Posted on August 7, 2018
It was the battle that changed the course of the first world war, ushering in the collapse of the German army on the western front and delivering the armistice some 100 days later. Yet the battle of Amiens in France, the first day of which was said by Gen Erich Ludendorff to have been Germany’s blackest, has faded from public memory, left in the shadows by the horrors of the Somme and Passchendaele. At Amiens cathedral on Wednesday, Prince William and the British prime minister, Theresa May, will join 3,000 members of the public, including descendants of those who fought in the four-day assault, 100 years to the day of the start of the battle that brought the war out of the trenches at a cost of 46,000 allied casualties and as many as 75,000 German losses, including those taken prisoner. Mrs May will read an extract from the war memoirs of the then British prime minister, David Lloyd George. The former German president Joachim Gauck is to read the poem After a Bad Dream 1918, by Gerrit Engelke, a soldier and writer, sometimes referred to as the German Wilfred Owen. Both men died in the last weeks before the Armistice.