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August Offensive 7

The Film


Running Time
09 min 14 s

Canadian War Records Office, Ministry of Information

After their efforts from August 8 to 10, the Canadian Corps did not return to action of a sustained kind until the Battle of the Scarpe from August 26 to 30. The battle featured the attack by the Second and Third Divisions on Monchy-le-Preux, a fortified town on the Hindenburg Line. The village was taken, but German resistance, based around a lavish employment of machine guns in concrete bunkers, was such that 6000 casualties were suffered in three days of fighting.

Horsepower and manpower moved the armies of the Great War, but not entirely, as this extraordinary clip demonstrates. As the war progressed, more and more motor vehicles came into use. Trucks of all sizes and varieties were used to haul troops and equipment, and motorcycles, bicycles, staff cars, and ambulances were everywhere. The Canadian Corps, in fact, was the most mechanized corps in the British army, with one hundred more large trucks at its disposal than any equivalent formation. It also had more soldiers devoted to maintaining its vehicles, better repair turn-around times, and the Corps pioneered the use of double or treble shifts of drivers to get the best possible use of its scarce vehicle resources. The Canadian Corps also worked to maintain the roads in its sector (although the clip suggests what a difficult task this was in muddy, wet northern France). Whatever men and machines did, as this film clip also shows, the horse and the donkey still did most of the work.


Movement of supplies, Lens, 1918 The Roads of France ‘D’ The Roads of France ‘A’ The Roads of France ‘B’ The Frost-hardened Ground of the Ridge Melted as the Day Wore on “The Last Trip” – Horses Killed by Enemy Fire, 1914-1918

Other Materials

Diary by Ivan Clark Maharg, Aug. 26-Sept. 4, 1918


Teaching Materials

Warfront: Building Bridges