Battle of Messines

By the end of May 1917, A and B Battalions had received their full complement of 42 of the new Mk IV tanks.  The B Bn history records that they “were received, on the whole, very favourably”.

In preparation for the forthcoming battle of Messines, which was planned to start on 7 June 1917, the 2 Battalions moved up to Flanders from Erin at the end of May and deployed to hidden locations in woodland.  In early June the Battalion War Diaries record their preparations which included night time reconnaissance of routes to starting points, pigeon and Stokes bomb lectures (2 separate events), painting the tanks in order to camouflage them, and general improvements to the tanks.

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