Artillery, Tanks and a Man Named Watson: 1st Anzac Corps and the First Battle of Bullecourt, 11 April 1917

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

On 11 April 1917 the Australians of the 1st Anzac Corps launched an attack at German positions near the French village of Bullecourt. The British correspondent Phillip Gibbs contended that the story of the fighting at Bullecourt was inseparable from that of the Australians who broke into the Hindenburg Line in 1917. However, it has also become a byword for failure thanks to the high casualties sustained and the catastrophically mishandled use of tanks during the battle. This paper will look at the battle plans for that attack, and how and why they were modified, to reveal some startling influences on the planning, from unexpected places.

 

Speaker

Dr Meleah Hampton is an historian at the Australian War Memorial. Having written widely on the operational conduct of the First World War, she is the author of Attack on the Somme: 1st Anzac Corps and the Battle of Pozières Ridge 1916 (2016), and the Army History Unit's campaign book Pozières (2018). She is a member of the editorial committee for the Memorial's historical magazine, Wartime, and the British Journal of Military History editorial advisory board, and is an ambassador for the Western Front Association in Australia.

Photo: Australian War Memorial AWM E00600.

 

* Hybrid event held in Hedley Bull Lecture Theatre 1 (HB1) and via Zoom

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