It wasn’t a big battle by the standards of World War I, but the Battle of Hamel on July 4 had some significance. It was the first American action in the British sector and involved a battalion of American troops fighting alongside Australian forces (and under Australian command) to take the village in the Somme sector.

About 7,000 American and Australian forces, supported by the latest British Mark V tanks, faced about 5,600 Germans. The Allies took their objective in about 93 minutes. Casualties amounted to 1,400 U.S. and Australian killed and wounded, while the Germans lost 2,000 killed and 1,600 captured.

It was a combined arms operation that boded well for future Allied efforts.

Readers of the Daily Banner read of the successful operation on July 5.

July had begun with a number of developments. On July 1, The United States formally presented the Turkish government with the report that Turkish troops had attacked an American hospital in Tabriz, Persia (Iran) and seized the American consulate there.

A report appeared in the Banner that Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs had been arrested in Cleveland the day before and charged with violating the Espionage Act in a speech at the Socialist State Convention in Canton. Trial was scheduled for July 30.

American troops on the Marne front reportedly took the village of Vaux on July 2, capturing 275 Germans in the process.


Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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