On 19 July 1916 British and Australian forces attacked the Germans at Fromelles. Their aim was to exploit the weakening German defences, but the strength of the defenders was grossly underestimated. The Allied troops went into the attack ill-prepared, unaware that they were heavily outnumbered.
The battle was the first time the Australian Imperial Force had fought on the Western Front, and it was disastrous, with the 5th Australian Division suffering over 5,000 casualties.
The photo below shows members of the Australian 53rd Battalion before the battle. By the end only three would still be alive, all of them wounded.
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