Heroes of Hamel

Heroes of Hamel

The Australians and Americans whose WWI victory changed modern warfare

by Stephen Dando-Collins

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 28/05/2018

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July 4, 2018 will see the 100th anniversary of the World War One Battle of Hamel, fought on the Somme on American Independence Day, an Allied victory, achieved in a staggering 93 minutes, which introduced tactics that dramatically turned the tide against the Germans and changed the way that war is fought.

The battle of Hamel was remarkable for its speed, the tactics employed, numerous acts of extreme bravery, and the fact that for the first time in history American troops fought under Australian command.

The Battle of Hamel, explores the preparations and ramifications for this blitzkreig and the parts played by six men in particular:

  • General John Monash, a former Melbourne engineer who had risen through militia ranks to become the first Australian corps commander of WWI, and who put his career on the line by conceiving and commanding the bold Hamel assault, implementing it despite the reservations of his British superior and the interference of American commander General Pershing and Monash’s own Australian prime minister, Billy Hughes.
  • Australians Private Henry Dalziel and Lance Corporal Jack Axford, who both won the Victoria Cross (VC) for their gallantry during the battle, and Sergeant Ned Searle (who is related to Stephen Dando-Collins), who set out to win a Victoria Cross during the battle. 
  • Colonel Joseph B Sanborn, at 64 supposedly much too old for front line service, yet who, as commander of the American 131st Regiment, defied the orders of US commander General Pershing to lead his men into battle alongside the Australians. On General Monash’s recommendation, Sanborn was awarded the British Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). 
  • American Corporal Thomas Pope, who won America’s highest gallantry award, the Medal of Honor (MOH), for his part in the Battle of Hamel, becoming the first member of the US Army to be awarded the Medal of Honor in World War One. Pope would live to 94, becoming the last WWI Medal of Honor winner to pass away.
ISBN:
9780143787600
9780143787600
Category:
Military history
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
28-05-2018
Publisher:
Random House Australia
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
336
Dimensions (mm):
234x155x28mm
Weight:
0.47kg
Stephen Dando-Collins

Stephen Dando-Collins is the author of the acclaimed Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny. Pasteur's Gambit was shortlisted for the science prize in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and won the Queensland Premier's Science Award. Crack Hardy, his most personal history, received wide acclaim. Mistaken Identity tells another episode of previously undiscovered Australian history. Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus is a biography of Australia's Father of Federation.

He also writes about American and ancient Greek history, and his series about the legions of ancient Rome has found considerable success in the US, UK and Australia and been translated into numerous foreign languages. Stephen has also written several books for children and young adults including the Caesar the War Dog series, Tank Boys and Chance in a Million. Stephen and his wife, Louise, live and write in a former nunnery in Tasmania's Tamar Valley.

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