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