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The Canadian "Emma Gees"
A History of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps
by
Lt.-Col. C.S. Grafton

Transcribed by Dwight G. Mercer

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and two other ranks killed, another officer and five other ranks were wounded and three other ranks were posted as missing.

No. 1 Company, 3rd Battalion C.M.G.C., supported the attack of the 8th C.I.B. "B" Battery moved off with the 5th C.M.R. and at Orange Hill, finding that in the darkness they had got ahead of the infantry, moved south towards the Arras-Cambria road, engaging two enemy machine guns which they caught on flank, and taking 11 prisoners. The battery lost one gun during the day but replaced it with two German guns. "A" Battery got forward without serious casualties and took up positions on Orange Hill for indirect fire into Monchy at a range of about 1,800. "C" Battery moved off with the 4th C.M.R. on the left flank of the brigade attack and took 14 prisoners and 2 machine guns. It too lost one gun by shell fire but used two German guns to pour a hot fire into Monchy.

"D" Battery was with the 1st and 4th C.M.R. in their advance and, when at 10 a.m. a counter-attack developed from the direction of Cigar Copse, brought all guns to bear on the advancing Germans. Many of the enemy were killed by the intense fire and the rest forced to stay in unsuitable ground until the 7th C.I.B., pushing through, captured them. The battery afterwards assisted with overhead fire in the capture of Cigar Copse. At dusk, when an enemy counter-attack was reported developing from the Bois de Sart, this battery expended 5,000 rounds on the enemy assembly area. The attack did not come off. The battery lost a gun before opening this barrage.

No. 2 Company, 3rd Battalion C.M.G.C. (Ings), fired the initial barrage. On completion of firing, "E" and "F" batteries moved back to St. Laurent and Blangy respectively, ready to move up with the 7th C.I.B., but "G" battery moved via Orange Hill due southeast and reported to the 42nd Battalion just east of Monchy. "H" Battery moved forward with the 49th Battalion.

No. 3 Company went back into division reserve in the afternoon.

Six thousand yards in depth had been gained on a 10,000-yard front at the end of the first day, but there were signs that the task mapped out for the Canadians was going to be a very formidable one.

The next day the battle was renewed, the Canadian barrage opening at 4.55 a.m. The Germans replied immediately, laying a storm of shells down on the front line the Canadians had just left and then started it creeping backwards. Despite the weight of the explosive downpour, Canadian casualties were not heavy at first. At the first objective, the Sensee River, a halt of 30 minutes was ordered. After this halt our artillery only covered the advance for a short time and then ceased until batteries could be brought forward. The 2nd Canadian Division, doggedly pushing forward through the old German ...

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Transcript Copyright © 2003 Dwight G. Mercer - Badge Images Copyright © 2003 Ray Adams
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