16th Sept 1918: Monash prepares attack on Hindenburg Outpost Line

Lieut.-Gen. Monash held a conference with his Commanders that would be involved in the next battle, and the date set for the 18th September. After the successful manoeuvre battle at Mont St. Quentin the attack on the Hindenburg Outpost Line would revert back to being a set-piece battle similar to that of the 8th August, though this time there would be just eight tanks supporting the Australians. In order to compensate for the lack of tanks Monash arranged to double the machine gun resources by bringing up complete machine-gun battalions from the 3rd and 5th Divisions, giving a total of 256 Vickers Machine Guns on a frontage of 7,000 yards to deliver a dense machine gun barrage that would advance 300 yards ahead of the infantry. Also to try and trick the enemy Monash ordered the creation of dummy tanks, clearly visible to the enemy, to give the impression that there were many more tanks about to attack, thus hastening the defenders abandoning their positions. On the morning of the attack the moon would set at 3.37am and the sun would rise at 6.27am: zero hour was therefore fixed for 5.20am.

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