The Battle of Messines - June 7, 1917

      One of the Allied Forces major tactical strategies at Messines was their skilful use of tunnelling.  Preceding the battle, a group of highly experienced tunnel-diggers (primarily coal and gold diggers) dug a system of tunnels.  They strategically tunnelled under the German trenches with the aim to destroy the German Defence trenches.  Large mines were placed in these tunnels and the opening of the battle was signalled by the explosion of 19 of these mines. 

      With the German forces in disarray, the 3rd Division advanced on the hill, capturing the high ground and establishing themselves in very good tactical positions.  The 4th Division then moved through the newly established 3rd Division lines to capture the reserve enemy trenches.  It was this force that came upon scattered German pillboxes, which inflicted heavy casualties.  However, the ANZACS were able to take and consolidate their position. The Allied victory at Messines was  major gain for the allies, as this area was one of the strongest held positions of the Western Front