10th April 1917 – Arras and the Hindenburg Line

On the 10th April tanks were unditched and generally prepared for further action.  On the 11th April four tanks which were then rallied in Neuville Vitasse were detailed to assist in the capture of the Hindenburg Line about its junction with the Wancourt Line and eventually in the capture of Wancourt.  These tanks proceeded down the wire in front of the Hindenburg Line crushing it and also dealing with the Garrisons of the trenches.  These tanks then moved on to Heninel and Wancourt destroying Machine Guns and firing into the houses.  The Infantry did not follow up the tanks as they were still under Machine Gun fire from the Hindenburg Line which the tanks had apparently not succeeded in reducing before they proceeded on to Wancourt.

That evening 3 tanks returned to Rallying Point where one became ditched in a Sunken Road and was set on fire by a direct hit.  The Infantry advanced that night and captured the Hindenburg Line, Heninel and Wancourt all of which the enemy had apparently evacuated.  Some very useful pigeon messages were sent back from the tanks which had proceeded to Wancourt.  This tank operation was carried out at very short notice and with no previous reconnaissance possible.  The ground was much more favourable for tank operations and continual snow storms screened their movements from enemy artillery.

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