The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor will commemorate the 95th Anniversary of the Assault on the Hindenburg Line, September 29, 1918 on Sunday, September 29th at 2:00 p.m. The assault was an opening salvo in what is often called the Hundred Days Offensive on the Western Front at the end of World War I.
The Allied attack on the German line was made to push the Germans east. Among the heavily engaged units of the 27th Division was the 107th Regiment, many of whose members were from Orange County. Thirty-nine Orange County men lost their lives and many more were wounded on the first day of the assault.
When the assault began, the German Army had already been mortally weakened by a month of heavy fighting. On September 29, the German Supreme Army Command informed Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Imperial Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling that Germany’s military situation was hopeless. Quartermaster General Erich Ludendorff, claimed that he could not guarantee that the front would hold for another 24 hours and demanded a request be made to allies for an immediate ceasefire.
Through the next six weeks as the final offensive pressed forward, the German armies retreated through the territory gained in 1914. The Allies forced the Germans back toward the lateral railway line from Metz to Bruges, which had supplied their entire front in Northern France and Belgium for much of the war. As the Allied armies reached this line, the Germans were forced to abandon increasingly large amounts of heavy equipment and supplies, further reducing their morale and capacity to resist. The armistice ending the war went into effect at 11 am on November 11, 1918.
The Hall will honor the sacrifices with a presentation by David McTamaney, a local historian studying the Battle and the men of the 107th. A wreath will also be laid on the grounds of the Hall of Honor to commemorate those casualties.
Seating is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. Please call 845-561-1765 for reservations. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located at 374 Temple Hill Road (Route 300) New Windsor NY 1255. For additional information call 845-561-1765.
Photo: American dead from the 27th Division attack over the Hindenburg Line near Gillemont Farm after the fighting of September 29.