War Diaries Talk

Operation Michael 21 Mar 1918

  • Tredegar by Tredegar

    The most recent addition to the combat diaries involve units of the 36th Division from 1918-1919. This division was severely mauled during the opening phases of Operation Michael and took the most casualties of all the divisions. I am currently looking at the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the unit took very heavy casualties during this time frame. from what I have read the unit went back into the line a couple of days before the offensive started and took the full brunt of the attack. They suffered heavily and it seems that most, or all, the men in the front line became casualties or prisoners. At the end of the month the unit had 667 missing men. The only men that were accounted for, from what I can tell, were the men away from the lines on work details. They, and the men of the 1st Royal Inniskiliing Fusiliers formed a provisional battalion during the fighting. Soon thereafter a new commander was appointed to the battalion.

    On a side note the original battalion commander Lord A.K. Farnham did survive the war, but I am not sure where he was during the battle. He may have become a prisoner.


  • ral104 by ral104 moderator, scientist

    As far as I can make out, he was with one company of the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in a feature known as the Boadicea Redoubt. They had apparently missed most of the opening German bombardment, so were relatively unscathed when the attack began. They held up the German advance until late into the afternoon, but eventually were cut off and forced to surrender.