Friday, 15 September 2017

Battle of Broodseinde Ridge

The 100th anniversary of the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge will be commemorated on the 4th October. This battle, which occurred eight days after Polygon Wood, was the third operation overseen by British general Herbert Plumer.  These battles formed part of the Third Battle of Ypres campaign. As with the previous two battles this operation bore all the hallmarks of a Plumer planned operation. The attacking advance was no more than 1500 metres, the advance would be preceded by a massive artillery bombardment and a creeping barrage would lead the troops on to their objectives and then protect them while they consolidated their positions.

The battle was a large scale operation involving 12 divisions, including both 1 and II ANZAC.  The allies attacked as planned on the morning of the 4th October.  The Australians involved came under heavy artillery fire  on their start line with a seventh of them becoming casualties before the attack had begun.  When the operation finally commenced the advancing allies were met by German troops advancing towards them.  The Germans had decided to launch an attack of their own at the same time. The Australian troops were able to continue their advance through the German assault and achieve all of their objectives  along the ridge. Again while the operation was a success it came at a cost 6,500 casualties among the Australian divisions included in this were men from Ballarat and district. After Fromelle this battle was the second worst day for Ballarat and district casualties. 33 Ballarat and district men were killed or died of their wounds.

Follwing is two articles from The Courier and the Star reporting on the battle.  Also included is an article from the Courier providing brief biographical information on two of the many Ballarat and district men who fought and were killed in the battle.

Ballarat Star 5 November 1917, p.1

Ballarat Courier 5 November 1917, p. 3

Ballarat Courier 3 November 1917, p. 7

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