OCR Interpretation

The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, December 25, 1918, Image 11

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-12-25/ed-1/seq-11/

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The GJ1S ATTACK which were lying with their faces toward the front, obviously being' killed as they were advancing;. Not in any one case was there a man moving- backward when killed. Owing' to the nature of the country, the Ger­ mans were able to get infilading machine gun fire which proved very disastrous. Although the27th Division may not have taken their objectives in all parts, it is very evident that by their gallant fighting on the left flank they enabled the Both Division, on their right, to do what they had set out to do, viz : to break through the Hin- denburg line. Without the gallant fighting of the men of the 27th Division against great odds, it would have been impossible for the 3oth Division to advance. I am convinced that the officers and men of the 27th Division have done all that was humanly possible for brave men to do and their gallantry in this action must stand out through all time in American History. ” The Commanding General of the Australian division which fought with us in the big smash-through, has, in these words to General O’Ryan, expressed an appre­ ciation and hope which all men of the 27th Division like­ wise entertain towards the daring fighters of General Gellibrand’s own command. France, October 14, 1918. General : On behalf of all ranks of the 3 rd Australian Division, I desire to express our sincere appreciation of the fight­ ing qualities displayed by the 27th Division U S. on the 27th and 29th September last. The gallant manner in which your troops faced an extremely difficult task, the determination of their attacks on a strongly entrenched position, and the undaunted spirit with which they met their losses make us hope that we shall again have the honour of fighting alongside the Division under your command. The confidence of the men in their officers appealed to us as a particularly happy omen for the future successes of the 27th. V e r y respectfully, I. G e l l i b r a n d , Major General, Com dg. 3 rd Australian Division. On October 22, General Rawlinson, commanding the Fourth British Army, addressed a communication to the Second American Corps which speaks in high terms of the Twenty-Seventh and Thirtieth Divisions. Three paragraphs of this communication refer directly to these troops. Fourth Army No. G. S. 2/25. II A m e r i c a n c o r p s . Now that the American Corps has come out of the line for a well earned period of rest and training, I desire to place on record my appreciation of the great gallantry and the fine soldierly spirit they have displayed throughout the recent hard fighting. The breaking of the great Hindenburg system of defense, coupled with the capture of Grandcourt, Busigny and Saint-Soup let, and finally the forcing o f the passages of the Selle River constitute a series of victories of which each officer, N . C . O . and man has every reason to feel proud. The outstanding feature of their recent victories has been the surpassing gallantry and self-sacrifice of the regimental officers and men. I congratulate them on their prowess and offer them one and all my warmest thanks for the leading part they have taken in the recent operations. From war correspondents who write their stories on the field of battle come the most accurate accounts of the war, and i t i s from the story of C. E. W . Bean, found in the London Times of September 3 o, that the following is taken : There is not the slightest doubt that, in their first assault yesterday, the Americans reached Gouy. Further south, where the American attack seized Bellicourt and Nauroy, the Australians passed through yesterday afternoon and reached Joncourt exactly according to programme. They found here a certain number of Ame­ rican troops, who carried their first magnificent assault far beyond their objectives. Some day, when the full history of the American attack yesterday can be told, the American people will have every reason to thrill with pride at these magnifi­ cent troops upon whom the tremendous task o f yesterday fell. Never in this war have I seen keener or braver soldiers or more intelligent and high-minded men. These two Divisions, young in experience, were faced with the formidable task of breaking through two dou­ ble systems of the greatest defense line the Germans ever constructed at the end where the enemy knew it was certain that the attack must come within a few days. The tunnels, dug-outs, and every nook and cranny of that system were garrisoned. Uncertainty in regard to the position of ttheir own front line on the left of the attack made the task still more difficult. Yet these troops carried through this formidable assault, and penetrated deeper even than was intended, and delivered to the Germans a blow which attracted the greater part of the enemy opposition, and which, beyond all question, enabled the great defense to be broken in a position which was of the utmost importance to the Allied advance.

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