Friday 9 September 2016

Day Seventy One on the Somme

Saturday 9th September 1916: From our Correspondent in the Field

After seizing a portion of High Wood yesterday 1st Division was today given the unenviable task of taking the rest of it. Sadly the resistance put up by the enemy was stronger than yesterday and all attacks failed. 

However, on the rest of the battlefield the day has been one of considerable success. A few days ago your correspondent was wondering whether the village of Ginchy would take as long to capture as its neighbour to the south-west, Guillemont. It appears that this will not be the case. 16th (Irish) Division has today succeeded in capturing the place. However, it has yet to be held for any period of time and everyone is aware of the German propensity for determined counter-attacks.

56th (London) Division has pushed north from Leuze Wood and succeeded in capturing German positions along the sunken road through Bouleaux Wood to Combles and the road from Guillemont to Morval. 

They have even pushed patrols towards the village of Morval itself. The position known as the Quadrilateral, however, in a hollow, near the eastern end of the ravine east of Guillemont and north of Bouleaux Wood holds out against them.

Today 1st Bedfords moved back to Morlancourt, a village behind the lines south of Albert and not far from the north bank of the River Somme. They are undoubtedly on their way to leaving the area for recuperation and reorganisation. I am sure they will hope never to return as the job will be done in the next little while(1).

To the west, the Canadians made an attack this afternoon towards the village of Martinpuich. They succeeded in advancing about a quarter of a mile and have held their gains against considerable counterattacks.

Source: X550/2/5

(1) Noon on this day marked the half way point in the 141 day battle.

No comments:

Post a Comment