“Old Hickory” Division Breaks Hindenburg Line

The actions of the Old Hickory Division around the Hidenburg Line in September and October 1918. Image from the State Archives.On September 29, 1918, the 30th Infantry Division broke the Hindenburg Line, an important segment of the German defensive network on the Western Front during World War I. The action was part of a series of Allied assaults known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which led to the Armistice of November 1918.

The 30th Division was organized from National Guard regiments from North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, supplemented by volunteers and draftees from around the United States. It was nicknamed the “Old Hickory Division” because of the historic ties that all three states had  to Andrew Jackson.

The Division was assigned to the Second Corps of the American Expeditionary Force, which in turn was detached and operated under the control of the British. During the attack on the Hindenburg Line, the Division was part of the British Fourth Army.

The 60th Brigade of the 30th Division’s Signal Headquarters near Premont, France, in October 1918. Image of State Archives.The 119th and 120th Infantry Regiments, originally North Carolina National Guard units, led the assault. The Germans opened fire and inflicted heavy casualties. The attack of the 119th made little progress, but the 120th captured the village of Bellicourt after heavy fighting, breaking the Hindenburg Line.

Later in the afternoon, the Australian Corps took over the assault and further exploited the initial breakthrough.

Other related resources:

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Topics: