3rd Jul 1918: Disappointment for Americans as Pershing orders their withdrawal from Hamel attack

Before dawn the front was occupied by most of the troops that were to attack, and the pegs to mark the starting line had been placed. The tanks were in the assembly area in the orchards around Aubigny three miles behind the front line. The troops were told to lie low for the whole day, when an order came through from General Pershing, the American Commander-in-Chief, that six American companies were to be withdrawn, causing concern for the Australians on losing hundreds of men plus having to re-arrange their formations. The disappointment for the Americans though was far greater. At 6pm telegrams reached the Australian troops saying that the attack was to be launched at 3.10am. Several of the commanders saw to it that their troops had a second meal, around midnight. At 10.30pm the tanks, with their engines throttled down began their journey to the assembly point about ½ mile behind the front.

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