The presentation will be live and online.
At 8:00 a.m. on 2 September 1918, the troops of the 4th Canadian Division, after breaking the Drocourt-Quéant line, advanced over Mont Dury into furious, accurate, and devastating German fire. They faced this fierce resistance unsupported by an artillery barrage that the Canadian high command suspended to allow Brigadier-General Brutinel’s Independent Force to charge down the Arras-Cambrai road. This force was to capture crossings over the Canal du Nord by a coup de main. Due to the lack of artillery support, the 4th Division could not advance, and it suffered crippling losses and disorganization.
That at least is the account supplied in the respected G.W.L. Nicholson’s 1962 Canadian official history and subsequent historians have treated it as canon. Nicholson based his narrative on comments provided in 1961 by Andrew McNaughton, the Canadian Corps’ Counter-Battery Staff Officer in 1918. The official historian’s narrative was clear, concise, convincing, and wrong.
The purpose of this presentation by Dr Bill Stewart is to advance a different explanation of what happened to the 4th Division, and why the official history garbled this event.
Members wishing to participate will need to register: details of how to register will be circulated via The Western Front Association's newsletter 'Trench Lines'. If you are not a subscriber to 'Trench Lines' please subscribe now.
To subscribe to Trench Lines, go to the homepage of The Western Front Association website and complete your details in the 'Newsletter sign up' box.
It is also possible to register by clicking this link: Failure on 2 September 1918 and the Flawed Canadian Official History
The talk will be undertaken using the 'Zoom' software which is freely available. It may not be necessary to load the software to your PC / iPad etc: but we would recommend doing so if you wish to participate in this event.
Please Note: Once registrations hit capacity (we have a 1000 limit on the webinars) then you won't be able to register. If this happens, you can still watch the event via the Facebook Live Stream (subject to any technical hitches) on our Facebook page. Alternatively, these are loaded to our YouTube channel where they can be watched a few weeks after the event.