Bloody Bullecourt (Kindle)
In April-May 1917 the sleepy hamlet of Bullecourt in Northern France became the focus of two battles involving British and Australian troops. Given the unique place in Australia's military history that both battles occupy, surprisingly little has been written on the AIF's achievements at Bullecourt. Bloody Bullecourt seeks to remedy this gasping omission.
The First Battle of Bullecourt marked the Australians' introduction to the latest battlefield weapon - the tank. This much-lauded weapon failed dismally amid enormous casualties. Despite this, two infantry brigades from the 4th Australian Division captured parts of the formidable Hindenberg Line with minimal artillery and tank support, repulsing German counter-attacks until forced to withdraw.
In the second battle, launched with a preliminary artillery barrage, more Australian divisions were forced into the Bullecourt 'meat-grinder' and casualties scored over 7,000. Once more, soldiers fought hard to capture parts of the enemy line and hold them against savage counter-attacks.
Bullecourt became a charnel-house for the AIF. Many who had endured he nightmare of Pozières considered Bullecourt far worse. And for what? While Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig considered its capture 'among the great achievements of the war', the village that cost so many lives held no strategic value whatsoever.
fairly well balanced account of both 1st and 2nd Battles of Bullecourt from an Australian author. Refreshingly, it includes detailed analysis of the parts played by the 62nd 7th and 28th British Divisions in both attacks. As entire accounts for this battle are fairly limited I would add it to my Bullecourt book shelf. His conclusion lays the blame squarely on Gough but also calls into question the poor staff work of 1 ANZAC and his approach is, on the whole, unbiased. A useful secondary source for my dissertation. Well referenced descriptive read with plenty of pictures and good detailed maps.Guild of Battlefield Guides
Dispensing personal anecdotes along with strategic overview, the author manages to make it both interesting and sobering at the same time.The Armourer, July 2018
Overall, this book is yet another valuable addition to the story of the Western Front, and a very useful point of reference for research and understanding on the Australian story.Jon Sandison, Freelance