Battle of Hamel 4 July 1918

The Battle of Hamel was a small-scale brilliantly successful advance made by elements of the Australian Corps under the command of Lieutenant General John Monash. The purpose of the attack was to take the high ground east of the village of Hamel. This ridge was important to the Germans if they planned to capture Amiens. To the British forces, it would help an advance further east along both banks of the Somme.

On 4 July 1918, with 1000 United States infantrymen attached, four brigades drawn from 2nd, 3rd and 4th Australian Divisions, 8000 men, attacked Hamel with 550 guns, 60 tanks and 85 aircraft in support. In 93 minutes, the Australians had taken all their objectives, advancing 2km on a 6km front. The Germans lost 2600 men killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Some 1260 Australians and Americans were killed or wounded. The battle was regarded as a model of innovative tactics, one which was repeated on a larger scale in the series of Allied advances from 8 August which ended the war.

Troops in the foreground and a ruined village in the background.

Australian and American troops occupy the positions captured at Le Hamel, July 1918. The village can be seen in the background; the enemy front line on the morning of the battle was on the crest of the hill in the middle distance, but after the attack this trench was 200 metres behind the new front line. AWM E02844A


Last updated: 14 January 2020

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DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Battle of Hamel 4 July 1918, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 14 August 2020, http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/ww1/where-australians-served/western-front/battle-of-hamel
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