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July 17 , 2007

Hamel: Somme


On 4 July 1918, American and Australian troops captured the village of Hamel and the ridge overlooking it. It was not a big battle: the equivalent of one Australian division and one battalion of newly arrived Americans were the only infantry involved. Although Hamel is not a famous named battle it is noteworthy for an increased level of sophistication . At Hamel machines went a long way towards relieving the infantry of the obligation to fight its way forward. After the battle, Haig's Headquarters promulgated its lessons for other commanders.
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Among the senior officers who visited Monash's Headquarters was Brigadier-General Bernard Montgomery. The military thinker and former Tank Corps officer, Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, thought Hamel more important in making the reputation of the Tank Corps than the battle of Cambrai.

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