Topic: BatzWF - Westn Front
France, 10-13 August 1918
Etinehem, an action fought along the Somme River on 10-13 August 1918, was the result of difficulties encountered during the great attack made two days earlier by the British Fourth Army which included the Australian Corps under Lieut.-General Sir John Monash (see Amiens). Then, the British 3rd Corps' slow progress north of the Somme had enabled German forces in two 'peninsulas' formed by bends in the river - at Chipilly and Etinehem - to enfilade the 4th Australian Division during its advance and obliged it to stop short of its final objective at Méricourt. While fighting continued in the south of the Australian Corps' sector during 9 August (see Lihons), Monash made plans to eliminate the Germans holding the ridges and gullies about Etinehem on the following day.
Obtaining permission from the army commander (General Sir Henry Rawlinson) to take over responsibility for the immediate area of the north bank, Monash pushed across the 13th Brigade of the 4th Division (Brig.-General Sydney Herring) which he combined with the American 131st Regiment to form a composite division known as Liaison Force. On the night of the 10th this column advanced east across country, parallel to the Bray-Corbie road, with two tanks moving noisily (deliberately) along the road itself. The effect on the overstrained enemy was as expected, prompting a panic-stricken withdrawal through Bray and allowing the Australian force to establish themselves across the head of the Etinehem spur. Although German troops subsequently recovered, and began filtering back to resume such of their positions as remained viable, their grasp of the peninsula had been fatally weakened. During the night of 12-13 August Herring completed the task of clearing the ground, taking 100 prisoners.
Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, p. 154.
Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:
H.S. Gullett (1944) The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
Citation: Etinehem, France, August 10 to 13, 1918