Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Third Battle of the Somme. Australian Corps, 1918

The album below is not a manual as such, but contains a large number of aerial photographs of the terrain fought over by the Australian Corps in 1918:

The Third Battle of the Somme. Australian Corps (Intelligence) [Nov-Dec 1918]. AP&SS. Press “A”. Large landscape-format album containing about 90 vertical and oblique air photos covering the operations of the Australian Corps from April 1918 (Villers-Bretonneux), through Hamel and Amiens in July and August, the Hindenburg Line and subsequent operations. No explanatory text except for brief captions. Possible printed as a matter of record, but with distinct emphasis on interpretation, as for example wire, artillery positions, ammunition dumps, railways, hospitals, etc. However, an accompanying printed insert in one copy gives a commemorative/propaganda context:

Herewith a Pictorial History of the Australian Corps in the 3rd Battle of the Somme, from March 27th to October 6th, 1918.

The Photographs studied with a map are in themselves an index to the extent and character of the series of brilliant operations carried out by the troops of the [Australian] Corps. During the period under review a total of 29,144 prisoners and 388 guns, thousands of machine guns, and a large number of trench mortars were captured, beside much R.E. material and other booty.

The advance of the Corps was pursued for a total distance of over 40 miles. Over 120 towns and villages besides a large number of farms, mills, woods and copses were captured, and during the latter stages of the operations many French inhabitants were released from captivity.

39 enemy divisions were engaged and defeated, of which 12 were engaged twice, 6 – 3 times, 1 – 4 times, and 6 have been since disbanded.

The Book is forwarded with best wishes for Xmas and the New Year.

General Staff (Intelligence), Australian Corps.

I am indebted to the Australian War Memorial for the information about this printed insert, which contextualises the publication.


Bibster23 said...

Hello Peter
Can you please tell me the best way to get hold of your "Rats' Alley" book. Having considerable trouble.
Best regards

Sidney Roundwood said...

Hi Peter. I would also very much like to get hold of a copy of "Rats' Alley". I've looked everywhere I can think of. Best regards,

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