Sambre

First World War

Date

4 November 1918

Brigadier-General Frederick O. Loomis

Brigadier-General Frederick O. Loomis was Commanding Officer of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade at this time.
Credit: Canada. Department of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada (MIKAN no. 3218435)

Geographical Parameters

The railway Boué – le Cateau (exclusive): thence road to Romeries – Famars: thence a line to la Sentinelle (exclusive) – Anzin: thence due north to the southern edge of the forest of Raismes: thence along southern edge to Escautpont (exclusive)

Context

A battle honour formally entitled the “Battle of the Sambre” and itself being part of “The Final Advance” Footnote 1.

Description

With the Canadian capture of the City of Valenciennes on 2 November 1918, the British advance now focused on the area from Le Quesnoy in the north to the River Sambre in the south. The First, Third and Fourth British Armies would attack along a thirty-mile front. For the Canadian Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir A.W. Currie) the advance along bad roads was relentless and the fighting was sporadic, the main enemy being the continuous rain which fell almost every day from 1 to 11 November. The Sambre-Oise Canal was forced on 4 November by the Fourth (British) Army while further north the First (British) Army (which included the Canadian Corps) was advancing in the general direction of Mons. An enemy retirement during the night of 3-4 November 1918 had caused the Canadians to lose contact. The 3rd (Major-General F.O.W. Loomis) and 4th (Major-General Sir D. Watson) Canadian Divisions crossed the River Aunelle and located the next German defensive line just beyond it. Since the enemy had dug-in, the artillery was brought forward to soften up the position, while the infantry prepared for a deliberate attack. This attack was not carried out as the enemy had slipped away again under cover of the driving rain to a new line 2,000 metres further east. The 4th Canadian Division would now turn the enemy out of this position and the pursuit continued.

General Currie

General Currie, Commander of the Canadian troops in France, and A.D.C. Location unknown. June, 1917.
Credit: Canada. Department of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-001370 (MIKAN no. 3191901)

Major-General Watson

Major-General Watson, the Officer Commanding the 4th Canadian Division. Location unknown. October, 1917.
Credit: Canada. Department of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada (MIKAN no. 3222150)

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