Battle of Cambrai Facts

Battle of Cambrai Facts
The Battle of Cambrai refers to two different World War I battles that took place near Cambrai, France. The First Battle of Cambrai took place from November 20 to December 7, 1917 and was known for being the first successful mass use of tanks by the Allied forces. Although the Allies made a quick advance with their tanks, the Germans regrouped and launched their own attack using "stormtrooper" tactics by assaulting at night with artillery support. The First Battle ended in a relative draw. The Second Battle of Cambrai took place from October 8 to 10, 1918 and was part of the final Allied push to defeat Germany, known as the Hundred Days Offensive. The Allies won the battle fairly quick, marking the begging of the end for the Germans.
Interesting Battle of Cambrai Facts:
Stormtroopers were trained in stealth and "infiltration tactics," which meant that they often used the cover of darkness and whatever obstacles that were on the battlefield for cover. They would typically creep slowly but steadily across the battlefield and strike the enemy's trenches quickly before retreating.
Stormtroopers were among the first type of soldiers to effectively use hand grenades and often used knives when they needed to make silent kills.
The primary British tank used at Cambrai was the Mark IV. It was equipped with two six pounder guns, but could only go four miles per hour.
The Germans and the Allies both suffered about 45,000 casualties at the First Battle of Cambrai. The Allies lost 179 tanks.
The German trenches and defensive networks just south of Cambrai were known as the "Hindenburg Line."
The First Battle of Cambrai was one of the first World War I battles where pilots attacked ground targets. The British Royal Flying Corps trained their pilots specifically in this tactic before the battle.
The Allied attack initially pushed the Germans back about five miles in some areas along the Hindenburg Line, but logistical problems began to plague the Allies. The British were often unable to get their tanks across small bridges and over the many canals of northern France.
The British did the majority of the fighting for the Allies in both battles.
The Germans were able to hold Cambrai after the first battle, but lost the city after the second.
Stormtrooper tactics were developed by Captain Willy Rohr. The tactics proved successful in numerous battles so they were adapted by General Oskar von Hutier of the Eighth Army. The tactics later became synonymous with Hutier and were often called "Hutier tactics" or "Hutier attacks."
Although the Germans became known for tank warfare in World War II, they used very few tanks in World War I. They did, however, capture some British Mark IVs in the First Battle of Cambrai and used them against their makers.


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