SECRET. Copy No. 18
25th Feby 1917
20TH DIVISION OPERATION ORDER NO. 137.
Reference Maps: – 1/100,000 Sheets 11, 12, 17, 18.
- The Fifth Army last night gained considerable ground, and are reported to have already occupied MIRAUMONT, PYS and many German trenches between GUEUDECOURT and SERRE.
From the information of prisoners, they have heard that the Germans contemplate a general and gradual retirement in this area to the HINDENBURG Line, which runs from the neighbourhood of LENS, in front of CAMBRAI and DOUAI to ST. QUENTIN, which line they were to have reached by March 25th.
The prisoners further report that all water supply is being destroyed, and dugouts, where possible, mined.
- Strong Officer’s patrols will be sent out during the night to ascertain whether any of the German trenches in front of the MORVAL and LESBOEUFS Sector have been vacated and will gain all ground which may have been vacated by the enemy.
- The B.G.C. LESBEUFS Sector will get into touch with the B.G.C. 14th Australian Brigade (H.Qrs at T.13.c.1.1.) on his Left flank.
It is particularly important that touch be maintained with the 5th Australian Division, and that any ground gained by them shall be linked up with our Divisional front.
- The B.Gs.C. MORVAL and LESBOEUFS Sectors will inform Divisional Headquarters by wire at what hour these patrols are going out, and the route they are taking.
Artillery barrages can be arranged to cover their movements if necessary.
- McD Haskard
General Staff, 20th Division.
Issued to Signals at 4.10 p.m.
Copies to –
No 1. XIV Corps. 8. 59th Inf. Bde. 16. A. A. & Q.M.G.
- 29th Division. 9. 60th Inf. Bde. 17. Divl. Train.
- 5th Australian Divn 61st Inf. Bde. 18. Camp Commdt.
- XIV Corps R.A. 11th Durham L.I. 19/23. Retained.
- XIV Corps H.A. Signals
- R.A. 13. A.D.M.S.
- R.E. 14. A.D.V.S.