Allied Aviation Of World War I by Hugh Cowin, Hugh W. Cowin

By Hugh Cowin, Hugh W. Cowin

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However, this time a flanking force did arrive. Thirteen tanks from B Battalion came up from the direction of Nine Wood with the 2nd Dragoon Guards and elements of 16th Brigade; a genuine all-arms attack. Private Chris Knight was there with the Dragoons: The village lay about three-quarters of a mile away. We galloped fiercely to the outskirts, rapidly formed sections, numbers 1 and 2 troops cantering into the village first. Donnelly, the Irishman, went raving mad, cutting and thrusting wildly at retreating Germans.

Ammunition logistics was also facilitated because daily expenditures in the weeks before Operation GYwere normal. 6 However, without the usual gradual intensification of 6 An absence of harassing fire would have aroused nearly as much suspicion as concerted bombardment. 29 ·30 effort, all the tasks associated with a preparatory bombardment (less wire crushing) would have to be achieved in a matter of hours rather than days and weeks. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that assaulting divisions expected to advance beyond the range of field artillery within hours of the offensive.

Worse yet, they lacked the manoeuvrability to challenge German gunnery. (lWM Q 14571) Tanks pushed around Flesquieres to outflank it and were decimated as they inched over the skyline. D Battalion lost ten tanks to the German gunners, many of whom had been specifically trained in anti-tank gunnery as part of lessons identified from the 1917 spring offensives. To the east of the village, E Battalion lost 18 - seven to 8 Battery, 108th Field Regiment alone. Unsurprisingly, the attack faltered. The systematic destruction of supporting tanks and fanaticism of Krebbs' defenders around Flesquieres was making it impossible for the Highlanders to maintain a foothold.

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