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The diversionary attack on Gommecourt (two miles to the north of Serre) was entrusted to two Territorial Army Divisions of the British Third Army: the 46th (North Midland) Division and 56th (London) Division. The attack was intended to distract German forces from the main offensive further south. No planning was made for the exploitation of any possible success and the troops involved were not made aware of their diversionary role. The assault on Gommecourt ended in bloody failure.

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