant Line. A dozen miles east of Arras, the D-Q Line was the heart of the enemy defences on the Western Front, the lynchpin of the

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Second Battle of Arras 1918

At 3 a.m. on August 26th 1918, in pouring rain, began one of the most decisive and little-known battles of the war. Today it is called the second Battle of Arras, or Battle of the Scarpe 1918. Confusingly, there are

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My Hundred Days of War to be published on October 16th

On August 8th, 1918, the most important Allied offensive of the Great War began. A hundred years later, to the day, I am delighted to announce that my new WW1 novel My Hundred Days of War will be released on

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Canada Day 1918

July 1st, 1918 – With the threat of the German offensives beaten off, the Canadian Corps came together in massive numbers to celebrate Dominion Day and the Corps Championships at Tinques France. Dignitaries from far and wide visited. It was

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21 March 1918: the spring offensives unleashed

March 21st, 1918, 4.40 a.m. Night turns to day as thousands of German guns erupt in an unprecedented barrage. Along the old battlefield of the Somme, Ludendorff had launched Operation Michael, what was to be the first of his spring

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