Mont St Quentin

A Soldier's Battle

By Bill Billett

Toward the end of World War I, France's Mont St Quentin and the town of P?ronne were the final key strongholds to Germany's defense of the Somme River. Because of the importance of this vitally strategic area, Australia's General John Monash was keen to capture the region and thus possess a valuable position. Between August 31 and September 5, 1918, Australian forces fought to take command. General Monash planned, in innovative detail, the strategic planning of the attack. It was a free-maneuver assault across very open ground, using old trench systems for cover in advance, without tank support or artillery moving barrages. Much of the fighting was hand-to-hand combat. The village of St Quentin was taken by the Australian forces and held against counterattack. The forces then advanced on P?ronne, which was cleared street by street and house by house. The fight included battalions from every Australian state. It had been remarked that this feat by the Australian troops under Monash's command was the greatest of the war. This book is a detailed account of the planning and execution of this battle, the sometimes horrific human experience, and the courage that led to eight members of the First Australian Imperial Force being awarded the Victoria Cross (Australia's highest military decoration). The book describes advances in military tactics, in maintaining morale, and in the technology of battle, as well as examining the record of General Monash as a military commander. It also includes historical and contemporary photographs, maps and diagrams, and travel information for those who wish to make a pilgrimage to the Mont St Quentin area and see for themselves where and how the battle was fought.

184 pages

Publication Date: 8/25/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781877058875