Of the Hindenburg line, and to order a withdrawal of its troops to that fortified position.
Finally got as far forward as the Hindenburg reserve line about Nauroy; but the 3rd Australian Div.
Of the main Hindenburg line were successfully secured under cover of night.
In view of the fact that the First and Third British Armies were faced with strong positions in the Canal du Nord and the Scheldt canal, which it was advisable to carry prior to the general attack on the Hindenburg line behind the latter obstacle, it was decided that these two armies should open their operations a day earlier than the Fourth Army, so as to draw off the German reserves from the front of that army, which had to deliver the main attack and was faced with the most formidable defences.
Corps were able to carry out this programme without serious difficulty; but the Australians again met with stubborn resistance, and at the end of the day, though their right division, the 5th, had cleared the greater part of the Hindenburg reserve line, the 3rd Div., on the left, working up the Hindenburg line from the S., had been able to get no farther than S.
The capture of these defences, which would afford observation over the greater part of the main Hindenburg line proper, was of course an essential preliminary to any operation against the latter.
A series of partial offensives were therefore undertaken on the succeeding days, on both wings of the army, but with little real result; neither corps could succeed in attaining the final objectives of the first day's attack or clear the enemy entirely from the advanced defences of the Hindenburg line.
Corps was first to carry the Hindenburg system on its front and then to advance to the line Graincourt-Anneux, with exploitation if possible as far as CantaingFontaine Notre Dame.
All the German defences in the vicinity of Queant, where the Drocourt-Queant line joined the main Hindenburg line.
The whole of the Hindenburg line.