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The Battle of Menin Road: The Attack on Zonnebeke Wood Pill-Boxes and Redoubts

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“ENGLISH, SCOTTISH ‘AND WELSH BATTALIONS … STORMED ZONNEBEKE”: HIGHLANDERS TTACKING ZONNEBEKE WOOD ACROSS THE HAANEBECK STREAM, BEYOND WHICH ARE SEEN SOME GERMAN PILL- XES IN FRONT OF THE TREES.


” English, Scottish, and Welsh battalions, penetrating the enemy’s defences to a depth of nearly a mile, stormed ZonnebeLe, and gained the line of their objectives” So Sir Douas aig summarised in his despatch of September 26 the outcome of the attack by same of the troops who ae seen advancing under f in the illsration above. The Germane in the immediate front of the attack seen were mostly posted in groups of “pill – boes” and dusters of shell-oles holding machine – guns, and in o tered the tree-s of the wood. In addition, there were isolated machine-gun detachment on the far side of the stream (the Hanebeck), the com e of which i viAble acrod the cen e of the ihstration to the right The stream was some six feet in width. The edge of the wood seen lay some two hundred and fifty yards beyond the stream. A tighld battalioE n (one of the egments mentioned i


Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch quoted) is shown crossing in the open, over ground broken up everywhere, and pitted with shell-holes. The smoke of the British barrage fire extends right across the background of the view and among the trees of the wood. Two large German “pill-boes ” appear in the centre of the illustration, just in advance of the near edge of the wood. Others were dckhloned towards the left, immediately in front of Zonnebeke village itself. Says a correspondent: “The pill-box garrisons varied in size. One daring English officer with a few men captured thirteen men in one, and parties of seven to twenty came out of other shelters.” He adds that “Prussian Guards were posted in the pill-boxes covering the approaches to the village,” Salso that, ” the occupants of the various redoubts and shell-holes came out with hands raised as soon as the British troops were upon them.”–[Draw g Copyi in .e Uitf SAtes ~d Caleda



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