The Ypres Salient - CWGC

The bombardment was particularly appreciated by the Australians; I Anzac Corps Commander, Lieutenant-General Sir William Birdwood commended A new barrel is lowered into position on an 8 inch howitzer by the Army Ordnance Corpsits accuracy and volume: '...it was perfect, breaking out with a single crash, and raising a dense wall of dust.' (Quoted in ‘The Great War 1914-1918’, John Terraine, London, Hutchinson, 1965, p.313).

The British Official Historian painted a graphic picture of the moment of attack: '...the five belts of the barrage, a thousand yards in depth, fell on the German position. The ground was now so powdery that the bursts of high-explosive shell raised a dense wall of dust and smoke, and a morning mist adding to the obscurity, direction had to be kept by compass-bearing; but so closely did the Australians follow the dust cloud that most of the German machine-gun detachments were rushed or outflanked before they could fire a shot.' ('Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1917' (Volume II), compiled by Brigadier-General Sir James E Edmonds, London, HMSO, 1948, p.284).

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