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Bullecourt 1917
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Auteur Bericht

Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Feb 2008 22:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

This must once have been a pretty village, as pretty villages go in the river valley of the great coal-fields. It lay at the foot of a gentle declivity, was not remote from the vicinity of trees, and had a church and cemetery with some pretence to the picturesque. Red roofs there were and pretty little houses, and main streets with byways, winding and tortuous in the best French manner. Now it is a blur of brick and timber upon a fair prospect. Not levelled utterly to the ground as were Thiepval, Combles, and the villages of the Somme in the great battles of last year, it was yet so destroyed that the oldest inhabitant might have been hard put to it to say, which had been the Grande Rue and which the Petite. The very fact added to the difficulties of the English, the Scots, and the Australians who took it so gallantly.

The Great Battle of Arras - How Bullecourt Was Won’, The War Illustrated, 9 June 1917

Nog meer info:
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte
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Patrick Mestdag

Geregistreerd op: 30-5-2005
Berichten: 5728
Woonplaats: De Pinte

BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Aug 2008 12:08    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Omdat deze slag later werd gebruikt door Britse instructeurs als
een voorbeeld hoe een aanval niet ondernomen moest worden ,
Koen Koch in de derde slag bij ieper p78

ging ik op zoek naar de redenen ervan
hier mijn vondsten

Over general Gough
However his aggressive spirit coupled with poor planning resulted in heavy losses. His attack launched at Bullecourt on 11 April 1917 was a disaster

First Bullecourt (April)
General Gough planned to use the 4th Australian Division and the 62nd British Division to attack the Hindenburg Line near the village of Bullecourt. Rather than wait until he had sufficient artillery resources he decided to employ a dozen tanks to lead the troops through the enemy’s barbed-wire. An attack set for 10 April was suddenly abandoned when the tanks did not arrive. It went ahead the next morning with disastrous results. Exposed to murderous machine-gun and artillery fire the Australians were forced back to their own lines while tanks stood burning on the battlefield. The Australians had 3,000 men killed or wounded; many survivors remained bitter about such a futile waste.
‘Bullecourt, more than any other battle, shook the confidence of Australian soldiers in the capacity of the British command; the errors, especially on April 10th and 11th, were obvious to almost everyone’.
Charles Bean, Official Historian

Second Bullecourt (May)
Despite the failure of the first attack on 11 April 1917, a few weeks later General Gough once again tried to break the Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt. On 3 May 1917 the 2nd Australian Division attacked with the British alongside. Although the brigade on the right faltered under deadly machine-gun fire, the 6th Brigade got into the enemy’s trenches and, despite heavy shellfire and counter attacks, bravely held on. The 1st Division relieved the 2nd, and soon the 5th Division took its turn. Finally, after more than a week, the Germans gave up these blood-soaked fields. Then the depleted Australian battalions were withdrawn to recover. The furious fighting, which in the end only advanced the line a kilometre or so, had been at the heavy cost of another 7,000 Australian casualties.
‘The Second Bullecourt (battle) was, in some ways, the stoutest achievement of the Australian soldier in France’.
[b[Charles Bean, Official Historian [/b]
Knap geschreven pdf artikel met kaart en foto’s

The Australian and British troops,
fighting under frightful conditions, had
captured a small part of the Hindenburg
Line and held it, but this could not be
exploited; there was to be no breakthrough.
The offensive closed and the British turned
their attention to the fighting in Flanders.

The battles of Bullecourt continue to
interest historians. Deficiencies in
command, from the senior British level to
the Australian staff officers and operational
commanders, and even the location of the
attack, have been examined. In particular,
some believe failure to cover the right flank
left troops dangerously exposed to heavy
enfilading fire. Under this fire, the 5th
Brigade faltered on the first day of the
second battle, leaving many of its dead
hanging on the wire.

The opposing soldiers, men of the
27th Württemberg Division, may well have
been the toughest fighters the Australians
encountered during the war
. Still, the heavy
losses, for so little gain, was part of the
reason that 1917 was to be remembered as a
year of disasters.

1st and 2nd BULLECOURT "The Blood Tub"

Uit diggers history – uitstekend

The one-day affair which was the First Battle of Bullecourt (11 April 1917) resulted in the 4th Division being essentially wiped out as a fighting force for months. This single day caused great bitterness among Australians towards General Hubert Gough and the newly-developed tank weapon, as a result of that general's willingness to throw resources into untried tactics against the Germans' Hindenburg Line - perhaps the strongest defensive position of the entire Western Front

Gough, the brilliant but impetuous commander of the Fifth Army, allowed himself to be convinced that Mark I and II tanks could be used to clear a path for his attacking infantry, in lieu of the usual very heavy artillery barrage. Although these vehicles lacked armour-plating and were only meant for training, they were expected to proceed across no man's land and flatten the immense lines of barbed wire laid out in front of the enemy trenches.

Despite the misgivings of Australian commanders, Gough insisted that the attack go ahead in this way. Even with evidence of the unreliability of the tanks, which failed to get within one mile of the jumping-off point by the time the attack was first scheduled, Gough immediately decided to reschedule the attack for the following morning!
In the event, only four of the eleven tanks were in position at start time, and these were so slow over the heavy going that they were passed by the soldiers on foot before reaching the German defences.
The 4th and 12th Brigades of the 4th Australian Division, despite the failure of the tanks, showed remarkable courage and ability and achieved what most observers believed was impossible, by breaking into part of the enemy trenches.
They were, however, forced out within hours by murderous machine gun and artillery fire from the defenders who, because of confusion and simple bad planning by the Australian artillery, were able to inflict enormous losses on the troops that reached and lodged in the Hindenberg Line.
one of the major factors in the failure of the first operation:
the flanking machine-gun fire brought down from the neighbouring village of Quéant

Exploration of the backgrounds and relationships between senior British commanders, and of the intricacies of the British-French alliance, helps to explain why approaches were adopted which appear on the surface to be indefensible. Gough is the dashing ex-cavalryman, demanding that his subordinates demonstrate the "offensive spirit", always with an eye on the far horizon and the "big push", and desperate to capture Bullecourt to ensure that Haig's offer of command of the Flanders campaign is confirmed.

Deze relaties onder generaals legt Koen Koch mooi uit in derde Ieper.

Haig, also ex-cavalry, is determined that Flanders will proceed. He urges Gough to continue his attacks on Bullecourt to demonstrate to the French that British forces are continuing to apply pressure to the Germans and thereby retain French support for his plans. Pity the poor soldiers who, as a result, became casualties.

De Britse aanval bij Arras was bedoeld als afleidingsmanoeuvre voor de Franse aanval bij Chemin les Dames , het Nivelle offensief
KK p77
met later als tegenprestatie /tegemoetkoming voor Haig -
de Franse ondersteuning voor het derde ieper

Pity the poor soldiers who, as a result, became casualties.

Verdun ….papperlapapp! Louis Fernand Celine
Ein Schlachten war’s, nicht eine Schlacht zu nennen“ Ernst Junger .
Oublier c'est trahir ! marechal Foch
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Geregistreerd op: 17-2-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 16 Mrt 2009 11:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Over general Gough
However his aggressive spirit coupled with poor planning resulted in heavy losses. His attack launched at Bullecourt on 11 April 1917 was a disaster

Hence his digger nickname Bloody gough
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