In Somme of­fen­sive

Mercury (Hobart) - - TALKING POINT -

com­pen­sa­tion. Wel­come to the Venezuela of the South.

The pro­posed law also re­moves the re­quire­ment for suc­cess­fully en­tered one part of an en­emy en­trench­ment called “Fabrek Graben”.

Dun­can Maxwell had seen his com­pany com­man­der shot down just be­fore the first ob­jec­tive. Dun­can seized the ini­tia­tive and led A Com­pany into an aban­doned sec­tion of the ob­jec­tive line. Af­ter sort­ing them­selves out Maxwell did a quick head­count. Re­al­is­ing that he had 81 men and one other of­fi­cer, Mr Blak­eny (wounded), he made a se­ries of rapid de­ci­sions.

Ar­rang­ing the im­me­di­ate de­fence of his po­si­tion, he sent men to con­firm the con­nec­tion with his D Com­pany and thus the 51st and re­con­noitred the TasWater to op­er­ate in a com­mer­cial and fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able man­ner. This suits Mr Gutwein, who sim­ply con­nec­tion with C Com­pany and the 49th him­self.

A mes­sage from Lt Maxwell timed at 1030 hours and re­ceived at bat­tal­ion head­quar­ters at 1230 hours in­di­cated his aware­ness that no of­fi­cers were left with D or C Com­pany and de­spite heavy ar­tillery fire and heavy losses he would hold on, and re­quested re­in­force­ment.

With the rem­nants of three com­pa­nies of the 52nd plus newly men from the 13th Cana­dian In­fantry Bat­tal­ion, Dun­can Maxwell had some 250 men avail­able to face the next counter-at­tack.

Their po­si­tions served as the epi­cen­tre for en­emy fury and driblets of men from var­i­ous units trick­led in and wants TasWater to spend tax­payer funds on his pet po­lit­i­cal projects rather than in­vest­ing and op­er­at­ing were im­me­di­ately pressed into the de­fences as bomb­ing du­els were fought be­tween bursts of ma­chine-gun fire and ar­tillery salvos.

This sit­u­a­tion per­sisted, and was re­sisted, by those present through­out the next day; chance and luck, both good and bad, com­bined with dogged in­sis­tence, kept the line ba­si­cally in­tact. At 1620 hours for­mal no­tice of im­mi­nent re­lief must have spurred pulses for a fi­nal ef­fort at sur­vival, though the 13th Bri­gade diary notes that 52nd was not re­ported as re­lieved un­til 0200 hours on Septem­ber 5.

The 52nd Bat­tal­ion AfterAc­tion-Re­port par­tic­u­larly no­tices Lt D.S. Maxwell: “Who di­rected the fight­ing on the RIGHT [sic], and his reports were clear, con­cise and fre­quent. He car­ried on with­out rest from the 2nd to the 5th Septem­ber un­der ex­ceed­ingly try­ing con­di­tions.”

The re­port then goes on to take note of: “Lt A.M. Maxwell, the bat­tal­ion in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, [who] ren­dered un­tir­ing service ... his work in di­rect­ing com­pa­nies into po­si­tion, of­ten un­der very heavy fire, was ex­cel­lently and ex­pe­di­tiously car­ried out.”

Thus two well de­served Mil­i­tary Crosses for two out­stand­ing ju­nior of­fi­cers. Ma­jor Chris Tal­bot is the man­ager of the Army Mu­seum of Tas­ma­nia.

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