“I remember someone saying before the war that he imagined that when troops were in action under fire, each man thought to himself that whoever else might be hit, he himself would be alright. Well I don’t think this is correct—at any rate not in this war. I think men fully expect to be hit or killed, but carry on just the same. Personally, I was always thinking I was going to get hit or killed and was often surprised when I found I wasn’t.”
—Captain Henry Owens, 57th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, 57th Brigade, 19th Division
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the Great War came to an end. Conventional accounts of the war often allow these closing battles to be overshadowed by opening moves and earlier battles. However, the human costs behind the Allied victory cannot be truly understood without examining the summer of 1918.
Using personal accounts featured in The Last Battle, the timeline below captures the final battles of World War I through the eyes of the men fighting them.
Featured image credit: “Armistice Day in London, 11 November 1918 Q47852” photographed by American official photographer, released by the Imperial War Museum. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.