The Great War Part 181, February 2nd 1918

The Langem arck Victory 483 The ragged victorious Canadian line then pressed onward to the German position b they Cite St. Elizabeth, north of Lens. The works were formidably fortified and belted with two zones of wire. In the trenches was a second strong German support force waiting the signal to follow and support their shock troops. The Germans fought with bombs and revolvers and machine- guns the Canadians continued to use only their bayonets. They were in very uneven formation having advanced some hundreds of yards b y exceedingly bitter Infighting. some places they were closely bunched together, in others there was only about one man to a dozen yards. B y downright impetuosity and individual enterprise they managed to get through the barbed-wire entanglements, climb the parapet and clear part of the long trench. The successful men unlocked the position for those that had been checked and when the artillery on either side ceased for awhile to fire all the line was occupied nritish official photograph. MISHAP NOT MISADVENTURE. British tractor that got stuck in bad ground immediately after having delivei'ed a heavy gun at its new position. b y remnants of the first thin Canadian wave of attack .The action they had won was one of the bloodiest in the war, for both the German forces had as usual been used in much denser formation than was employed b y British com­manders. The Canadians also pressed in towards Lens from the south-western and western sides taking the defensive works b y Fosse St. Louis which was the last formidable barrier to the old inner town. During the struggle in this sector Lens itself was penetrated around the point where the main roads met close to the railw ay-station. The next day the Germans again counter-attacked persis­tently b u tin vain. When they had exhausted themselves General Currie once more asked his men to resume the assault. They had then been fighting almost continuously for ten days and ten nights and in one of his official com­muniques Ludendorff refused to believe there were only two divisions of Canadians inaction and said there were a t least four. Yet there were only two divisions wasted in number but amazingly indefatigable. On August 23rd they attacked the Green Crassier a weed-grown slag-heap rising b they great railway yards of Lens. They hurled themselves against the position and the neighbouring fortresses smashed their throughway hedges of quick-set steel and stormed over tunnelled m achine-gun posts. They topped the crassier enveloped its eastern defences, and finally in the afternoon fought against the resurgent German tforces and though losing b y mere pressure of numbers the top of the crassier they were still clinging doggedly when night fell to the western side of the hill of cinders. B y this time it was reckoned they had shattered six German divisions— the 4th 7th and 8th Guards Divisions, the 1st Guards Reserve the 220th Division and the nth Reserve. There were also some brigades a t least of the 185th and Heroic tenacity the 36th Reserve Divisions employed of the Canadians against the Canadian Army Corps. A t times the Canadians themselves were very hard pressed and almost physically exhausted. They came out of the fight with their faces grey and drawn and their eyes heavy some of them walking like drunken men. “We made em pay ”was their verdict on their enemies in the prolonged and dreadful southern battle. While the Canadians were thus pressing the enemy a t Lens another British attack was organised in continual torrents of rain against the enem y's critical position on the western theatre of war— the Passchendaele Ridge. Undoubtedly the extraordinarily bad summer weather interfered with the execution of the plan of the British Comm ander-in-Chief. Even when he succeeded in weaken­ing the enemy at Lens so as to force him constantly to divide his reserves all the immense work of bringing forward the heavy artillery a t Ypres was so delayed that British official photograph. ALL HANDS TO THE WHEEL ON THE WESTERN FRONT. Water-cart which had got stuck in a bad bit of road having been hastily lightened by the removal of some of the heavy cans of liquid. While the horses tugged some of the soldiers sought to push and pull the cart level and others to lever the wheel out of the terrible clinging clay.
Add Names


We have sought to ensure that the content of this website complies with UK copyright law. Please note however, that we may have been unable to ascertain the rights holders of some items. Where we have digitised items, we have done so with items that to the best of our knowledge, following due investigations, are in the public domain. While the original works are in the public domain we reserve all rights to the usage of the digital works.

The document titled The Great War Part 181, February 2nd 1918 is beneath this layer.

To view this document now, please sign up as a full access member.

Free Account Registration

Please enter your first name
Please enter your surname
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter your password, it must be 8 or more characters

Already a member? Log in now
Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait