ART03605.035.002

Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial licensed copyright

ID number ART03605.035.002
Title The destruction of the 43rd Battery at Lagnicourt; verso: [Rough reconnaissance sketch]
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Maker Benson, George (Artist)
Place made France
Date made April 1917
Medium pencil and charcoal on paper
Measurement backing sheet: 28.8 x 45.5 cm; image: 21.3 x 53 cm

Description

Depicts the destruction of the 43rd Battery on the morning of the German attack at Lagnicourt. Gun carriages are visible in the foreground, behind one is a soldier on all fours, perhaps wounded from battle. Scatterd on the ground are empty shell casings. The horizon and direction of the guns' aim suggests the German's position on the horizon.

Battle of Lagnicourt, March 1917 - April 1917: Lagnicourt, in northern France, was the scene of fierce fighting in March and April 1917. When the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line in March and the British and dominion forces advanced rapidly in their wake. As they neared the Hindenburg Line they were confronted by well-prepared rearguard forces, which were only removed after difficult fights. One such action took place at Lagnicourt between 26 and 27 March. Closing with the Hindenberg Line, the British lost no time in launching a major offensive around Arras. This left their line weak in several places, including Lagnicourt. Aware of this weakness, the Germans launched a counter-stroke in the Lagnicourt area at dawn on 15 April, utilising 23 battalions. Their aim was not to permanently recapture the territory, but merely to hold it for a day and capture or destroy all the equipment and supplies they found there. They rapidly occupied Lagnicourt and captured several batteries of the 1st Australian Division's artillery. A vigourous counter-attack by four Australian battalions just after 7 am recaptured the village and most of the guns, and forced a premature German withdrawal.

Verso: a rough reconnaissance sketch, only partially visible from portion that hasn't been adhered to the scrapbook leaf.

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