The Battle Of Fromelles
The battle of Fromelles was a tragic day in Australian military history due to the enormous losses that were sustained by the Australian troops on the 19-20 of July 1916. The battle of Fromelles was used as an attempt to stop the Germans from reinforcing their troops on the western front. The battle saw an end to the tragic Somme offensive. Despite this battle saw a staggering amount of Australian casualties 2000 deaths. These deaths were mostly caused by the devastating weapons that were used from a distance from the Germans.
One reason why the battle of Fromelles was saw such heavy losses was because of the long rage weapons used by the Germans. These weapons were used by both sides in the war but in this battle the Germans used cannonades and machine guns to successfully mow down the Australian troops. Private Jimmy Dowling depicts the weapons used and the effect when he writes in source 4 "Stammering scores of German machine-guns spluttered violently, drowning the noise of the cannonade. The air was thick with bullets, swishing in a flat, criss-crossed lattice of death … Hundreds were mown down in the flicker of an eyelid, like great rows of teeth knocked from a comb.” Private Dowling conveys the weapons that were used in the impact that they had on the parties involved in the battle. The weapons used in this battle brought about the tragic nature of the battle which was a dark day in our military history.
In addition to the to the weapons used the conditions of the battlefield led to the devastating nature of the battle. The conditions played a major role in the movement of the battle and this was particularly evident in the presence of mud on the western front. The interactive map in source two allows people to explore the effect of mud on the advancement of Australian troops. The advancement of Australian troops was significantly delayed by the presence of at times knee deep mud that while slowing their movements made them targets for the Germans. The poor conditions can be attributed to the vast amount of casualties that led to this being a tragic day in Australian military history.
Another reason that led to the devastating nature of the battle was the role that the Australians played in it. The battle of Fromelles was orchestrated in order to stop the German high command from reinforcing their troops at the battle of the Somme this meant that the Australians were essentially sacrificing themselves “for the greater good”. Sources one showcase the sacrifice that the Australian troops made in the form of their lives in this apparent suicide mission. The devastation of the heavy losses sustained in this battle were made only more devastating by the nature of the battle which lent itself to the needless loss of Australian lives.
Despite this this some may argue that the outcome of the battle makes it a success not a devastating day in Australia’s history. The battle of Fromelles brought an end to the longest battle on the western front the Somme offensive. Source two showcases this battles effect on the war through war through its multimedia presentations. While these presentations showcase the effects battle on the war they also showcase the needles loss of life that took place when it states “Battle outcomes: no territory gained or lost; some 5,500 Australians and 2,000 British troops” this extract the senseless loss of life that took place. This senseless loss of life is one of the things that led to the devastating nature of this battle.
The battle of Fromelles of was if nothing else a suicide mission used as a diversion in order to stop the Germans reinforcing their troops on the front line. The battle took place in what was hard conditions for the Australians to fight in which left them open to the German fire from their machine guns and cannonades. Despite this some people that the effect of the battle on the Somme offensive means that this is a battle to be celebrated but in reality the battle was a senseless loss of life that ledl ittle to no movement of the controlled territory. In essence the battle of Fromelles was a tragic day in Australian military history due to the enormous losses that were sustained by the Australian troops on the 19-20 of July 1916.