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The attack was the largest in the British sector since September and had a seven-day preliminary bombardment, which was twice as heavy as that of 1 July. Beaumont Hamel, St. Pierre Divion and Beaucourt were captured, which threatened the German hold on Serre further north. Edmund Blunden called the battle "a feat of arms vieing (sic) with any recorded. The enemy was surprised and beaten". Four German divisions had to be relieved due to the number of casualties they suffered and over 7,000 German troops were taken prisoner.


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>The attack was the largest in the British sector since September and had a seven-day preliminary bombardment, which was twice as heavy as that of 1 July. Beaumont Hamel, St. Pierre Divion and Beaucourt were captured, which threatened the German hold on Serre further north. ⇒この攻撃は、7日間の予備爆撃を行ったが、英国軍の部門では9月以来最大で、7月1日分の二倍規模であった。ボーモント・ハーメル、サン・ピエール・ディヴィオンおよびボークールを攻略したので、それよりさらに北のセールにあるドイツ軍の保有地を脅かした。 >Edmund Blunden called the battle "a feat of arms vieing* (sic) with any recorded. The enemy was surprised and beaten". Four German divisions had to be relieved due to the number of casualties they suffered and over 7,000 German troops were taken prisoner. ⇒エドムンド・ブランデンはその戦いをこう呼んだ。曰く、「いかなる記録にもvieing(原文のまま)する*戦闘の功績です。敵は驚嘆し、敗走しました」と。(事実)ドイツ軍の4個師団が多数の犠牲者を被り、7,000人以上のドイツ軍隊が捕囚されたので、救援を必要としていた。 *vieing:正しくは、vying(vie「競う、張り合う」の現在分詞)とすべきところでしょう。これが正しいとすれば、該当する部分の訳文は次のようになります。 →エドムンド・ブランデンはその戦いをこう呼んだ。曰く、「いかなる記録にも匹敵する戦闘の功績です。敵は驚嘆し、敗走しました」と。





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    . It was fought by the Fifth Army (the Reserve Army had been renamed on 30 October) under the command of Lieutenant-General Hubert Gough, against the German 1st Army (General Fritz von Below). The intent of the British attack was to fulfil complementary objectives. Political discontent in London would be muted by a big victory, as would doubts of British commitment by its allies; British loyalty to the Chantilly strategy of 1915 would be seen to be upheld and the capture of Beaumont Hamel and Serre would go some way to redeem the failure of 1 July and obtain ground on which the British would have a tactical advantage.

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    The trench ran north-west to south-east below the crest of Beaumont Hamel spur and Beaucourt Trench ran east from the south end of New Munich Trench. The British line was parallel to the German Munich Trench and Muck Trench. Conditions were worse if possible, than those on the south side of the Ancre valley, causing much sickness, despite precautions like rubbing whale-oil into the feet to prevent trench foot and bringing dry socks up with the rations. One battalion had 38 men sick after a short period in the line. The temperature dropped several times in December, which began to harden the ground but this brought torrential rains, which was an even worse ordeal. British casualties from snipers were frequent and on one trench relief, the mud was so bad that a special rescue-party had to be sent to dig out troops caught in the mud.

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    The division ascribed the success to the excellence of their training, an excellent creeping barrage and smoke shell, which had thickened the mist and blinded the German defenders; gas shell barrages on the German reinforcement routes had depressed German morale. The 51st Division further north, had the same task on Poelcappelle spur. The division advanced with one brigade on a 1,400 yd (1,300 m) front. The Germans in the Wilhemstellung were ready for them and fought until they were almost annihilated, in new machine-gun nests that they had dug in front of their front line, which had avoided the worst of the artillery bombardment. The division reached the final objective in sight of Poelcappelle village. By these advances, XVIII Corps got observation of Poelcappelle and up the Lekkerboterbeek and Lauterbeek valleys, the capture of which allowed British artillery to move forward of the Steenbeek. The 20th Division on the right of XIV Corps, had to form the northern defensive flank of the offensive, on a front of 1,400 yd (1,300 m) from Poelcappelle spur to the Ypres–Staden railway. Two brigades attacked with two battalions each. The German Wilhemstellung, here known as Eagle trench, was held as determinedly as that part in the 51st Division sector (Pheasant Trench) despite a bombardment from Livens Projectors (which fell behind the German trench and illuminated the British infantry as they advanced). By the end of the day the division was still short of the first objective, except on the left next to the railway. The British offensive had captured most of the German outpost zones, to a depth of about 1,500 yd (1,400 m). As the ground was captured it was prepared for defence, in anticipation of counter-attacks by the German Eingreifdivisionen. Captured German machine-gun nests and strong points were garrisoned and wired with German barbed wire found in the area. The final objective became the outpost zone and the second objective the main line of resistance, a chain of irregular posts using shell-holes concealed by folds of the ground and reverse slopes, avoiding trenches which attracted German shellfire.

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    The last part of Puisieux Trench was captured in the morning at 11:30 a.m., with 671 British casualties and 176 German prisoners taken. Grandcourt on the south bank of the Ancre, had been made untenable and was abandoned by the Germans overnight, which led the British to bring forward an attack on Baillescourt Farm, late on 7 February by the 63rd Division. The division captured the farm and south of Grandcourt, part of Folly Trench was taken by the 18th Division. On 10 February the 32nd Division threatened Serre with an advance of 600 yards (550 m), capturing the rest of Ten Tree Alley east of the road from Beaumont to Serre. The temperature was still below freezing but slightly warmer than earlier, which made movement relatively easy for the 97th Brigade battalions, which attacked on a front of 1,100 yards (1,000 m).

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    The cost of the Nivelle Offensive in casualties and loss of morale were great but German losses were also high and the tactical success of the offensive in capturing elaborately fortified positions and defeating counter-attacks, reduced German morale. The German had been forced from three of the strongest positions on the Western Front and had failed to recapture them. Vimy Ridge, the Scarpe Heights, the caverns, spurs and plateau of the Chemin des Dames and the Moronvilliers massif had been occupied for more than two years, carefully surveyed by German engineers and fortified to make them impregnable. In six weeks all were lost and the Germans were left clinging to the eastern or northern edges of the ridges of the summits, having lost the western or southern sides. The French tactic of assault brutal et continu suited the German defensive dispositions, since much of the new construction had taken place on reverse slopes. The speed of attack and the depth of the French objectives meant that there was no time to establish artillery observation posts overlooking the Ailette valley, in the areas where French infantry had reached the ridge. The tunnels and caves under the ridge nullified the destructive effect of the French artillery, which was also inhibited by poor weather, which reduced observation and by German air superiority, which made French artillery-observation aircraft even less effective.

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    The Germans then withdrew from much of the R. I Stellung to the R. II Stellung on 11 March, forestalling a British attack, which went un-noticed by the British until dark on 12 March; the main German withdrawal further south from the Noyon salient to the Hindenburg Line (Operation Alberich) commenced on schedule on 16 March.By the end of 1916, the German defences on the south bank of the Ancre valley, had been pushed back from the original front line of 1 July 1916 and were based on the sites of fortified villages, connected by networks of trenches, most on reverse slopes sheltered from observation from the south and obscured from the north by the convex nature of the slopes. On the north bank the Germans had retained most of the Beaumont-Hamel spur, beyond which to the north were the original front line defences, running west of Serre northwards to Gommecourt and Monchy-au-Bois.

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    After the war, Churchill wrote, All they saw was that the British did not hesitate to hazard their greatest vessels as well as their light craft in the most daring offensive action and had escaped apparently unscathed. They felt as we should have felt had German destroyers broken into the Solent and their battle cruisers penetrated as far as the Nab. The results of this action were far-reaching. Henceforward, the weight of British Naval prestige lay heavy across all German sea enterprise ... The German Navy was indeed "muzzled". Except for furtive movements by individual submarines and minelayers, not a dog stirred from August till November. — Churchill The Germans knew nothing of our defective staff work or the risks we had run. — Churchill Lieutenant Stephen King-Hall on Southampton, later wrote about the battle that As may be deduced from these extracts the staff work was almost criminally negligent and it was a near miracle that we did not sink one or more of our submarines or that one of them did not sink us. Furthermore if anyone had suggested, say in 1917, that our battle-cruisers should rush about without anti-submarine protection and hundreds of miles away from the battle fleet in a mine infested area a few miles from the German battle fleet, he would have been certified on the spot. It was because the presence of unsupported battle-cruisers was absurd that the logical Germans were sitting in Wilhelmshafen unable to move because the tide was too low on the bar of the Jade river! I should like to be able to write that this important hydrographical circumstance was part of the plan, but it was only discovered long afterwards. Nevertheless the strategical and indeed political consequences of this affair were of great importance. The German Navy was manned by a personnel no less courageous and at least as well trained as our own; their ships were superior type for type; their gunnery was more accurate. Yet in the mind of every German seaman was the reflection that they were challenging the might of a navy which, by and large, had dominated the seas for four centuries. The German seaman had a respect and almost traditional veneration for the British Royal navy, and entered the war with an inferiority complex in striking contrast to the superiority complex which the German Army felt towards all other armies. It was therefore a rude shock to the German Navy ... to learn of this audacious manoeuvre and successful engagement literally within sight of the main German base. — King-Hall

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    In Central Europe Germany was to recognize the independence of Czechoslovakia and cede parts of the province of Upper Silesia. Germany had to recognize the independence of Poland and renounce "all rights and title over the territory". Portions of Upper Silesia were to be ceded to Poland, with the future of the rest of the province to be decided by plebiscite. The border would be fixed with regard to the vote and to the geographical and economic conditions of each locality. The province of Posen (now Poznań), which had come under Polish control during the Greater Poland Uprising, was also to be ceded to Poland. Pomerelia (Eastern Pomerania), on historical and ethnic grounds, was transferred to Poland so that the new state could have access to the sea and became known as the Polish Corridor. The sovereignty of part of southern East Prussia was to be decided via plebiscite while the East Prussian Soldau area, which was astride the rail line between Warsaw and Danzig, was transferred to Poland outright without plebiscite. An area of 51,800 square kilometres (20,000 square miles) was granted to Poland at the expense of Germany. Memel was to be ceded to the Allied and Associated powers, for disposal according to their wishes. Germany was to cede the city of Danzig and its hinterland, including the delta of the Vistula River on the Baltic Sea, for the League of Nations to establish the Free City of Danzig.Article 119 of the treaty required Germany to renounce sovereignty over former colonies and Article 22 converted the territories into League of Nations mandates under the control of Allied states. Togoland and German Kamerun (Cameroon) were transferred to France. Ruanda and Urundi were allocated to Belgium, whereas German South-West Africa went to South Africa and the United Kingdom obtained German East Africa. As compensation for the German invasion of Portuguese Africa, Portugal was granted the Kionga Triangle, a sliver of German East Africa in northern Mozambique. Article 156 of the treaty transferred German concessions in Shandong, China, to Japan, not to China. Japan was granted all German possessions in the Pacific north of the equator and those south of the equator went to Australia, except for German Samoa, which was taken by New Zealand.

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    On the night of 1/2 January, a German attack captured Hope Post near the Beaumont Hamel–Serre road, before being lost with another post on the night of 5/6 January. The Fifth Army held about 10 miles (16 km) of the Somme front in January 1917, from Le Sars westwards to the Grandcourt–Thiepval road, across the Ancre east of Beaucourt, along the lower slopes of the Beaumont-Hamel spur, to the original front line south of the Serre road, north to Gommecourt Park. The right flank was held by IV Corps up to the north side of the Ancre river, with the XIII Corps on the north bank up to the boundary with the Third Army. II Corps and V Corps were in reserve resting, training and preparing to relieve the corps in line around 7–21 February, except for the divisional artilleries, which were to be joined by those of the relieving divisions.

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    Joffre set 14 August as the date when the First and Second armies were to invade Lorraine between Toul and Épinal, south of the German fortified area of Metz-Thionville. The First Army was to attack in the south with four corps, towards Sarrebourg 60 kilometres (37 mi) east of Nancy and Donon 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of Sarrebourg. Passes in the Vosges to the south of Donon were to be captured before the main advance began. The Second Army was to attack towards Morhange 45 kilometres (28 mi) north-east of Nancy, with two corps north of the First Army and three advancing successively behind the left flank of the corps to the south, to counter a German attack from Metz. The French offensive was complicated by the two armies diverging as they advanced, on difficult terrain particularly in the south, the combined fronts eventually being 150 kilometres (93 mi) wide. The advances of the First and Second armies were to attract German forces towards the south, while a French manoeuvre took place in Belgium and Luxembourg, to pierce a weak point in the German deployment and then destroy the main German armies.