Battle of Morval, 25-28 September 1916

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The battle of Morval, 25-28 September 1916, was a continuation of the battle of Flers-Courcelette (15-23 September), designed to capture those objectives of the earlier battle that had not been secured during the successful advances on its first two days.

It was carried out by the Fourth Army (Rawlinson), and involved XIV Corps, which attacked east towards Morval and Lesboeufs, and XV Corps, which attacked north towards Gueudecourt.

The XIV corps attack was a success. Backed up by a well timed creeping barrage, four divisions advanced into the two villages, despite encountering patches of uncut wire. By 5.30 headquarters knew that the villages had been captured.

The XV corps attack on Gueudecourt was not so successful. The 21st Division (Major-General D. G. M. Campbell) was meant to take the village, but one brigade got stuck in front of uncut wire and another was hit by machinegun fire from the side and forced to pull back. To their left the 55th Division and the 1st New Zealand Brigade did better, reaching their final objectives by mid-afternoon.

On 26 September the attack on Gueudecourt was renewed. It was reconnoitred by a squadron of cavalry from the Sialkot Cavalry Brigade, and then occupied by troops from the Leicestershire regiment at about 4.30pm.

On the same day it was discovered that the Germans had abandoned Combles, at the junction between the British and French armies. Both sent parties into the village early in the day. A new front line was created north of the village, improving the links between the two armies.  

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 September 2007), Battle of Morval, 25-28 September 1916 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_morval.html

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