Battle of Courtrai (1918)
The Battle of Courtrai (also known as the Second Battle of Belgium and the Battle of Roulers ) was one of a series of offensives in northern France and southern Belgium that took place in late September and October 1918.


After the successful breaking of the Hindenburg Line
Hindenburg Line
The Hindenburg Line was a vast system of defences in northeastern France during World War I. It was constructed by the Germans during the winter of 1916–17. The line stretched from Lens to beyond Verdun...

 (see the Fifth Battle of Ypres
Fifth Battle of Ypres
The Fifth Battle of Ypres is the unofficial name used to identify a series of battles in northern France and southern Belgium from late September through October 1918....

), the Allies conceived a strategy of pursuing the Germans for as long as possible (until stopped by the winter rains). Encountering poor terrain brought the Hundred Days Offensive
Hundred Days Offensive
The Hundred Days Offensive was the final period of the First World War, during which the Allies launched a series of offensives against the Central Powers on the Western Front from 8 August to 11 November 1918, beginning with the Battle of Amiens. The offensive forced the German armies to retreat...

 to a halt after the Fifth Battle of Ypres
Fifth Battle of Ypres
The Fifth Battle of Ypres is the unofficial name used to identify a series of battles in northern France and southern Belgium from late September through October 1918....

. However by mid-October the Army Group of Flanders (G.A.F.), (comprising twelve Belgian, ten British (from the BEF's 2nd Army) and six French Divisions (from the French 6th Army
Sixth Army (France)
The Sixth Army was a Field army of the French Army during World War I and World War II.-World War I:*General Maunoury *General Dubois *General Fayolle...

) under the command of King Albert I of Belgium
Albert I of Belgium
Albert I reigned as King of the Belgians from 1909 until 1934.-Early life:Born Albert Léopold Clément Marie Meinrad in Brussels, he was the fifth child and second son of Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders, and his wife, Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen...

), was ready to resume the offensive.


The offensive started on 14 October and had captured Roulers
Roeselare is a Belgian city and municipality in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Roeselare proper and the towns of Beveren, Oekene and Rumbeke....

 by the next day. By 17 October Ostend
Ostend  is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. It comprises the boroughs of Mariakerke , Stene and Zandvoorde, and the city of Ostend proper – the largest on the Belgian coast....

, Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

 and Douai
-Main sights:Douai's ornate Gothic style belfry was begun in 1380, on the site of an earlier tower. The 80 m high structure includes an impressive carillon, consisting of 62 bells spanning 5 octaves. The originals, some dating from 1391 were removed in 1917 during World War I by the occupying...

 had been recaptured; Bruges
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country....

 and Zeebrugge
Zeebrugge is a village on the coast of Belgium and a subdivision of Bruges, for which it is the modern port. Zeebrugge serves as both the international port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and a seafront resort with hotels, cafés, a marina and a beach.-Location:...

 had fallen by 19 October, the Dutch border was reached the following day.


By the time the Armistice had been signed, the front-line had advanced an average of 45 miles and ran from Terneuzen
Terneuzen is a city and municipality in the southwestern Netherlands, in the province of Zeeland, in the middle of Zeelandic Flanders. With over 55,000 inhabitants, it is the most populous municipality of Zeeland.-Population centres :...

, to Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

, along the River Scheldt
The Scheldt is a 350 km long river in northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands...

 to Ath
Ath is a Belgian municipality located in the Walloon province of Hainaut. The Ath municipality includes the old communes of Lanquesaint, Irchonwelz, Ormeignies, Bouvignies, Ostiches, Rebaix, Maffle, Arbre, Houtaing, Ligne, Mainvault, Moulbaix, Villers-Notre-Dame, Villers-Saint-Amand, Ghislenghien...

 and from there to Saint-Ghislain
Saint-Ghislain is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. On 1 January 2006 the municipality had 22,466 inhabitants. The total area is 70.18 km², giving a population density of 320 inhabitants per km²....

where it linked up with the BEF on the Somme.
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