The "Drocourt-Quéant" switch of the Hindenburg Line from Drocourt, Pas-de-Calais to Quéant, Pas-de-Calais was the site of a World War I engagement of German defenders with Canadian and British forces in France on 2-3 September, 1918, part of the Second Battle of Arras.

Built in 1918 by the Germans at the road from Arras to Cambrai. The line was defended by a broad glacis, protected by machine-gun nests and wide belts of barbed wire with large, deep tunnels to protect the garrison.

Order of Battle

* British First Army:
**Canadian Corps 1st Canadian Division and 4th Canadian Division, British XXII Corps 11th Division
* British Third Army:
**52nd Division, 57th Division, 63rd (Royal Naval) Division
* German 17th Army
* German 3rd Army V Corps

The attack

The line was attacked at 0500 by the First and Fourth divisions of the Canadian Corps, with the support of a large number of tanks and of Brutinel's Brigade (formerly the Canadian Independent Force) The line was carried 6,000 yards deep along the whole of the Canadian front with the capture of 5,000 unwounded prisoners by the Canadians in this one operation. [citation |author=Wallace W. Stewart (editor) |title=The Encyclopedia of Canada |volume=2 |place=Toronto |publisher=University Associates of Canada |date=1948 |pages=236] Together with the capture of Mont St. Quentin and Péronne (see the Battle of Mont St. Quentin) by the Australians this left Ludendorff's Winter Defence Line unsupportable, forcing him to withdraw the 17th and 3rd Armies behind the Sensée and the Canal du Nord on the night of 2/3 September. [cite web |url=http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/05/0518/051806/0518060601_e.html |title=The 2nd Battle of Arras |publisher=Veterans Affairs Canada |accessdate=2008-02-22] [cite book |title=The Silent General:Horne of the First Army |publisher=Helion |page=207 |pages=319 |isbn=187462299X]


Seven Victoria Crosses for valour were awarded for "... most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy" for actions on September 2 to: [cite web |url=http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/ww1mem/dury |title=Dury Memorial |publisher=Veterans Affairs Canada |date=1998-08-12 |accessdate=2008-02-22] [cite web |url=http://legionmagazine.ca/features/victoriacross/05-11.asp?id=print |title=The Magnificent Seven |journal=Legion Magazine |date=2005 |accessdate=2008-02-22]

# Private Claude Joseph Patrick Nunney of the 38th (Ottawa) Battalion (Infantry) at Vis-en-Artois.
# Lance-Corporal William Henry Metcalf was an American-born member of the 16th Canadian Scottish Battalion at Cagnicourt
# Lieutenant-Colonel Cyrus Wesley Peck, the commanding officer of the 16th Battalion
# Private John Francis Young, a stretcher bearer with the 87th Battalion (Canadian Grenadier Guards)
# Private Walter Leigh Rayfield of the 7th (1st British Columbia) Battalion
# Captain Bellendan S. Hutcheson, an American-born Medical officer with the 75th Battalion, CEF [citation |author=McKillican Donald R |title=The Hodden Grey: A Short History of The 75th (Mississauga) Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force World War I and the Toronto Scottish Regiment 1915-1995 |place=Toronto |date=1995]
# Acting Sergeant Arthur George Knight of the Tenth Battalion (Calgary Highlanders)


The Canadians contribution to the success of the attack on the Drocourt-Quéant line is commemorated at the Canadian Dury Memorial which is located on the North side of the D939 Route Nationale, south of Dury, between Arras and Cambrai.


Further reading


External links

* [http://www.1914-1918.org/MAPS/maps/allied18i.jpgmap]

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