Collection type Place
  • France
  • Picardie
  • Somme
  • Bray Proyart Area
  • Proyart

Proyart, a village in the Somme Valley in France, gave its name to an operation mounted between 10 and 12 August 1918 as part of the Battle of Amiens. Following the successes of 8 August, General Monash planned to continue the Australian Corps' advance along both the north and south banks of the Somme. He believed the enemy to be in a state of confusion and all that was needed was to "hit him without warning and roll him up."

Proyart was south of the Somme, and Monash's plan was for a brigade, supported by six tanks, to advance in column, 1,200 metres along a dead straight road. The brigade would then turn and advance another three and a half kilometres due north to the river and establish a new front line between the road and the river, thereby cutting off a large section of German-held ground for clearance by another brigade. The road ran across a flat, open plain so the operation would take place under the cover of darkness.

When the 10th Brigade commenced the operation on the night of 10 August, it was unable to complete even the first stage of the advance. Moving forward along the road, the column was bombed by a German aircraft and then halted by heavy German machine-gun fire from around the village of Proyart. The tanks were also subject to anti-tank gun and rifle fire. The column withdrew just before dawn, the lead battalion - the 37th - having lost its CO and a quarter of its strength.

After an assault by the 11th Brigade to capture the village of Mericourt on 11 August, German troops began to withdraw from the area and Proyart was subsequently occupied by patrols from the 10th Brigade on the 12 August.

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