Battles - The Battle of Guillemont, 1916

Peronne during the Battle of the Somme 1916A subsidiary attack of the Somme Offensive, and launched at midday on 3 September 1916 under the protection of a creeping barrage (of 25 yards per minute) as part of a wider attack, the Battle of Guillemont was primarily intended to distract German attention away from the Romanian front where the Romanians were coming under increasing pressure, although the capture of Guillemont had been repeatedly attempted (and failed) earlier in July and August.

With its maze of underground tunnels, dugouts and concrete emplacements, Guillemont was a veritable fortress and an unquestionably tough nut to crack, as evidenced by the earlier failures of the British attacks during the previous two months.

The 3 September attack finally saw Guillemont fall to the British. Other targets during the wider attack, such as High Wood and the Schwaben Redoubt, remained however firmly in German hands. On the banks of the Somme the French succeeded in taking both villages of Clery and Omiecourt.

The attack continued until 6 September, with the British capturing Leuze Wood on 4-5 September (referred to as 'Lousy Wood' by the troops), some three miles east of the 1 July front line. The French meanwhile captured a further village, Bouchavesnes, on 4 September.

Photograph courtesy of Photos of the Great War website

"Harry Tate" was the nickname given by British pilots to the R.E.8 aircraft

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