April 11 and May 3-17, 1917 – Australian troops launch two large attacks against the formidable German Hindenburg Line near Bullecourt.
During the disastrous first battle, Australian and British infantry is forced to attack the village without support, after the accompanying tanks get lost, break down or are destroyed by German artillery. Remarkably, the Australians still manage to break into the Hindenburg Line, but are overwhelmed when the Germans counter-attack.
In addition to the thousands of men killed or wounded, more than 1100 Australians are taken prisoner, the largest number captured during a single engagement during the war.
The second battle is more successful, resulting in the Australians holding the Hindenburg Line, but the cost is enormous. More than 7000 Australians are killed or wounded in two weeks of fighting.