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The ANZACS at the Battle of Messines 1917 by Deayton, Craig Code: 47743 Format: Hardback / 324 pages Publication date: 05/05/2017 Availability: In Stock. Usually dispatched same business day from Sydney, Australia Price: AU $34.99

The enemy must not get the Messines Ridge at any price …

So read the orders to German troops defending the vital high ground south of Ypres. On 7 June 1917, the British Second Army launched its attack with an opening like no other. In the largest secret operation of the First World War, British and Commonwealth mining companies placed over a million pounds of explosive beneath the German front-line positions in 19 giant mines which erupted like a volcano. This was just the beginning. By the end of that brilliant summer’s day, one of the strongest positions on the Western Front had fallen in the greatest British victory in three long years of war. For the Anzacs, who comprised one third of the triumphant Second Army, it was their most significant achievement to that point; for the men of the New Zealand Division, it would be their finest hour. It is difficult to overstate the importance of Messines for the Australians, whose first two years of war had represented an almost unending catalogue of disaster. This was both the first real victory for the AIF and the first test in senior command for Major General John Monash, who commanded the newly formed 3rd Division. Messines was a baptism of fire for the 3rd Division which came into the line alongside the battle-scarred 4th Australian Division, badly mauled at Bullecourt just six weeks earlier. The fighting at Messines would descend into unimaginable savagery, a lethal and sometimes hand-to-hand affair of bayonets, clubs, bombs and incessant machine-gun fire, described by one Australian as ‘72 hours of Hell’. After their string of bloody defeats over 1915 and 1916, Messines would prove the ultimate test for the Australians.

Format: Hardback
Pages: 324
Illustration: NOT ILLUSTRATED
Availability: In Stock. Usually dispatched same business day from Sydney, Australia
Publisher: BIG SKY PUBLISHING
Publication date: 05/05/2017
Country of publication: AUSTRALIA
Weight: 660 g
Dimensions: 153mm X 230mm
Code: 47743

Craig Deayton is a History teacher with a special interest in Australia’s military history. He has worked as a teacher and College Principal for over twenty-five years and is currently Principal in Hobart. Craig holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Masters degree in Education. Craig has also written: Battle Scarred The 47th Battalion in the First World War (isbn 978-1-922132-00-0) and The Battle of Messines 1917 (isbn 978-1-925520-56-9). Craig lives in Hobart with his wife Tracey and children Patrick, Dominic, Michael and Annie.