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Fourth Army was instructed to capture the German defensive line between Le Transloy and Beaulencourt. The 'Transloy Line' in fact represented the fourth German defence line on the Somme battlefield though aerial reconnaissance revealed that the Germans had commenced on a fifth line (in front of Bapaume) and a sixth, three miles further back - though neither of these additional positions were of the great strength, depth and complexity that had characterised the original German first and second line defences on the Somme.

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