Battle of Fromelles
A total of 5,533 casualties (with around 2,000 dead) in one night. The catch cry of the battle was “Don’t forget me cobber” due to the fact that so many soldiers were left wounded in no man’s land. For the 3 days and nights after the battle, men risked their lives to go into no man’s land to save 300 of their wounded mates. A German soldier at Fromelles facing the Australians was Corporal Adolf Hitler.
The Battle of Fromelles was an absolute disaster… preparations were inadequate and rushed. The enemy was on higher ground and could easily observe what was happening. The artillery failed to deal with the German Sugarloaf machine-guns which cut through the Australian attack, which was described at the time as ‘a bloody holocaust’. A senior artillery commander at that time complained that he was not given sufficient time to fully understand the battlefield and setup his artillery batteries properly. He didn’t even have a decent map to fully understand the messages he received during the battle.
Many Australian soldiers were never found after this battle and have no known grave.
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