Topic: BatzWF - Westn Front
France, 23 August 1918
Chuignes, an action fought on 23 August 1918, took place in a long valley running south of the Somme filled with woods. For more than a week after the post-Amiens battles (see Lihons, Etinehem and Proyart) the British Fourth Army remained practically stationary, awaiting a new advance by the Third Army south of Arras on 21 August aimed at Bapaume. The next day the British 3rd Corps would enter the battle, and also the 3rd Australian Division (now located north of the Somme) with an attack north of Bray. Finally, the rest of the Australian Corps under Lieut. -General Sir John Monash was to join in another day later, striking for a plateau beyond the Froissy valley.
With a brigade of the British 32nd Division operating on their right (southern) flank against the village of Herleville, two brigades of the 1st Australian Division commanded by Major-General William Glasgow attacked towards Chuignes. Each of the attacking brigades was accompanied by a dozen Mark V tanks and several carrier tanks. Once these had won the western side of the valley, Monash planned to push through the 1st Division's 3rd Brigade across the valley and onto its eastern heights. The operation, launched behind a tremendous barrage at 4.45 a.m., was a stunning success. Although confronted with stubborn opposition which claimed about 1,000 Australian casualties, the Germans were routed with the loss of 2,000 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. 155.
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.
Citation: Chuignes, France, August 23, 1918