The Last Battle Of The Aif : Montbrehain, 5 October 1918 (English Edition)
Autor : Lex Mcaulay
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There are numerous books, magazine articles and films about Australian Imperial Force actions fought in World War 1, but few, if any, about the last ground action fought.This was by two Victorian infantry battalions, the 21st and 24th, at Montbrehain on 5 October 1918.The attack was made to assist two British attacks to the north and south, and to allow US troops to then relieve the Australians and begin their own attacks.Tanks and Australian artillery were provided but the tanks did not arrive in time and for much of the battle Australian artillery consistently fell on the Australian troops.The complaint by the battalion commander was ignored at Division level, and the circumstances are explained in this account of the battle.Exploits of some of the participants, with personal details for them, are included.There were a few 'rough diamonds' and 'likeable rogues' among them.The last Victoria Cross won by the AIF in 1918 was won in this battle.The saddest aspect of this last battle is that many casualties were men who had enlisted in 1914 and early 1915, and were veterans of Gallipoli and the battles since, only to fall in this final action.After the battle, one of the battalions was disbanded, and the reasons are included here.There are a few items from the 24th Battalion newsletter, one concerning a soldier mentioned in this account of the battle, to give a flavor of the unit and times, and AIF establishments and strengths 'on the ground' are included, plus AIF rates of pay allowed drawn in France. The German units involved and the results, as known to the AIF later, are included. After Montbrehain, the AIF was withdrawn to rest and prepare for the expected attacks later into Germany, but with the Armistice on 11 November, this was not necessary.Some photos of men mentioned are included but for many there is no known image in the archives. This is an account of that final land battle fought by the AIF in 1918.