Victory in 1918: Australia's Contribution

From the battle of Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918 until weeks before the armistice with Germany was signed and the war ended, Australians were in the forefront of the fighting. They fought in the August Battle of Amiens, Germany’s “blackest day”. They were at Mont St Quentin, Peronne and Le Hamel. They suffered devastating casualties that brought them to the brink of large-scale mutiny. But they had a reputation second to none. What happened in 1918 to the Australians serving in France? This lecture looks at their experience and what they achieved and how today’s historians view them.

This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


This course deals with the months April to October, 1918. It builds on the experiences of the First AIF in France and Belgium in 1916 and 1917. We begin by understanding what made them the army they were in April 1918.

  • Villers-Bretonneux is a name known to many Australians and the battle was a defining moment for the First AIF, now fighting as an Australian Corps, and its commander, General Sir John Monash
  • From Villers-Bretonneux to Le Hamel in July, Australians underwent intense training under a radical regime created by Monash and his staff. Le Hamel was the first fruit of this training and strategy.
  • We follow the action of the offensive through August, September and October which ended with the breaching of the Hindenburg Line.
  • Many argue that the Australians “punched way above their weight” while some revisionist historians today downplay their efforts and achievements. We look at what is being written today and how this compares with the Legend from the early days after the First World War.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the role played by the First AIF in 1918.
  2. Evaluate their achievements against the claims of the Anzac Legend.

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list by clicking .