11 April 1917

Bullecourt tank routes

Fifth Army 

V Corps

11 Company D Battalion.  11 of the 12 tanks started off at 4.30 a.m. in line at eighty yards interval and about eight hundred yards from the German line.  Four Tanks attacked Bullecourt and 2 attacked the Hindenburg Line to the North West.  Two of the former were knocked out in the village and two returned damaged – both those on the Hindenburg Line were knocked out by shell fire while waiting for the infantry.  Three Tanks advanced on Riencourt and Hendicourt– one of these was knocked out while the other 2, operating with 200 Australian Infantry, cleared Riencourt and then advanced on Hendicourt clearing the village.  Of the 2 tanks operating against the Hindenburg Line to the east, one was knocked out and the other returned safely.

In this operation tanks replaced the barrage covering and opening the way for the Infantry attack – and the tank operations were excellently and most gallantly carried out.  The ground was covered with snow which gave the enemy artillery a great advantage as regards observation of the tanks.

Third Army

The attacks on the Black and Blue Lines succeeded generally along the whole of the Third Army front except on the left of 34th Division and right of 51st Division where the attack was held by Machine Gun fire.  It is to be noted that tanks did not function at these points, being previously ditched.  The powerful positions at the Harp, Telegraph Hill, Tilloy and Neuville Vitasse were carried without much difficulty and all reports state that the Germans showed little fight where the Tanks appeared.

First Army

The First Army also succeeded well but without much help from their tanks which all became ditched in the exceedingly difficult ground.  The advance to the Brown line proceeded steadily though the tanks were not much used for this objective except in one or two places.  The majority of the Tanks at this time were being unditched.  The capture of the Brown Line in 30th Division front was the longest delayed but this was eventually carried.  The Green Line, except about Guemappe, was captured in due course and was certainly assisted by the action of the Tanks at Monchy Le Preux.

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