SPECIAL REPORT ON 3RD C.D.A., O.O.143 BY LIEUT A.B. MANNING – BRIGADE F.O.O.
October 25TH 1917
As far as could be observed in poor light, the opening barrage was good. There were occasional high bursts apparently caused by poor ammunition. At Zero plus one minute enemy barrage opened in response to golden spray rockets. This barrage was placed along the low ground in D.9.b. and D.10.a. and in the vicinity of WATERLOO. It was thin at first but gradually increased in intensity with an occasional burst along routes of approaches.
At zero plus ten minutes enemy shortened his range and when light made observation possible our troops could be seen consolidating along crest line in line with Pill-boxes in D.4.d. central. The enemy shortly opened a heavy fire with 5.9s along this line.
Judging by enemy flares our troops appeared to be held up in the vicinity of SNIPE HALL, but our men could not be distinguished through smoke.
Situation remained stationary for some time with the enemy directing a fairly heavy scattered fire on D.9.b., D.10.a., D.4.c. and d., being heaviest along line of pill-boxes in D.4.d. central.
On the resumption of the barrage the smoke screen hid everything. Screen was very good, although an improvement could have been made by regulating the fire so that all shells would not burst simultaneously as was the case with this one. As a result the smoke screen occasionally became thin, though not thin enough to permit observation.
At 8.30 am our infantry could be observed retiring from crest of BELLEVUE RIDGE apparently without any pressure of enemy in front.
At 9.30 a.m. enemy fire slackened very considerably and at 10.00 AM was only just desultory.
Some small scattered parties of our men could still be seen along high ground in D.4.d. central.
Enemy contact planes flew over at 6.45AM and our first plane was over at 7.10AM.
At 12 noon our Infantry could be observed advancing towards the ridge they had left about D.4.d.0.5., d.0.8.
(sgd) A.B. MANNING
October 26th 1917
APPENDIX 15 or 16
9TH CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE
October 26th 1917
Visibility – Very poor in the morning. Fair at times in the afternoon.
5.40AM The 3rd C.D.A. Operation Order No 143 opened promptly on time and so far as could be noticed was regular and well placed.
At one minute after Zero Hour the enemy barrage opened up on our front line in response to golden spray rockets. Rain started to fall about 5.50 AM obscuring vision.
5.50AM The enemy barrage became very heavy at this time on our front line.
5.55AM The enemy barrage was dropped to his old front line and they also heavily shelled D.4.d. central
6.10AM Our Infantry were observed apparently making satisfactory progress.
6.20AM The enemy started to shell pill-boxes held by us and his fire became more scattered.
5.9s and 4.1s were mainly being used by the enemy.
6.25AM Small groups of prisoners were observed coming towards our old front line.
Our Infantry could be seen around the pill-boxes at BELLEVUE and so far our casualties appear to have been light.
6.40AM Our Infantry had passed over the first crest and apparently considerable machine gun fire was encountered.
6.45AM One single Hun plane patrolled our front line.
6.50AM Our smoke barrage was observed. It is raining very heavy now obscuring all observation.
7.20AM Three double white flares were sent up from about D.5.c.20.00.
A few more prisoners also seen coming through our lines.
7.35AM One of our contact planes flew over our own lines.
The rain is very heavy now and the enemy shelling is becoming more scattered.
8.00AM Our observers report very heavy casualties in the left Brigade.
5 single white lights were sent up from about SNIPE POST.
8.05AM Our smoke screen reported very effective, although a strong wind is blowing at this time.
The enemy is now bombarding our old front line very heavily.
8.20AM The supporting infantry moving up on our right have apparently [en]countered very heavy machine gun fire and are being held up by same.
8.25AM Considerable enemy movement observed about D.5. central.
8.30AM It is reported that the brigade on the right are falling back slightly and the 9th Brigade are conforming to this movement.
8.40AM It is reported that strong point at N.5.c.05.25 is holding up the infantry advance, and many casualties have been observed here.
8.50AM The infantry attack seems to have stopped.
9.05AM The enemy are placing a very heavy 5.9 barrage across D.4.d.
9.10AM Many Very Lights have been sent up from around BELLEVUE and the enemy is heavily barraging this point.
9.20AM A considerable number of the enemy was noticed coming from D.6.c. into D.5.b. & d.
Our infantry can now be seen working around several strong points.
10.20AM It is reported that the 38th Battalion has withdrawn and are establishing a line about D.10.b.9.2., D.10.b.3.7.
12.40PM Hostile shelling has now slackened down very much and our Infantry are again advancing over BELLEVUE SPUR.
The enemy are reported holding a line about D.5.c.50.80. – D.5.c.90.40. and our infantry holding a line about D.5.c.10.25. to D.11.a.90.80.
Continuous sniping is being done by the enemy from about D.5.d.20.20., inflicting many casualties on our infantry.
Many of the enemy can be seen coming from PASSCHENDAELE along the road in D.6.a.
2.00PM Huns reported to have evacuated D.5.c. and our infantry have inflicted many casualties on them.
3.40PM About 50 prisoners have been captured in a HUN pill-box.
4.10PM A considerable number of the enemy was seen collecting on the PASSCHENDAELE in D.12.a. and were taken on by our batteries and dispersed.
4.15PM to 5.00PM Many double, red and green rockets are being sent up by the enemy.
Adjt. 9th Canadian Artillery Brigade.