Travel Theme: Distance

This week's Travel Theme is DISTANCE

The Battle of Hamel (4 July 1918) was a successful attack launched by the Australian Corps of the Australian Imperial Force and several American units against German positions in and around the town of Le Hamel in northern France during World War I. The battle was planned and commanded by Lieutenant General John Monash (later knighted).

Many of the tactics employed, such as the use of combined arms from the massed attacks mounted earlier in the war, illustrate the evolution of modern military tactics. All the Allies' objectives were achieved in 93 minutes, just three minutes more than Monash's calculated battle time of 90 minutes. Using conventional tactics, the fighting could have lasted for weeks or months, with much higher casualty rates. For example, a similar defensive position had resisted Allied capture for two months at the Battle of the Somme.

The battle was the first time in the war that American troops participated in an offensive action under non-American command. Ten American companies joined with Australian troops under Australian command, although six were recalled before the battle.

This image looks across the town of Le Hamel from the Australian War Memorial Park towards the hills in the distance that the Allies used to conceal their tanks as they circled the German lines.



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