28th Mar 1918: German spirits drop with Dernancourt defeat by 12th Bgde

Stan_McDougall_VC_A05155Violent fighting took place as the Germans attempted to cross the railway line between Albert and Dernancourt held by the 12th Brigade, during which Sgt MacDougall (photograph right) of the 47th Battalion was awarded the Victoria Cross. At one stage and out of bombs the defenders could only throw stones in retaliation to the Germans on the other side throwing their grenades. Minenwerfers and shelling were also taking a toll on the exposed men firing over the rails. The 4th Division artillery supported by British batteries focused on the two German assembly points leaving the machine-gunners and riflemen to focus on the attackers that managed to get through the shell fire. By the end of the day, the spirit of the German soldier had noticeably changed from that of supreme confidence to that of being depressed having been so definitely stopped and the attempt to cross the Ancre between Albert and Buire defeated.

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