Section post on the Somme

New Zealand section post on the Somme, near Mailly-Maillet, France, 31 March, 1918.

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4 comments have been posted about Section post on the Somme

What do you know?

Cathy Dixon

Posted: 13 Jan 2020

My Grandfather, Alfred Roy Dixon (Roy) is third from the left, sitting, facing the camera. 1st batallion. Otago Regiment

Peter MacDonald

Posted: 24 Apr 2011

These men are most likely from the Auckland Battalion - the NZ division was moved into the Ameins area to deflect the German attack on March 21 1918 operation Michael or the 1918 Battle of the Somme, the Germans using a new tactic of lighty armed storm troopers carrying rifles and grenades, storming through and going around strongholds in the British frontline leaving them to be mopped up by the following German army.. the Main goal of Op Michael was to take the Channal ports and cut the british supply line.. unfortunately for the German soldiers fighting, Ludendorf their General was not imaginative enough to understand these new tactics , and subsequently could not keep the stormtroopers supplied with amunition and food rations , so they became a spent force.. and also they were already half starved due to the economic blockade of Germany by the British Navy ..they were gorging themselves on the food rations and wine that were left behind by the retreating british which halted their momentum.these men in the pic have had hard fighting over the previous days and by this time have halted the german threat to Amiens..the NZ Division by 1918 was the most efficient division on the Western front in terms of their training and combat readiness and the British high command always Placed the NZ Division in areas of the frontline they could not afford to lose.. the man on the left of the pic is wearing a knitted scarf sent from NZ by a family member.. they are having a well earned tea break..


Posted: 28 Apr 2010

Hi Peter - Thanks for this. The image was unfortunately published without our military historian checking it - I'll fix it now. Regards, Jamie Mackay, Web Editor

Peter MacDonald

Posted: 28 Apr 2010

this is not a Machine gun Post, it looks like a section post with the section Lewis gun at the sentry point,a Lewis gun is a light machine gun that can hold in its ammo drum a 30 or 50 round capability. a Machine gun the type Vickers used by NZ infantry is a battalion weapon and was not issued to 10 man sections in ww1. they are cooking up a brew on an improvised chuffer they have built,