The Great War Part 180, January 26th 1918

458 The Great PVar July 31st. It was amaze of snipers nests and m achine-gun positions. Between many of the trees were hidden barbed-wire entanglements that could not be seen until they were reached. noWhere concealed entangle­ments were erected there were death-trap sin the form of open pockets crossed by m achine-gun fire with wire ail round them except at the entrances. A fierce British barrage stamped about the wood but did not put the garrisoning force out of action. The men from Bedford from the Surrey-side suburbs of London, and the country around C roydon might have been excused had they failed to climb the wooded hill. Yet they both climbed it and descended the reverse slope i British ujfirinl liotnyrajjli. j FIRST CAR ACROSS. Hridge blown up b they enemy and rapidly reconstructed b y British engineers during the advance in Flanders work of the Sherwoods and N ortham ptons. The line was continued towards Glencorse Wood b they B edfords and West Surreys. General Plum er desired to become master of the whole of theW esthoek Ridge in order to launch his second great offensive. The troops had lain out all night in the rain under a furious bombardment that seemed to show the enemy had observed what was impending. In spite of the furious shelling the English line went forward at dawn on Friday August 10th with irre­sistible valour. The Germans fought well. They quickly rallied after every English drive and when entirely surrounded often fought to the death. Each cellar had to betaken b y bombing rushes against m achine-gun fire and' when the concrete forts were broken the garrison often came out into the open ground and battled hand to hand. For three hours the struggle for the height went on. It ended with the conquest of a stronghold a t the southern end of the ridge. The concrete work was battered b y Stokes guns and then rushed on either flank. The remnants of the 54th German Reserve Division were pushed off the crest those who still clung to the lower Germans driven off ground eastward being practically de- Westhoek Ridge fenceless against the plunging fire from the victorious Englishmen on the heights. Gunnery observation positions were rapidly established, with appalling consequences to the enem y.In the meantime the B edfords and West Surreys and other English battalions attacked the still more difficult forested height of Glencorse Wood. This intervened between theW esthoek position and the enem ys chief base of resistance on the Menin road. The high wood had been refortified since the unsuccessful British attack on Canadian War Kecorda. STRONG POINT DESTROYED B Y CANAD IAN ARTILLERY .One of the concrete forts established b they Germans in the vicinity of Lens. The concrete had been reinforced with iron girders but the position had been effectively smashed b y preliminary artillery fire before the Canadians went forward and captured it. menacing the enemy indirectly his key position to the Lille and coastline. The Englishmen broke through the wire entanglements with their rifle-stocks leaped at snipers and gunners behind the trees and killed or routed them with the bayonet. Hard as it had been to gain the Glencorse Hill it was very much harder to hold it. The German commander could not at any cost allow this dominating point to be lost at this early stage of the campaign. He possessed thousands of guns with an enormous stock of shell ranged in a short but very deep arc between Zandvoorde and Passchendaele. Hundreds of German artillery observing officers surveyed from higher positions theW esthoek and Glencorse Hills and received signals and messages from their withdrawn infantry line. As soon as the situation was clear to them they brought the greater part of their gigantic artillery power to bear upon the two miles of newline the Englishmen had gained. It was a day of clear air and as such had been selected
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