Ewen Southby-Tailyour is an author and historian.
Fromelles: French Flandersby Peter Pederson(Dr)
Before the battle, the Australian Gallipoli veterans had airily dismissed the fighting in the new theater as 'pleasant'.
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The attack at Fromelles is significant for a number of reasons. It was the Australians' first major operation on the Western Front and pitted them against a part of the German line that was an object lesson in the siting of a defense.
Before the battle, the Australian Gallipoli veterans had airily dismissed the fighting in the new theater as 'pleasant'. After it, they said grimly that Anzac was 'a picnic' compared to France. Fromelles came as a terrible shock and was a foretaste of things to come. Both the genesis and aftermath of the operation were controversial. The objectives and the tactics employed to achieve them were changed several times and the sufficiency of resources vigorously debated.
After the war, the British and Australian Official Historians argued as to how the battle should be interpreted. Most of the correspondence that accompanied their exchange of drafts has not been published. It makes interesting reading!
On a more trivial note, the List Regiment of the 6th Bavarian Reserve Division held the Sugar Loaf on 19/20 July. Numbering among the regimental runners was one Adolf Hitler.
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