Battle of Drocourt-Quéant Line

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Drocourt-Queant Line
German wire at Quéant 04-10-1918 IWM CO 3392.jpg
German wire at Quéant, 4 October 1918
Date 1917 – 1918
Location East of Lens, south to Quéant near Bullecourt on the Siegfriedstellung (Hindenburg Line).
Result Indecisive;
  • German Army withdrew 40 miles (64 km) to the Hindenburg Line in February – March 1917
Belligerents
 United Kingdom
France
 German Empire
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom Douglas Haig
France Ferdinand Foch
German Empire Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria

The Drocourt-Quéant Line (Wotan Stellung) was a set of mutually supporting defensive lines constructed by Germany between the French towns of Drocourt and Quéant during World War I. This defensive system was part of the northernmost section of the Hindenburg Line, a vast German defensive system that ran through northeastern France.

Description[edit]

Western Front 1917.jpg

The Drocourt-Quéant Line ran between the French cities of Drocourt and Quéant and was part of a defensive system that ran from a point within the Hindenburg Line, eleven miles west of Cambrai, northward to within seven miles west of Douai and terminated along the front east of Armentières.[1] The Drocourt-Quéant Line was a system in depth and incorporated a number of mutually supporting lines of defence. The system consisted of a front line system and a support line system, each consisting of two lines of trenches.[2] The system incorporated numerous fortifications including concrete bunkers, machine gun posts and heavy belts of barbed wire.[2]

Defeat[edit]

British Maudslay 3-ton lorries parked up alongside the wreckage of German motor transport destroyed by shell fire during Third Army's attack on Quéant, 2 September 1918

At 5 AM in the morning on 2 September 1918, the Canadians attacked the D-Q Line supported by tanks and aircraft, during the Hundred Days Offensive, also known as Canada's Hundred Days. In twilight, the Canadian 1st Division attacked the line south-eastwards, on the extreme right, south of the Arras-Cambrai road, The Canadian 4th Division attacked in the centre between Dury and the main road and the British 4th Division attacked south of the River Sensee. The next day the Germans retreated to the Hindenburg Line with the Allies taking many prisoners. The British now moved on to their next objective, the Canal du Nord.

Memorials[edit]

The Canadian Dury Memorial commemorates the Canadian Corps' attack on the Drocourt-Quéant Line in 1918.

References[edit]

  1. ^ History of the Corps of Royal Engineers’ (Volume V), Chatham, The Institution of Royal Engineers, 1952, p.416, f.n.1.
  2. ^ a b Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1918’ (Volume IV), compiled by Brigadier-General Sir James E Edmonds, London, HMSO, 1947, p.396

External links[edit]