The Last Battle


Historian Peter Hart describes the ‘final push’ on the battlefield that broke the Kaiser’s forces.

When The Guns Fell Silent November 1918

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig.

Imagine it if you can. You have been fighting for four long years. Somehow you have survived, although many of your friends are dead. Now, just when your ordeal seems to be coming to an end, you are required to make one last effort, risking life and limb in the closing battles to hammer home the defeat of the German Army. Not everyone can take it easy on the final straight; not every soldier can ‘shell hole drop’ – falling back during attacks and leaving others to lead the way. The temptation to shirk must have been enormous. Yet, for the most part, men dug deep to summon up the inner resolve to fight on and finish the job.

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