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Remembered Today:

South African Brigade’s Surrender


Somme1916
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As some of you know I am currently preparing a briefing and battlefield tour for the SHAPE Military History Society on OPERATION MICHAEL, the German Spring Offensive of 1918. Due to the enormity of the battle I’ve decided to focus my tour mainly on the saga of the 9th Scottish Infantry Division.

So far I’ve been able to locate many of the places I want to show our group except one. I am unable to pin down the area where the majority of the South African Brigade was finally forced to surrender after it’s most heroic stand on 24 Mar 18. From my readings I’ve been able to determine that the action occurred around Rancourt.

I assume it was probably astride what is now the N 17 on the South East side of Rancourt as the accounts state their stand halted the German advance for over 7 hours and stacked up traffic along the road to Bouchavesnes. Can anyone help me locate the scene of this fight?

My thanks,

Jon

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Jon - I have visited the site of this action several times with South Africans - if you email me privately I will be happy to give you directions.

I would normally post the details on this site, but there is quite a well preserved trench system in the area, and given how this information can be misued by the wrong people, I am not sure we should always be advertising this in the 'public domain'.

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Thanks Paul, I'll do that. As for the tour group I'll not point out the trench system you mentioned to them. Jon

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