4 July 1918 – The Battle of Hamel

Original source

World War I saw warfare transform as new technology and tactics were brought to the field. This was certainly true of the Australian Corps’ attack on Hamel on 4 July 1918, the first time in history that an attack would be launched with infantry, artillery, aircraft and tanks all operating in mutual support.

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“On 4 July 1918 the Australian Corps attacked Hamel. A creeping barrage began at 3am, followed closely by advancing infantry masked by well-placed smoke screens. Mark V and Whippet tanks moved forward, and aircraft bombed German positions. The first attack wave was closely followed by supply tanks carrying ammunition and heavier items, and aircraft also dropped ammunition and supplies by parachute. Just one of many exemplary acts of bravery was that of the Tasmanian Pte Henry Dalziel, who was awarded a Victoria Cross for capturing a machine gun while armed only with a revolver. General Monash had allowed 90 minutes for the infantry to reach their objectives; they achieved it in 93 minutes, penetrating more than 2,000 yards into German territory. The Allies suffered 1,062 casualties, the Germans over 2,000 killed and 1,600 captured. This successful combined-arms assault at Hamel would be a model for all subsequent British attacks”

The illustration and text are taken from Men-at-Arms 478: The Australian Army in World War I.