Bapaume to Bullecourt: the fighting in France, 1917
At the beginning of 1917 victory seemed nowhere in sight. However for a while, from late February, hopes were lifted. Along the Somme front line and elsewhere, the Germans began to withdraw several kilometres to their newly-developed defensive zone which the British dubbed “the Hindenburg Line”. This apparent retreat was a tonic for the allies who advanced in pursuit. But it was an illusion; the Germans were just staging a voluntary withdrawal to stronger and better prepared positions. It was against these solid defences at a point near the village of Bullecourt that four Australian divisions, one after the other, were thrown during April and May 1917.
The capture of Bapaume
Rarely did Australian soldiers experience such exhilaration as on that morning when, with the Somme morass finally behind them, they skirmished across green fields.C.E.W. Bean, Anzac to Amiens