2nd May 1917: Final arrangements made for Bullecourt attack

Final arrangements were completed for the attack on 3rd May, with the AIF 2nd Division and the British 62nd Division having three objectives: first the Hindenburg OG1 and OG2 Lines; second the Fontaine-Moulin Sans Souci road; and third the advance on Riencourt and Hendencourt. The 62nd, which would attack the village of Bullecourt itself, would  be supported by ten tanks in the attack while the Australians elected to attack without them. The battalions would form up on tapes 500 yards from the German line, much closer than before, and the infantry would advance under the protection of a creeping barrage. The advance would also be supported unprecedented ninety-six Vickers machine guns. Also, learning lessons from the failed AIF 4th Division attack, greater effort was made to ensure efficient ammunition and supplies went forward with the troops, and large supplies of rifle-grenades carried forward to count the longer range of the German stick and egg bombers. The weakest part of the plan, a consequence of attacking a re-entrant, was to fall on the 6th Brigade attacking to the east of the German defences in the village of Bullecourt. Brigadier-General Gellibrand’s 6th Brigade HQ moved forward to the railway embankment, practically on the front line.

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