The offensive at Le Hamel was planned by John Monash, commander of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on the Western Front. Launched on 4th July it was carried out by the Australian 4th Division and four companies of the United States Army. The offensive was a complete success and demonstrated the effectiveness of Monash's peaceful penetration tactics. The village of Le Hamel was secured within two hours and nearly 1,500 prisoners were taken.
General Monash was another great general without professional training. He was an Australian Jew - tall, heavily built, big-nosed. It was to him, and to his acute brain and quick decision, that we owed the surprise attack by the Australians at Villers Bretonneux which saved Amiens, and perhaps the Channel ports, after the retreat of 1918, when disaster was very near and but little stood in the enemy's way that night.
Some years after the war I met General Monash at a luncheon in Guildhall. We came out together and I walked beside this tall hook-nosed man whose uniform was dangling with orders and decorations.
"Shall l fetch you a taxi-cab, sir?" I asked.
"No, my boy," he answered. "I shall go on the twopenny tube. I never waste money on taxis unless I can't help it."