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Extracts from "the Australians' final campaign 1918&

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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2011 22:32    Onderwerp: Extracts from "the Australians' final campaign 1918& Reageer met quote

Extracts from "the Australians' final campaign 1918″

This iconic film is about 48 minutes long. What you see here is a selection of footage providing an idea of what war was like for Australians in the final year of the First World War, 90 years ago. The film was shot by Herbert Baldwin and George Wilkins.

Herbert Baldwin was an English press photographer, who recorded the exploits of Australian troops on the Western Front throughout late 1916 and early 1917. Baldwin was appointed to "preserve" pictorially the movements and actions of Australian soldiers, and the landscapes over which those actions took place. Baldwin took over 540 photographs on glass plates, and they are among the most beautiful images of the war. Baldwin's already fragile health, both physical and emotional, was irreparably damaged during the "tremendous barrage" that accompanied the Messines attack of June 1917. He was unable to work afterwards, and returned to London.

Wilkins was an explorer, war photographer and cinematographer, commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Australian Flying Corps but was prevented from operational flying because of colour blindness. In July 1917 he was appointed as an official photographer with the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and reached the Western Front in time to photograph the Australians during the Passchendaele campaign. By mid 1918, now a captain, he was given command of No. 3 (Photographic) Sub-Section of the Australian War Records unit.

After the third battle of Ypres in September-November 1917 the Australians were put in to hold the Messines Wytschaete sector and to prepare defences against the expected German 1918 spring offensive. The German offensive was launched on 21 March 1918 in the direction of Amiens and the Australians were sent to meet it. Major actions were fought in April 1918 (4th and 24/25th April) around Villers Bretonneux which, in two battles, was retaken by the Australians. At the end of May Lieutenant General Sir John Monash took command of the Australian Corps from General Birdwood. On 4th July the Battle of Hamel was fought by Australians and Americans under Australian command. On 8 August the Allied offensive took place with tanks and cavalry used on a large scale. General Monash was invested with his knighthood by King George V at Corps HQ Bertangles. On 1 September the 2nd Division captured Mont St Quentin and the adjoining town of Peronne was taken by the 5th Division. At Chuignes the 3rd Battalion captured their largest trophy ever, a 38-cm naval gun weighing over 500 tons. From 29 September-1 October, Australians (3rd & 5th Divisions) and Americans broke through the Hindenburg Line after the Americans were initially checked at Gillemont Farm. On 21 September 1918 the 53rd Battalion held a memorial parade at Quinconce.
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