Statement: 105th Anniversary of the 2nd Battle of Villers-Bretonneux

Monday 24 April 2023


Today marks the 105th anniversary of the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, a major victory for Australian and British troops in recapturing the town from enemy forces.

On 21 March 1918, as part of the German Spring Offensive, the Germans launched a significant attack against the Allied Forces in an attempt to seize the city of Amiens, a vital British transport hub in the north of France.

On 4 April, the Germans attacked, taking Le Hamel and advancing their line towards Villers-Bretonneux where heavy fighting ensued. However, their advance was halted by a spectacular charge made by the 36th Australian Infantry Battalion which drove the Germans back.

But this didn’t stop enemy forces. Three weeks later on 24 March, the Germans struck at dawn and with the aid of 13 tanks, they captured the town.

At 10pm on the same day, the Australian 13th and 15th Brigades counter-attacked alongside British troops, suffering many casualties but eventually advancing and surrounding the village.

By 25 April 1918, the third anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, Allied Forces had successfully recaptured the town.

Today we remember those who bravely defended Villers-Bretonneux and some 2,400 Australian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice doing so.

Lest we forget.