Military History Tours Armistice Day Centenary Tour 9 November 2018
The weather turned it on for us today. A bit cold to start, and when the sun dropped, but in the day, blue skies (a bit of cloud) and sunshine.
Our first visit was to the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and the Sir John Monash Centre. Such a great display, if only the shop could get their act together.
There followed a description of the battles by 15 and 13 Brigades to take back the town on 14/25 April 1918 and a lengthy description of the world’s first tank vs tank engagement.
A short drive had us at Dernancourt where John Lee gave an accurate and entertaining description of this pivotal engagement. Our picnic lunch was had in the sunshine on the grass adjacent the Dernancourt CWG and town cemetery.
On then to the 3 Division Memorial at Sailly le Sec where John Hitchen gave us a description of the deployment of Monash’s Division to block the German Operation Michael. On the road we also spied the site where Richthofen crashed.
The final presentation of the day was given at the Wolfsburg above Le Hamel. Monash’s 93 minute battle was described in detail.
Amiens and its magnificent cathedral beckoned. We left the town as the sun was setting; Peronne was in darkness as we wended our way on foot the last kilometre to our hotel, thus avoiding President Macron's security zone.
Another substantial evening meal before an early night. More battlefields tomorrow August to October 1918 when Australia shortened the war.