Guide The Hell They Called High Wood: The Somme 1916

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On 8 September, the 1st Division attacked the west end of the wood at p. The right-hand battalion reached its objective on its right flank, where German troops were found to be in wired shell-craters but not on its left flank. The left-hand battalion attacked the south-west face and reached the objective as a battalion of the 15th Division to the west captured a German trench beyond the west side of the wood. Two German counter-attacks were repulsed but the British were ordered to retire and by midnight were back on their start lines. The crater was occupied but the garrison was then bombed out by the Bavarians after 90 minutes: an advance on the western side also failed.

On 15 September, the 47th Division , which had relieved the 1st Division from 7—11 September, attacked the wood and the adjacent areas to the right and left with two brigades, between the New Zealand and 50th divisions. Tank D lost direction, ditched in the British front line and then fired on British troops by mistake. The second tank drove into a shell hole but D got into the wood and fired on Bavarian Infantry Regiment 18 in the German support line, until the tank was hit and set on fire.

A German infantryman crept up on the tank and shot one of the crew in the leg through a loophole; the fourth tank broke down in no man's land. The fate of the three tanks was reported at a.

On their return, the crew convinced the III Corps headquarters to cancel an attack from the wood. At a. The 34 Squadron crew made a second sortie and at p. As night fell, the division had no organised front line, except on the extreme right and only the first objective had been captured, although this gave the British observation of the German defences north-eastwards to Bapaume. Tramlines were built west of the wood towards Eaucourt l'Abbaye and later extended to Bazentin-le-Petit, so that the wood could be avoided.

The performance of the 47th Division was considered a failure, because High Wood was only the first objective. In four days of fighting, the division had suffered over 4, casualties and the st Brigade was so depleted that after the occupation of the wood, it was reorganised into a composite battalion. The divisional commander Major-General Charles Barter had urged Pulteney the III Corps commander, to cancel the attempt to use tanks in the wood as a substitute for artillery but had been over-ruled.

Hell They Called High Wood, The: the Somme Terry Norman - Book | Rahva Raamat

Liddle noted that beyond imposing a delay, the German policy of unyielding defence and counter-attack failed and ought to be judged on the same terms as British and French methods. Haig and Joffre were right to believe that a serious German collapse was possible until late July and no convincing alternative to attrition, in the circumstances of late July to early September, has been proposed. In the Fourth Army area from 15 July — 4 September, 72 German counter-attacks were made against 90 British attacks, exposing German infantry to similar costly and frustrating failures.

German artillery and air inferiority was a great disadvantage and led to constant losses. Sheldon also wrote that Allied aerial dominance in August put the Germans at a serious tactical disadvantage, that some troops began to avoid the remaining dugouts and that much of the Allied artillery was used constantly to bombard targets deep behind German lines. After sixty days, thirty-two British divisions had been engaged and lost , men. On fifty days in the period, an average of eight divisions were in the line but fewer than six battalions attacked and only twice were more than half of the battalions in the line engaged simultaneously.

British assaults were constant, small and narrow-front, against which the Germans could concentrate artillery, easily to inflict many casualties. British divisions stayed in the front line from 2—42 days and casualties varied from per day in the 5th Division to fewer than per day in the 23rd Division.

From 11—27 July the 1st Division had 3, casualties and from 14—20 July, the 7th Division lost 3, casualties. This Commonwealth cemetery was opened with the interment of 47 soldiers of the 47th Division in the days following 15 September and extended in The men were buried in a large shell hole and by , the cemetery contained the remains of 3, men, 3, of whom have no name. Opposite the cemetery is a 47th Division memorial and a cairn for the 9th Glasgow Highlanders Highland Light Infantry.

A memorial to the Cameron Highlanders and Black Watch lies on the east side of the wood. Memorials to the 1st and 51st divisions, 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, Cameron Highlanders, 1st South Wales Borderers, 10th Glosters and the 20th Royal Fusiliers were also built in the wood; Thistle Dump Cemetery is in a field to the south.

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High Wood to Warterlot Farm Tune: "Chalk Farm to Camberwell Green" There is a wood at the top of a hill, If it's not shifted it's standing there still; There is a farm a short distance away, But I'd not advise you to go there by day, For the snipers abound, and the shells are not rare, And a man's only chance is to run like a hare, So take my advice if you're chancing your arm From High Wood to Waterlot Farm. If you've got a smoke helmet there You'd best put it on if you could, For the wood down by Waterlot Farm Is a bloody high wood.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Battle of the Somme. Longueval High Wood. Battle of the Somme. Western Front. Main article: Battle of Bazentin Ridge. German defensive lines, High Wood, Somme Deccan Horse, Bazentin Ridge. Main article: Battle of Flers—Courcelette. High losses incurred in holding ground by a policy of no retreat, were preferable to higher losses, voluntary withdrawals and the effect of a belief that soldiers had discretion to avoid battle.

When a more flexible policy was substituted later, discretion was still reserved to army commanders. Dunne as a more accurate account of the experience of ordinary soldiers in the Great War. His attempts to obtain an official inquiry and public exoneration failed and Barter died on 22 March Mills bomb production rose to 1,, per week and the output of shells rose from 4,, in the first quarter of to 20,, in the final quarter, for an annual total of more than fifty million.


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Many shells failed to explode, due to deterioration of the explosive filling and defective fuzes in all heavy guns caused premature detonations, while many guns misfired due to poor quality barrels. Some propellants were not fully consumed on firing, requiring the barrel to be cleaned after each shot, which slowed the rate of fire. Some copper driving bands on pounder field gun shells were too hard and reduced the accuracy of the gun and when High Explosive ammunition was introduced late in , premature detonations and bulges occurred with a burst barrel every thousand shots. There was a shortage of spare buffer springs, replacements were sometimes worse than worn ones and spare parts for every mechanical device in the army were lacking.

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Some shells exuded explosive in the summer heat, flare fillings decomposed, phosphorus bombs went off spontaneously, the firing mechanism of the heavy trench mortars failed on 1 July, Stokes mortar ammunition was chronically unreliable until replaced by improved designs, many Mills bombs went off early, rifle grenades were either premature detonations or duds and a brand of rifle cartridge jammed after firing and had to be scrapped. Duffy, C. Dunne, J. London: P. King and Son. Edmonds, J. London: Macmillan. Gliddon, G. Norwich: Gliddon Books. Harris, J. Douglas Haig and the First World War.

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Hell They Called High Wood, The: the Somme 1916

Jones, H. London: Clarendon Press. Retrieved 20 September Jones, Simon Underground Warfare Liddle, P.


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Mackintosh, E. Mackintosh, M. London: The Bodley Head. Retrieved 15 September Maude, A. The 47th London Division — London: Amalgamated Press. Retrieved 14 September McCarthy, C. London: Weidenfeld Military. Miles, W. Norman, T. London: William Kimber. Philpott, W.