Bloody Bullecourt

Bloody Bullecourt

by David Coombes

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In April-May 1917 the sleepy hamlet of Bullecourt in Northern France became the focus of two battles involving British and Australian troops. Given the unique place in Australia's military history that both battles occupy, surprisingly little has been written on the AIF's achievements at Bullecourt. Bloody Bullecourt seeks to remedy this gasping omission.The First Battle of Bullecourt marked the Australians' introduction to the latest battlefield weapon—the tank. This much-lauded weapon failed dismally amid enormous casualties. Despite this, two infantry brigades from the 4th Australian Division captured parts of the formidable Hindenberg Line with minimal artillery and tank support, repulsing German counterattacks until forced to withdraw.In the second battle, launched with a preliminary artillery barrage, more Australian divisions were forced into the Bullecourt 'meat-grinder' and casualties scored over 7,000. Once more, soldiers fought hard to capture parts of the enemy line and hold them against savage counterattacks.Bullecourt became a charnel-house for the AIF. Many who had endured he nightmare of Pozires considered Bullecourt far worse. And for what? While Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig considered its capture 'among the great achievements of the war', the village that cost so many lives held no strategic value whatsoever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526713452
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date: 10/30/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 440
File size: 20 MB
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About the Author

Dr David Coombes is a Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland. A graduate of the Flinders University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide, David received his PhD from the University of Sydney. He is the author of four other Australian Military History books including biographies of Lieutenant General Sir Talbot Hobbs and Lieutenant General Sir Leslie Morshead, and Crossing The Wire:The Untold Stories of POWs in Battle and Captivity During WWI.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 1

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 The Western Front, 1917 9

Chapter 2 The Arras Offensive 34

Chapter 3 The Offensive Spirit 57

Chapter 4 Planning the Attack 73

Chapter 5 Final Preparations 102

Chapter 6 The First Attack 125

Chapter 7 The Withdrawal 181

Chapter 8 Aftermath and Recriminations 197

Chapter 9 The Lagnicourt Counter-Attack 219

Chapter 10 Plans and Preparations for the Second Attack 244

Chapter 11 The Second Attack: 3-6 May 268

Chapter 12 The Second Attack: 7-17 May 320

Chapter 13 Aftermath 362

Postscript: Bullecourt Today 375

Endnotes 379

Bibliography 408

Index 417

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