Military History Tours Le Hamel Centenary Tour 3 July 2018
A full day of battlefield touring, beautiful sunny sky with but a very few clouds.
We started out on the Roman Road north of Harbonieres where we discussed the Battle of Amiens: the success of the Australian action on 9 August, the romp of the Armoured Cars, the key spur taken as a result of a souvenir hunt, the Canadians shooting through when the going got tough and the crass stupidity of General Rawlinson who took a decision that extended the war by a month
Then to Mt St Quentin, the small hillock beyond the Great Bend of the Somme where the Australian Corps defeated the superior in numbers cream of the German Army. There we visited the unique Second Division Memorial and contemplated
A slight change of pace, we visited Maissemy Soldatenfriedhof with its 30 478 soldiers buried. Time to reflect on the suffering of those on the other side of the hill.
A visit to the Fourth Division Memorial meant we had visited all of the Australian Divisional Memorials in the Somme. There we considered the final actions of 2 and 4 Div in World War One and Monash’s brilliant Tank replacement technology.
At the St Quentin Tunnel we had our picnic Lunch visited the amazing tunnel structure and discussed the tragedy of the untrained Americans who lost their lives so needlessly.
A short drive and we were at Montbrehain, site of the last Australian action in World War 1. There we discussed the action and visited the grave of Private Taylor, the most eastern Australian WW1 War grave in France.
An early night, tomorrow we witness the Le Hamel Centenary commemoration.