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Australians at Bullecourt in 1917 : ANZAC Day

In April, 1917, the British launch an attack in front of Arras in anticipation of the French offensive of the Chemin des Dames. General Cough, having under its orders, four Australian divisions, proposes a additional assault between Bullecourt and Quéant, two key points of the Line Hindenburg.

Seen the success in front of Arras, Cough moves forward its attack without the support of the artillery but with 12 tanks. This improvised attack ends in a disaster: the Australian losses are of the order of 66 %.

The defeat of General Nivelle at Chemin des Dames forces the French General staff to ask to their Allies for a second attack of Arras and Bullecourt. Started on May 3rd, and in spite of the support of the artillery, the offensive is a failure : the line Hindenburg does not fall. The Australian troops are then sent to take part in the 3rd Battle of Ypres started by Sir Douglas Haig.

Bullecourt commemorates the Sacrifices of the Australians on 25th April every year. Anzac Day in France 2012www.dva.gov.au/.../anzac_day/Pages/france.aspx

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