Hamel, 4th July 1918

Standalone title

The Battle of Hamel is arguably the most important battle of World War I, yet it is still relatively unknown. It was turning point of the Great War and saw American troops fighting alongside Australian troops in their first taste of war on foreign soil, making the reputation of the man who led the troops: General Sir John Monash of the Australian Army.

In the summer of 1918 the war was in the balance but the battle plan was beautifully conceived and executed, and without the Allies’ victory, Amiens would not have been possible.

It is special for three reasons, firstly it lasted only 90 minutes with very few casualties. Secondly it was the battle that set up the troops for Amiens, after which the Germans were rolled back to Berlin. Finally – and most importantly – it is the first time American troops fought on foreign soil and really entered international politics.

Formerly on the course at Sandhurst it has now been replaced by more modern examples, but Hamel is still the perfect battle a century on, superbly prepared. When most battles are fought the original plans go out of the window, not so with Hamel.

This book was first published to mark the 100th anniversary of the pivotal battle of World War I; a day that really did change history.

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