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Australians Attack Hindenburg Line

18 SEP 1918: World War I and the Australians attack the Hindenburg Line. The 1st and 4th Australian divisions were successful in breaching the forward edge of the main German defensive line across the Picardy region of France.

The Hindenburg Line was a formidable series of defences constructed by the German Army in northern France in late 1916 to which they had withdrawn in early 1917.

After their spring offensive of 1918, the Germans incorporated the old British trenches facing the Hindenburg Line into their network of defences; these became the Hindenburg “outpost line”.

In September 1918, a two-stage assault was planned to capture the Hindenburg Line. Firstly the outpost line, which ran a mile west of the main Hindenburg Line, would have to be taken. This assault began on 18 September 1918.

The Australian Corps attacked the defences in the centre of the outpost line, supported in the north by III British Corps and in the south by IX British Corps.

By the end of the day the Australians, with assistance from a major bombardment of the German lines, broke through the German defences and were overlooking the main Hindenburg Line. The Australians suffered 1,260 casualties and took 4,300 prisoners. Photo: Trench in the Hindenberg Line, 1917. More;

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