Battle of Cambrai

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by kmflynn40
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
World War I

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Battle of Cambrai

Battle of Cambraiby Kelly Flynn

The Battle of Cambrai was fought between the British and Germans during World War I. On November 20th, 1917 the British started their attack on Cambrai. This battle didn't end until December 6th, when the Germans proved to be victorious.

The British planned to attack the Hindenburg Line so that they could capture Cambrai. The Hindenburg Line was a german military defensive line that was stationed in France at the time. This attack was a pointless battle, yet provided tactics that would change war technology and devise new counter-attack methods.

The British's impact was the use of Tanks in the battle.They had set up to use the tanks in order to create somewhat of a "surprise attack" on the Hindenburg Line. The old way of registering the guns by observing the fall of the shot allowed the enemy to get more troops to the threatened area, now they could just arrive by tanks and it would be more effective. Many were skeptical of the use of tanks in this battle since they had proved to be ineffective at the Battle of Somme. This is the first time tanks had been successful, allowing the British and their 350 tanks to cover five miles from the start of the attack.

Although the British made astounding strides in advancing on the Germans, at the end of the day Germany had won the battle. Even though the British had made great strides in this battle many found themselves isolated and their structure had broken down. This allowed the Germans to start their counter-attack, which was so successful that the British were ordered to retreat but it was too late. The Germans counter-attack is an effective leap foward in defensive war tactics.

During this Battle,the casualties were very high. The British lost 44,000 people, and the Germans lost 45,000. The British's failure is blamed on the middle- ranking commanders, even though this battle proved that mobility in battle is possible, but to sustain it you need a good structured plan and leaders.


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