Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/100427
Type: Theses
Title: 1st Anzac Corps and the Battle of Pozières Ridge, 1916
Author: Hampton, Meleah Elizabeth
Issue Date: 2014
School/Discipline: School of History and Politics
Abstract: The first major action of the 1st Anzac Corps on the Western Front was the Battle of Pozières Ridge, which was conducted from 23 July to 3 September 1916. During this time the three divisions of 1st Anzac Corps rotated in and out of the line twice, each time conducting one or more offensive operations against heavily-defended German positions. At its conclusion, the fighting around Pozières and Mouquet Farm had to its record a very high casualty rate for only the most modest of territorial gains. This thesis examines the series of operations conducted by 1st Anzac Corps during the six weeks of the Battle of Pozières Ridge. These operations are more representative of the Somme than the large attacks like the ill-fated first day or the night attacks of 14-15 July. On any given day during the Battle of the Somme only a small percentage of the line was engaged in fighting the enemy – almost invariably in the same kind of limited, set-piece attacks made by 1st Anzac Corps at Pozières and Mouquet Farm. The particular focus of this thesis is on the agency of mid to low levels of command in the military hierarchy during this battle. Detailed reports, orders and message of the battle survive in the archives in the Australian War Memorial which are in so many cases simply unavailable for other contemporary British or Dominion formations. They allow a detailed examination of the fighting in this area that is simply not possible in so many cases because of a scarcity of records at lower levels. They reveal a wide range of operational approaches at brigade, battalion, and in some cases company level. They also, importantly, describe the point at which diversity and innovation could not have any impact at these lower levels as a result of problems at a higher level of command. After some initial success, 1st Anzac Corps began conducting operations that diminished in scope, with shorter objectives, smaller attacking forces and serious problems with coordination between the artillery and the infantry. Forward movement was increasingly limited and only correlated to Reserve Army’s strategic vision in the vaguest of terms. The Australian memorial at the Windmill carries the words of Charles Bean, who said ‘Australian troops… fell more thickly on this ridge than on any other battlefield of the war’. This study of the battle reveals that more often than not, this was an unnecessary waste of lives and resources for the most negligible of gains, if any gains were made at all.
Advisor: Prior, Robin Geoffrey
Sheffield, Gary
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of History and Politics, 2014.
Keywords: ANZAC
Pozières
First World War
Military command
Gough
Birdwood
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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