John Monash and the end of World War One

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - News - SUB­MIT­TED BY ALEX SLOANE

To­day marks ex­actly 100 years since Gen­eral Monash suc­cess­fully forced the Ger­man army into re­treat, in what was the turn­ing point of the bat­tles on the Western Front in World War One.

Monash metic­u­lously planned the strate­gies for the Al­lies at Le Hamel, a vil­lage near Amiens in western France. Such was the de­tail that he pre­dicted vic­tory within 90 min­utes. In fact, it took 93.

Just prior to this event, Monash had become com­man­der of all five Aus­tralian di­vi­sions.

The bat­tle of Hamel pro­vided the ideal op­por­tu­nity to im­ple­ment all his the­o­ries about modern war­fare.

Aided by the re­cent ar­rival of Amer­i­can troops, the AIF took the Ger­mans by com­plete sur­prise just be­fore dawn.

With a com­bi­na­tion of Bri­tish tanks, hun­dreds of aero­planes and lines of ar­tillery, the Ger­mans were com­pletely over­whelmed.

Monash had in­vented the blitzkrieg, a Ger­man term for “light­ning war.”

Blitzkrieg is a mil­i­tary tac­tic de­signed to cre­ate dis­or­gan­i­sa­tion among en­emy forces, through the use of mo­bile forces and lo­cally con­cen­trated fire­power.

Its suc­cess­ful ex­e­cu­tion re­sulted in shorter mil­i­tary cam­paigns, which now pre­serves hu­man lives and lim­its the ex­pen­di­ture of ar­tillery.

This war strategy was im­i­tated by Hitler dur­ing World War Two.

The im­pe­tus and ge­nius of this bat­tle plan was for the preser­va­tion of sol­diers’ lives.

Le Hamel demon­strated what could be achieved with vi­sion­ary and thor­ough plan­ning.

Pre­vi­ously, bat­tles con­sisted of heavy ar­tillery bom­bard­ments of en­emy lines, which had the ef­fect of alert­ing the en­emy to their pres­ence, and caus­ing the slaugh­ter of thou­sands of men.

Gone were the days of men ‘go­ing over the top’ of trenches, only to be mown down by ma­chine guns.

It be­came the stan­dard tem­plate for the re­main­ing bat­tles in World War One.

Le Hamel was the first bat­tle planned and im­ple­mented by Aus­tralia. Monash had no other plan but to win, and his strate­gies short­ened the war.

Monash’s in­no­va­tive bat­tle strate­gies changed ev­ery­thing, on 4th July 1918.

The Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Pioneer Mu­seum in Mul­wala has a tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tion on the many con­tri­bu­tions made by John Monash, in both wartime and civil life.

Vis­it­ing hours for the mu­seum are Wed­nes­day to Sun­day from 1pm to 4:30pm.

Gen­eral John Monash suc­cess­fully turned the point of bat­tles on the Western Front ex­actly 100 years from to­day.

The Aus­tralian Corps Me­mo­rial at the vil­lage of Le Hamel, 17 kilo­me­tres east-north-east of Amiens.

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