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Gough issued an operation order for his much modified and delayed offensive as early as 15 October; the attack (the probable date for which would be 23 October) was now to be made astride the Ancre and would be delivered by II Corps south of the river and V Corps to the north. The objectives were named as follows: the spur running north of Courcelette, Miraumont, thence to Serre; a subsequent advance was to secure Pys and Irles. This big attack (which sought the co-operation of the left of Fourth Army) was repeatedly postponed. It was not until after a conference with his corps commanders late on 8 November that Gough decided, provided the absence of further heavy rain, that his attack - the Battle of the Ancre - should be launched on 13 November.

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