First World War – Western FrontVideos

102 years later – The Crow’s Nest & D-Q Line

September 1 is the 102nd anniversary of the battle for the Drocourt-Queant Line and more specifically for the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders), the assault on The Crow’s Nest at Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt.

This video is the second in a series of videos being produced by the 15th Battalion CEF Memorial Project to commemorate the battalion’s role in a number of the key battles of The Great War in which, as part of the Canadian Corps, the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders) was engaged. The programs also acknowledge the sacrifice of those men of the battalion who fell during those battles and to whose memory we remain Faithful Forever.

The D-Q Line was part of the heavily defended Hindenburg Line and the assault on it by The Canadian Corps in late August-September 1918 was part of The Hundred Days campaign. Known by the German Army as the Wotung Stellung, the D-Q Line was one of the most powerful and well organized enemy defence systems.

The approach to the D-Q Line and the need to secure good ‘jump-off’ positions to assault it was made difficult by several defended obstacles forward of the line itself – the most formidable of which was The Crow’s Nest, a strong point on a high bluff which overlooked a large section of the D-Q defences.

The 15th Battalion was assigned the task of securing The Crow’s Nest and on the morning of 1 September 1918, the unit assaulted and quickly captured it and the adjacent Chateau Wood. As at Hill 70, the battalion successfully defended the position against several German counterattacks thereby ‘opening the door’ for the main attack on the D-Q Line in which it also participated.

The Drocourt-Queant Line is one of the 21 Battle Honours awarded to the 15th Battalion for its service during The Great War and one of the ten emblazoned on the Colours of 48th Highlanders of Canada which perpetuates the 15th Battalion.

The first 15th Bn video on Hill 70 can be seen below