24/7/2016 Pozières: Germany strikes back

Yesterday the British launched a major attack on the Somme, which met with little success. One exception was an attack by Australian and British forces towards the village of Pozières. Thanks to an intense artillery bombardment and clever use of a creeping barrage, the Australians managed to punch through the German lines and seize the village.

The Germans are determined to recapture Pozières. Several counter-attacks yesterday were defeated, but today they attack with an entire division. By now however the Australians have brought forward machine guns. The advancing Germans are decimated in fighting that is like a reverse version of that seen on the first day of the battle.

So the Germans change tack. Accepting that they will not be able to storm Pozières, they decide to make it uninhabitable for the Australians. A murderous artillery barrage is directed down on the village. Pozières is to be continuously shelled until its defenders are all killed or forced to withdraw.

image source:

The battlefield at Pozières (in August 1916) (Australian War Memorial)

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