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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

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Sunday, 28 March 2010
The First Battle of Dernancourt, France, 28 March 1918, Outline
Topic: BatzWF - Westn Front

The First Battle of Dernancourt

France, 28 March 1918

Outline

 

The village of Dernancourt from the air.

 

First Dernancourt, another action resulting from the German offensive of March 1918, involving troops of the 4th Australian Division, on 28 March 1918. As a result of a British division being mistakenly withdrawn from the positions it was holding protecting Albert, the 12th and 13th brigades were ordered south from their positions in support of the 4th Brigade at Hébuterne (q.v.) to fill the gap. Marching through the night of 26 March across part of the German front, the next day they occupied positions around Dernancourt - a village on the River Ancre close by the south-western outskirts of Albert, which itself was already in enemy hands-relieving exhausted troops of a Scottish division. Here, with the 3rd Australian Division in the vicinity of Morlancourt (q.v.) further south, and the British 35th Division holding a short sector in between, they formed the southern flank of the British Third Army.

 

Previous Australian trench line near Dernancourt is illustrated by the chalky white line in the distance.

 

On 28 March the Germans attempted to continue their advance, crossing the Ancre and the Albert-Amiens railway between Albert and Buire. The first movement, carried out in early morning mist was detected by the battalions of the 12th Brigade and repulsed. Fighting along the whole front between Dernancourt and Albert then erupted, but all the attacks mounted by the 50th (Prussian) Reserve Division were beaten back on the right with the assistance of the 19th Northumberland Fusiliers of the 35th Division. The day’s action had cost the Germans 550 casualties, and the Australians at least 137.

 


The verdant fields surrounding Dernancourt disguise a terrible past with the mantle of serenity.

 

Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 138-139.

 

Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:

C.E.W. Bean (1937) The Australian Imperial Force in France during the Main German Offensive, 1918, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

 

Further Reading:

The First Battle of Dernancourt, France, 28 March 1918, Contents

The First Battle of Dernancourt, France, 28 March 1918, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The First Battle of Dernancourt, France, 28 March 1918, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 28 March 2011 7:43 AM EADT
The First Battle of Morlancourt, France, 28 - 30 March 1918, Outline
Topic: BatzWF - Westn Front

The First Battle of Morlancourt

France, 28 - 30 March 1918

Outline

 

The ridge between Morlancourt (south) and Dernancourt (north)

 

 

First Morlancourt, an action on 28-30 March 1918 which took place largely in parallel with the fight at Dernancourt (q.v.) which lay less than three kilometres to the north. It was into the triangular peninsula between the River Ancre in the north and the River Somme in the south-upon which the right flank of the British Third Army and the left of the Fifth were respectively anchored - that the 3rd Australian Division under Major-General Sir John Monash was sent on 27 March. The positions initially occupied by Monash's troops, running from Méricourt to Sailly-le-Sec, lay about three kilometres behind those held by flanking formations, so shortly before noon the next day he was ordered to move forward about 2,000 metres to occupy the ridge-line overlooking Morlancourt from the west and thereby considerably straighten the line.

Morlancourt village in 1918

 

Advancing after 4.30 p.m.-the 10th Brigade on the left and 11th on the right - the 3rd Division enjoyed little support from artillery since few guns were yet in range. When strong resistance began to be encountered on the bare steep slopes from enemy machine-guns and artillery, progress was slowed and on the left eventually stopped after only 500 metres. Monash ordered the march to be resumed after dark, by which time a light drizzle was falling. The advance became stalled by Germans holding a copse in the centre, and on the extreme right troops sent to secure the village of Sailly-Laurette beside the Somme stumbled into an ambush by enemy outposts containing six or seven machine-guns and nearly 100 men were lost. All up, the day's activity had cost some 300 casualties.

Giving up hopes of an advance without effective artillery support, Monash ordered his batteries to take up new positions during
the remaining hours of darkness. The guns proceeded to hammer the obstacles encountered in the centre during 29 March, forcing the enemy to abandon these posts, and the Australian line began digging in on the forward slope of the spur-lines it now occupied. The 11th Brigade, holding the southern portion of the division's front, was forced to defend its ground when attacked at noon on 30 March by a fresh enemy division. The initial German deployment was stopped at heavy cost to the attacking troops, as was a second attempt two hours later and a third made about 4 p.m. The 11th Brigade easily held its positions, sustaining about 150 casualties. The enemy loss was several times that number, though nothing like some estimates which ran to 3,000-4,000 killed.

 

Australians on the ridge behind Morlancourt

 

Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, p. 139.

 

Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:

C.E.W. Bean (1937) The Australian Imperial Force in France during the Main German Offensive, 1918, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

 

Further Reading:

The First Battle of Morlancourt, France, 28 - 30 March 1918, Contents

The First Battle of Morlancourt, France, 28 - 30 March 1918, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The First Battle of Morlancourt, France, 28 - 30 March 1918, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 28 March 2011 8:31 AM EADT
The Battle of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, 1st Infantry Brigade, Roll of Honour
Topic: BatzG - Anzac

The Battle of Anzac Cove

Gallipoli, 25 April 1915

Roll of Honour

1st Infantry Brigade, AIF

 

Poppies on the Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial, Canberra

 

The Roll of Honour contains the names of all the men from the 1st Infantry Brigade known to have served and lost their lives during the Battle of Anzac, 25 April 1915.

 

Roll of Honour

 

Carl AMOS, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Charles ARMSTRONG, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

 

Reginald Albert BASSAN, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Warren Francis BATES, 1st Infantry Battalion.

James Edward BOOTH, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Wallace Hector BRANDER, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Duncan Napier BROWN, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Percy Sydney BRUSHETT, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Thomas Duffy BURKE, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Rainald Knightly BURNE, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Ronald BURNS, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Frederick BUTTON, 4th Infantry Battalion.

 

Arthur James CARNELL, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Maurice Frederick CARR, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Walter William CAVILL, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Donald Walter COOKE, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Rodger COX, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

 

Alan Douglas Gibb DAWSON, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

George Noel DRAPER, 1st Infantry Battalion.

William Sydney DUCHESNE, 1st Infantry Battalion.

 

Herbert Henry EREKSON, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

 

Stanley Squire FARNELL, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Victor Emanuel FARR, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Richard FINDON, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Edgar Lewis FITZGERALD, 4th Infantry Battalion.

Joseph Thomas FLYNN, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Walter FREEBAIRN, 1 Field Company Australian Engineers.

William James Gordon FREEMAN, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

 

Leigh George John GLANVILLE, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Charles George GORDON, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

William Earle GUTHRIE, 1st Infantry Battalion.

 

Arthur HALLAM, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Claude Hilfred HANSEN, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Barker Orielly HARDING, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Robert Charles Neil HENDERSON, 1st Infantry Battalion.

John Joseph HICKEY, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Douglas Clive HOBDEN, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Michael John HOGAN, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Richard Joseph HORAN, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Vincent Williams HUGHES, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

 

Francis Duncan IRVINE, 1 Infantry Brigade Headquarters.

 

Henry James JUBY, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

 

George Edward Eccleston KELLY, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

 

Edward Rennix LARKIN, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Martin Joseph LARKIN, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Charles Edward LEER, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Frederick Augustus LIGHT, 1st Infantry Battalion.

William Frederick LOGAN, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

 

Arthur Archibald MACBETH, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Alexander Joseph MCDONALD, 1 Field Company Australian Engineers.

Donald Neil MACGREGOR, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Ian Gordon MACINNES, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Allan Cameron MACLEAN, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Lionel MARKS, 1st Infantry Battalion.

William MOORE, 1 Field Company Australian Engineers.

Charles MORELL, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Hugh Fuller MORGAN, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Frank Sinclair MORRISH, 1st Infantry Battalion.

 

Harry Bowlin NOAD, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

 

Frederick Leslie O'BRIEN, 1st Infantry Battalion.

 

Cleveland Edmund PAGE, 1 Field Company Australian Engineers.

Michell PICAUD, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Frank PRUTTON, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Arthur Sydney PUTT, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

 

Cyril George Moore READ, 1st Infantry Battalion.

George Alfred REES, 4th Infantry Battalion.

Ernest George RENN, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Fred REYNOLDS, 1 Field Company Australian Engineers.

John George ROBERTS, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Norman ROBERTS, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

John Thomas ROLLASON, 1st Infantry Battalion.

 

Frederick SHARP, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Eric Martin SOLLING, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Selby Albert Shepherd STEWART, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Robert SUTTIE, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Blair Inskip SWANNELL, 1st Infantry Battalion.

James SWEENEY, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Harry Foster SWINBOURNE, 1st Infantry Battalion.

 

William TUCKER, 1st Infantry Battalion.

 

John Bryden WALKER, 1st Infantry Battalion.

George William WHITE, 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Charles Louis WILLIAMS, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Herbert Edwin WILLIAMS, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Robert Edgar WILLISON, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Thomas Clark WILSON, 3rd Infantry Battalion.

Cecil Robert WINCH, 1st Infantry Battalion.

Samuel WRIGHT, 1st Infantry Battalion.

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915

The Battle of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, AIF, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, 1st Infantry Brigade, Roll of Honour 

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 6 April 2010 9:15 AM EADT
Saturday, 27 March 2010
The First Battle of Amman, Palestine, 27 to 30 March 1918, Outline
Topic: BatzJ - 1st Amman

The First Battle of Amman

Palestine, 27 to 30 March 1918

Outline

 

Pontoon bridges were the primary means of crossing the Jordan. This bridge at Hajleh was built in March 1918 specifically to facilitate troop movement for the oncoming raid to Amman.

 

First Amman, scene of a strong British raid on Turkish forces on 27-30 March 1918, aimed at cutting the Hejaz railway line running south from Damascus. The operation began on 22 March with the building of bridges across the River Jordan, by which the British 60th (London) Division and Anzac Mounted Division-the latter commanded by Major-General Edward Chaytor, a New Zealander-were able to cross onto the east bank and push into the precipitous hills which rose 1,200 metres to the plateau on which the objective lay. Rain made going extremely difficult along two of the three main tracks by which the raiding force moved, but by the evening of the 25th the village of Es Salt (at the head of the northernmost route) had been taken.

 

The First Amman field of operations.

 

On the morning of the 27th Chaytor ordered his division to begin the attack on Amman itself. The 2nd Australian fight I Horse Brigade under Brig.-General Granville Ryrie attacked from the north-west, while the Imperial Camel Brigade (which also included large numbers of Australians) came in from the west, and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade from the south. In total, the three brigades numbered about 3,000 rifles in the firing line, and were supported by a single battery of mountain guns; against this strength the Turks presented about 4,000 men in well-prepared positions, well supported by machine-guns and fifteen artillery pieces.

During two days of stiff fighting, the raiders succeeded in blowing up large sections of the railway line south of Amman, and a two-span stone bridge on the track north of the town (which was, however, speedily repaired and enabled a troop train to bring reinforcements for the garrison on 29 March). Turkish resistance, bolstered by a battalion of the German Asia Corps (actually only of brigade strength), proved impossible to overcome, even after British infantry arrived and entered into the fight. On 30 March the attacking force was ordered to pull back, this movement being commenced that night. Withdrawal proved to be an especially difficult undertaking, after large numbers of local inhabitants who had welcomed the troops and now feared retribution by the Turks joined in.

 

Retribution was swift and cruel by the Ottomans. Public hangings in Nablus of suspected collaborators from Es Salt.

 

By 2 April the raiders were safely back across the Jordan. The venture had cost a total of 1,200 British casualties; 724 were in the Anzac Mounted Division, of whom 118 were killed and 55 missing. The Turks were estimated to have suffered an equal number of killed and wounded, a claim which may well he exaggerated, but in addition were known to have lost 615 officers and men who were taken prisoner.


Tired Light Horsemen returning from the Amman Raid, April 1918.

 

Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, p. 137.

 

Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:

H.S. Gullett, (1944), The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

 

Further Reading:

The First Battle of Amman, Palestine, 27 to 30 March 1918

The First Battle of Amman, Palestine, 27 to 30 March 1918, Allied Forces, Roll of Honour

The Palestine Campaign, 1917 - 1918

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The First Battle of Amman, Palestine, 27 to 30 March 1918, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 27 March 2011 10:56 AM EADT
The Battle of Hébuterne, France, 27 March to 5 April 1918, Outline
Topic: BatzWF - Westn Front

The Battle of Hébuterne

France, 27 March to 5 April 1918

Outline

 

Hébuterne village in August 1918.

 

Hébuterne, lying toughly midway between Arran and Amiens in northern France, was the scene, of several sharp actions fought between 27 March and 5 April 1918, This was the first of many battles involving Australians during the great German offensive launched on 21 March against the thinly spread British Fifth and Third armies in this region. Since November 1917 the five Australian divisions had been holding the relatively quiet Messines sector in Flanders, and at this time they were formed into an Australian Corps under command of General Sir William Birdwood. In response to the grave news of enemy breakthroughs which had forced the front-line back onto the old battlefields of the Somme, however, by 25 March the 3rd and 4th Australian divisions were dispatched south towards Amiens. Here they were committed piecemeal to plugging gaps in the disintegrating British line and helping to stem the German tide.

 

Map detailing the area of operations around Hébuterne.

 

At dusk on 26 March the 4th Brigade (Brig.-General Charles Brand), the leading element of the 4th Division, was sent into the ruined village of Hébuterne to relieve exhausted remnants of the British 19th Division. The first German attack came at noon the next day from the south-west, aimed at passing between the positions occupied by the Australians and the New Zealand Division posted further south. This was beaten back, as were several half-hearted attempts the following day. While the Australians were able to hold their ground with relative ease, the security of their position was threatened by German efforts to drive in the flank of the British 62nd Division north of them and thereby open a gap. The task of the defenders was, however, partly assisted by rain which began falling from about 4 p.m. on the 28th and served to seriously impede the enemy's movements.

 

Older wire entanglements laid by Germans in previous years form the defensive barrier to the AIF 4th Brigade trenches, 27 March 1918.

 

In fighting over the next few days, the position around the village was progressively stabilised. On 5 April the Australians took part in an early morning attack aimed at clearing the enemy from a wood on its left (northern) flank, and several hours later repelled a heavy German attack aimed at both themselves and the New Zealanders on their right. The ability of the tired and fully extended German advance-guard to brush aside the defensive line hastily thrown up here, and continue to push on, had clearly been reduced. The 4th Brigade stayed for nearly a month, remaining separated from the rest of its parent division and passing under command of the British 37th Division.

 

Former foes become the final occupants of Nameless Trench, Hébuterne.

[Left to right: Second Lieutenant V. E. Hall, KIA, 30 March 1918; 7332 Private Edward Cuthbert Ernest Williams, KIA, 30 May 1918; 7455 Private Donald Alexander Teasdale, KIA, 30 March 1918. Beside them were English graves, eight Londoners 1 July 1916 and W.Yorks 2 March 1917, and those of unknown German soldiers, of a much earlier date, are also scattered in this area. Lest we forget.]

 

Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 137-138.

 

Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:

C.E.W. Bean (1937) The Australian Imperial Force in France during the Main German Offensive, 1918, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Hébuterne, France, 27 March to 5 April 1918, Contents

The Battle of Hébuterne, France, 27 March to 5 April 1918, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Hébuterne, France, March 27 to April 5, 1918

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 27 March 2011 1:55 PM EADT

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