Monday, June 8, 2009

"COBBERS" The Fromelles Monument!

Hi
I just wanted to share a picture of a monument that really appeals to me. The statue is called "COBBERS" and is situated near the Shrine at Melbourne. My Regiment fired a 21 Gun Salute for the Queen's birthday at the Shrine last Saturday, (6 June 2009), and whilst there I took the oportunity, (like I always do when at the Shrine) to visit the "COBBERS".

19 July 1916 - 20 July 1916

Fromelles was the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front. Directed against a strong German position known as the Sugar Loaf salient, the attack was intended primarily as a feint to draw German troops away from the Somme offensive then being pursued further to the south. A seven-hour preparatory bombardment deprived the attack of any hope of surprise, and ultimately proved ineffective in subduing the well-entrenched defenders. When the troops of the 5th Australian and 61st British Divisions attacked at 6 pm on 19 July 1916, they suffered heavily at the hands of German machine-gunners. Small parts of the German trenches were captured by the 8th and 14th Australian Brigades, but, devoid of flanking support and subjected to fierce counter-attacks, they were forced to withdraw. By 8am on 20 July 1916, the battle was over. The 5th Australian Division suffered 5,533 casualties, rendering it incapable of offensive action for many months; the 61st British Division suffered 1,547. The German casualties were little more than 1,000. The attack was a complete failure as the Germans realised within a few hours it was merely a feint. It therefore had no impact whatsoever upon the progress of the Somme offensive.

Anyway, I think it's a fantastic monument to the Australian soldier. The picture was taken by some friend of our who are visiting from the US.That's me on the left.
Cheers for now.

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