• "Péronne was doomed. With the aid of a telescope I could see Huns moving back to the high ground where they have decided to make a stand there or retreat to the Hindenburg Line is difficult to say … If only we can be as successful this month as last we should be drawing this terrible war to some definite conclusion at least making the Hun realise the futility of continuing the struggle any longer."

        Lieutenant Lindsay Turner, 53rd Field Artillery Battery, 2 September 1918

    By the end of August, the Australians had advanced as far as Mont St Quentin and Péronne. After three days’ hard fighting, the battle was won. Many thought it the AIF’s finest achievement of the war. The Australians were exhausted and critically low in numbers. Nevertheless, they took part in the final breakthroughs of the Hindenburg Line, until at last they were relieved in early October.

    Within weeks came the Armistice. The German army was beaten – a remarkable turnaround from the desperate situation in March. After more than four years of unimaginable bloodshed and destruction, the war was finally over.

      Men of the 24th Battalion wait the artillery barrage on Mont St Quentin to lift on 2 September: they attacked a few minutes after this photograph was taken. Men of the 24th Battalion wait the artillery barrage on Mont St Quentin to lift on 2 September: they attacked a few minutes after this photograph was taken. E03142

      Men of the 54th Battalion in the ruined streets of Péronne shortly after its capture. This unit’s audacious attack caught the German defenders off-balance. Men of the 54th Battalion in the ruined streets of Péronne shortly after its capture. This unit’s audacious attack caught the German defenders off-balance. E03183

      View of Péronne from the Citadel View of Péronne from the Citadel ART93069 The town’s battered ramparts bristled with German machine-guns trained on the attacking Australians.]

      Mont St Quentin Mont St Quentin ART13319 The menacing feature of Mont St Quentin dominated the area of the bend in the River Somme. Such a strong position should have been almost impossible to capture.