27th Sept 1918: AEF 27th Div fails to take Hindenburg Outpost Line objectives

At 5.30am the 27th American Division fighting within the Australian Corps carried out their attack on the uncaptured Hindenburg Outpost Line under a barrage and aided by tanks. The main objectives were the trench system about Quennemont and Gillemont Farms. The attack by the battle-green Americans failed to take its objectives, and although many men made it to the German trench line they became surrounded until relieved by the Australians two days later. The failure appeared to be down to over eager troops rushing on and not ‘mopping-up’ correctly – a lesson learned the hard way by the British and Australians in 1916 and 1917 – and as a result it compromised the artillery plan for the main assault two days later. Lieut.-Gen. Monash succeeded in getting General Rawlinson to provide additional tanks out of Army reserves to place on the 27th Division front to bring the infantry up to the barrage. Of the five divisions available to Monash, the Australian 2nd Division was to remain in Corps reserve but would be brought forward by motor bus to the vicinity of Peronne.

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