Title: The Battle of Hamel
Author: Laffin, John
Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 1999
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 176 pages
Comments: The Battle of Hamel (4 July 1918) was a successful attack launched by the Australian Corps of the Australian Imperial Force and several American units against German positions in and around the town of Hamel in northern France during World War I. Inscription on the half title page and some underlining of text and notes in various sections of the book.
The battle was planned and commanded by Lieutenant General John Monash (later knighted). Many of the tactics used were illustrative of the departure from the largely unsuccessful tactics of earlier years and the development of modern military tactics such as the use of combined arms, which had previously been implemented in the Battle of Cambrai (1917). The battle was a success, with all objectives being achieved in 93 minutes, only 3 mins over the planned battle time of 90 minutes. In previous battles, using conventional tactics, the fighting could have lasted for weeks or months with much higher casualty rates. For example, a similar defensive position had resisted capture for two months in the Battle of the Somme.
The battle was notable because it was the first time in the war that American troops participated in an offensive action, and it was the first time that American troops served under non-American command. Four American companies in total participated with Australian troops under Australian command (although 3 of the companies were recalled before the battle).
There were 1062 Australian casualties (including 800 dead), as well as 176 American casualties (almost 100 dead), while there were probably 2000 Germans killed and 1,600 captured, along with much enemy equipment.