Independent Publishers Group
Victory at Villers-Bretonneux: Why a French Town Will Never Forget the Anzacs
by Peter Fitzsimons
It’s early 1918, and the fate of World War I hangs in the balance. The Bolsheviks have seized power in Russia, meaning that one million of the Kaiser’s soldiers can be transferred to the Western Front. Two million American soldiers are also on their way. Germany's only hope is striking at the Allied lines first, and on March 21, 1918, the Kaiserschlacht, the Kaiser’s battle, is launched. Two million German soldiers hurl themselves at the Allied lines, intent ondriving through to the town of Villers-Bretonneux.
For two weeks the Germans advance without check as exhausted British troops and French refugees flee. In desperation, the British commander calls upon the Australian soldiers to stop the advance. If the Australians can hold the gate to the train-hub town of Amiens, the Germans will not win the war. The Australians hold off the Germans, launching a vicious counterattack. On Anzac Day 1918, when the town falls after all, it is again the Australians who are called on to save the day.
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