The Final Advance, 11/8-11/1918

On November 7, the entire 26th Division front was bombarded by 3,000 gas and 6,000 high explosive shells as the Germans prepared to withdraw. On November 8,  responding to evidence of a German withdrawal across the front, the 103rd Infantry pushed into the German front line positions in their sub-sector and occupied them. New orders on November 9 changed the direction of advance to the southeast with the objective of the hills called the “Ornes Twins” and the village of Azannes. After being held in check by German machine guns during the remainder of the day, on November 10 the 103rd Infantry captured Town Wood. At 2100 hours on November 10, despite rumors that an armistice would be signed on November 11, orders were published directing a new attack on Les Jumelles d’Ornes, Hill #265 and Maucourt the next day.

On November 11 at 0545 hours, a radio message from Marshal Foch was received that stated hostilities would cease along the entire front at 1100 hours French time, but the order for the 26th Division to attack commencing at 0930 hours remained unchanged. The 103rd Infantry made its final advance in line with the other regiments in pursuit of the retreating Germans, reaching the road south of Ville-devant-Chaumont before coming to a final halt at 1100 hours.  The men of the 103rd were occupied with clearing machine gun nests until the very last moment…