Villers-Bretonneux was the key to the strategically important communications centre of Amiens, a principal objective of the German offensive that began in March 1918. The main road and the railway westward to Amiens ran through Villers-Bretonneux and the city could also be seen from it. Until the Germans took the town, Amiens would remain beyond their grasp. The successful defence of Villers-Bretonneux has come to be regarded as an Australian battle but British formations were heavily involved as well. Most of the decision-making fell to brigade and battalion commanders. Their initiative was critical. Units were sometimes hastily cobbled together from whatever troops were available and then thrown in to stem the German tide. As there were no permanent trenches, the battles were fluid with wide-ranging flanking movements commonplace. At one extreme, the bayonet figured prominently; at the other, tanks fought each other for the first time.