Why didn’t the Allies march on Berlin in 1918?

With the First World War in its fifth year, the Allies had the Germans at their mercy. So why, asks David Stevenson, did they accept an armistice rather than go in for the kill?

The Saint-Quentin canal, part of the Germans’ Hindenburg Line, which the Allies broke through on Sunday 29 September 1918. (Photo by 2nd Lt. D McLellan/ IWM via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the June 2011 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Sunday 29 September 1918 was the day the Allies broke through the Hindenburg Line. In February 1917 the Germans on the western front had withdrawn to a series of positions named after characters from Wagner’s operas. They were designed to be as formidable as the military engineers could possibly make them.

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