This is why The Battle Of Amiens was so important 100 years ago and how it led to the Armistice
The Battle of Amiens marked the beginning of the end of the First World War.
After four years of fighting, the Allied Forces managed to get out of the trenches and they never went back.
Today (August 8), we commemorate the centenary of this battle at the awe-inspiring Amiens Cathedral in France.
On that day 100 years ago, the Allied forces - made up of British, Australian, Canadian, French and US troops - gained over seven miles of ground.
It was one of the greatest Allied advances of the First World War and more than in the entire 141 day campaign of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
But despite its importance to the outcome of the war, the events of 1918 are not as prominent in the British collective memory as other battles. That is why the ceremony at Amiens Cathedral is so crucial.
The commemoration this week will bring the story of this battle and its significance to a wider audience.
It will not only honour those who lost their lives, but also those who fought and survived, and whose service finally led to the end of the war.
The three-day battle heralded the beginning of the final Hundred Days Offensive, which culminated in the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.
It was described by the German General Erich Ludendorff as ‘the black day of the German Army’.
It was the first time that the coalition of Allied nations fought under one strategic command, using tanks and air power to push forward.
Over the past four years we have marked this pivotal period of our history and encouraged the country to remember this unique generation, recognise their service and understand the huge impact the war had on Britain and the world.
One of the great privileges of being appointed Culture Secretary in July is that I will be involved in the final few months of the First World War centenary commemorations.
Since 2014 my department has marked a number of key moments in the conflict including the outbreak of war, Gallipoli, Somme, Jutland and Passchendaele.
Amiens is an important addition to this list and it is right that we use the event on August 8 to look at how this battle shaped the war and brought it to a close faster than anyone thought possible.
I look forward to hearing the stories of the men who fought and about the conditions they served in.
Almost every family was affected by the First World War and I encourage everyone to explore their own connections through livesofthefirstworldwar.org.
It would be a fitting tribute to those who fought at Amiens and over the four years, to be able to put names and faces to the eight million people who served between 1914 and 1918.