On the 8th January, President Woodrow Wilson of the United States of America presented his Peace Programme to Congress. Whilst there was some objections to certain points by some of the countries, Wilson later insisted it was to be the basis for the signing of Armistice. It was made up of 14 key points which are as follows:
- There shall be no secret treaties or understandings – everything should be made public
- Absolute freedom of navigation of the seas
- The removal of any economic barriers therefore the removal of all trade barriers, leading to the equality of trade conditions for all nations
- A reduction guarantee of all nations for an armaments reduction to a level that is for domestic safety only
- An international arbitration of all empire/colonial disputes, meaning that both sides would be listened to and a compromise met that would not mean war.
- The evacuation of all Russian territory so that they can have an independent political development and their own national policies
- The evacuation and restoration of Belgium
- For all French land to be freed, the invaded areas restored and the wrong-doing by Prussia in 1871 to be put right
- The Italian frontiers to be readjusted
- Austria-Hungary to be given the freedom to govern itself and control its own affairs
- Romania, Serbia and Montenegro to be evacuationed and occupied areas to be restored. Serbia to be allowed secure access to the sea and relations between the Balkan states to be a friendly alliance with international guarantees of political and economic independence
- The Turkish portion of the Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty whilst the other nationalities now under Turkish rule should be given security of life and of autonomous development. The Dardanelles to be permanently opened to free passage of ships and commerce to all nations
- An independent Polish state to be made which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, whilst it maintains a political and economic independence to be agreed by all nations
- An association of nations to be formed (now known as the League of nations) for the purpose of keeping guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity no matter the size of the country
Germany was able to remove its troops from the Easton Front as a result of the signing of The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The decision was made to add this troops to the Western Front and so on 21st March they attacked Allied forces at three main locations. They were Arras, Lys and Aisne, and for a time were thought to be successful in the eyes of Germany but British forces were able to stop the German advance near Marne in June and with a casualties of over 168,000, exhausted German soldiers made the decision to retreat.
With an objective to capture the Amien line between Mericourt and Hangest, every effort was made to get every available man and tank into General Sir Henry Rawlinson’s area. Equipped with 72 Whippet tanks, 342 Mark V tanks, 2070 artillery pieces and 800 aircraft, they prepared for battle. The offensive on the 8th August was an instant success with German soldiers outnumbered by 6 to 1. By lunchtime that day, British soldiers had advanced 12km and the Amiens line was later taken. By the 12th August, the advancement had slowed down and by the 15th, Sir Douglas Haig brought the battle to an end and began preparing for a new offensive at Albert.
On the 21st August, the British Third Army, led by General Sir Julian Byng began the 2nd Battle of Albert. Whilst German counter attacked halted them, the Fourth Army to the south managed to capture the small town of Albert. By the next day, both battalions had advanced and by the 23rd August over 8,000 German soldiers had been captured. With the German Second Army now in retreat, the 29th August saw Bapaume captured and just four days later, British forces were able to move up the Hinderburg line.