29th Mar 1918: 9th & 15th Bgdes take up Somme defensive positions

Sailly E04661In the south of the British line the situation on the Fifth Army’s front was becoming critical with the French continuing to withdraw in a south-westerly direction opening up a dangerous gap between the British and French armies, so Brigadier-General Rosenthal’s 9th Brigade, initially protecting the Third Army’s right flank at the River Somme (photograph right) was ordered south of the river immediately to the rear of Villers-Bretonneux and be placed under XIX Corps of the Fifth Army. To compensate for this loss and to guard the bridges Elliott’s 15th Brigade, the first of the AIF 5th Division to arrive on the Somme, were brought to Corbie and placed under Monash’s 3rd Division.

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