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Pozieres Ridge, Somme day 23

Engagement/Skirmish Name : Pozieres Ridge, Somme day 23

Date(s) : 23 July 1916

Part of : First World War , The Western Front , The Battle of the Somme ,

Outcome : A victory for British & Commonwealth Forces over German Forces

Type of battle : Land


Pozieres lay astride the Albert-Bapaume Road with the crest of the ridge beyond the eastern edge of the village. The action to gain Pozieres ran from the 23rd July to the 3rd September. Although most of the attacks were repulsed success on the right of X Corps and the Australian advance gained the village.

More details

XIII Corps. The 19th Batt Manchester Regt. assaulted Guillemont from Trones Wood found the wire uncut, got into the village but were forced to withdraw. 2nd Green Howards aiming futher north lost their bearings in the smoke and half-light they fell back on Waterlot Farm. 7th Shropshire L.I. Regt. made little headway in their attempt to clear ground to the south of the railway. They too fell back on Waterlot Farm. The 2nd Royal Scots[8th Brigade, 3rd Division] tried to bomb down trenches from Waterlot Farm but could not hold gains they made. The mix of units assembled at Waterlot Farm threw back a serious counter-attack in the afternoon.
1st Batt. Northumberland Fusiliers followed by the 13th Batt. King's Regt. and 12th Batt. West Yorkshire Regt. made considerable progress but were met with maching gun fire and eventually force to fall back to their starting line.
1st Batt. East Surrey Regt. and 1st Batt. Duke of Cornwall's L. I. captured a strong point but were counter-attacked and fell back to their start line.
XV Corps. The 14th Royal Warwicks and the 1st Royal West Kents made good ground in their attempt to take Wood Lane. They came under machine-gun fire from High Wood and Wood Trench and had to fall back. A second attempt by 2nd Batt King's Own Scottish Borderers and 15th Batt. Royal Warwicks all came to nothing. These two attempts cost over a thousand men.
The1/4th Gordons and the 1/9th Royal Scots attempted to advance at 1.30am. They suffered heavy casulaties from shelling and machine gun fire and were driven back to their start line by 3am.
III Corps The 19th divisional advance at 00.30hrs was repulsed by heavy machine gun fire. They were withdrawn between 0300 and 0400hrs. Similarly the 1st Division failed to reach its objective because of concealled machine gun fire.
X Corps The 48th Division's first wave attacks were mown down, a German counter attack at dawn was repulsed. A further advance by 145 brigade achieved some success taking the railway track and the trenches to the east of it.
Anzac Corps. The 00.30hrs advance of the 1st Australian Division was the most successful move of the day. By the end of the day the village of Pozieres had been taken, counter attacks repulsed and the gains consolidated.