Foch’s Advance to Victory — The ‘Hundred Days’
Throughout the months of defence against Germany’s spring offensive, Foch, the new allied generalissimo, had looked for the opportunity to counter-attack and regain the initiative. The opportunity came in July, when four French armies (including British and American divisions) supported by 750 tanks, 2100 guns and over 1000 aircraft, attacked the flanks of the German salient on the river Marne. The Second Battle of the Marne was a decisive success, the German army being driven back 35 kilometres (21 miles) to the rivers Aisne and Vesle. It was the first of a concerted series of successful allied offensives, the ‘hundred days’, which broke the fighting power of the German army and forced Germany to sue for an armistice.