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The Rock-itt : August 2011
On that day also, 1 September 1918, Australian forces broke into Péronne and took most of the old town. The next day the m edieval walled town was in Australian hands. On those three days, without tanks or protective barrage, the Australians – at a cost of just over 3,000 casualties with 2,600 German prisoners – dealt a stunning blow to five German divisions and caused a general German withdrawal eastwards back to the Hindenburg Line. The taking of Mont St Quentin and Péronne have always been regarded as among the finest feats of the AIF on the Western Front and the intensity of the action is evident from the fact that seven Victoria Crosses were awarded to Australians on the 1st and 2nd September 1918. This victory for the Allies at Mont St Quentin dealt a massive blow to five German divisions, including the German elite 2nd Guards Division. As the position overlooked much of the terrain east of Mont St. Quentin, it was crucial to the Germans to hold it and showed the German High Command that it’s armies would not be able to stop the Allies west of the Hindenburg Line (the sam e position from which the Germans had launched their offensive in the spring). Attack on Mont St Quentin painted by Fred Leist A brass plaque memor ial by Bastian (he has made many of these plaques which commemorate t he Diggers Great War experience and are a must see on the West ern Front)