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Bourlon and Bourlon Wood. From 'The Tank Corps' by Major Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis
The Bapaume-Cambrai Road.
12. L.O. 28.
57º Bourlon & Wood

Bourlon and Bourlon Wood. From The Tank Corps by Major Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis.

Image text

The Bapaume-Cambrai Road.

12. L.O. 28.

57º Bourlon & Wood

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Thursday, November 22, 1917

"During November 22 [1917], the Germans had not only prevented any significant advances, but they had even taken back some ground. But most important of all, while Byng and his Third Army staff were preparing for the following day's attack on Bourlon, Rupprecht had obtained the one day of grace he so desperately needed. He now had sufficient reinforcements to be able to discount any idea of a general withdrawal. And so, with fresh troops entering the battle on both sides, the lines were now drawn up for a life and death struggle for the vital Bourlon Ridge."

Quotation Context

The British launched the Battle of Cambrai, the largest tank offensive yet seen, on November 20, 1917 with three tank brigades, 380 tanks in all, most of them Mark IVs. Where the tanks were well coordinated with the infantry, the two were able to advance up to 4½ miles on a 6-mile front. But the British had no rested reserves, and saw little success when they resumed the offensive on the 21st. On November 22, their goals were capturing Bourlon Wood and the villages of Bourlon and Fontaine-notre Dame. General Byng had the troops he had lacked on the 21st, but so did Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria.


The Battle of Cambrai by Brian Cooper, page 155, copyright © Bryan Cooper 1967, publisher: Stein and Day, publication date: 1968


1917-11-22, 1917, November, Battle of Cambrai, Cambrai, Byng, Rupprecht, Bourlon, Bourlon Ridge