The story of the Australian miners and soldiers who tunnelled under Hill 60 near Ypres and eventually broke through to create a new frontline and enable the march to Berlin.
'Ten seconds, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one - fire! Down goes the firing switch. At first, nothing. Then from deep down there comes a low rumble, and it as if the world is spliting apart...'
On 7 June 1917, 19 massive mines shattered the Messines ridge near Ypres. Ten thousand German soldiers died and the largest man-made explosion in history up until that time smashed open the German frontline.
Two of these mines, at Hill 60 and the Caterpillar, were fired my men of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, made up of miners and engineers rather than parade-ground soldiers.
This is the untold, devastatingly brutal story of the battle underground during the First World War, where men suffocated in the blue-grey clay, drowned in the liquid chalk, choked on the poisonous air or died violently in the darkness and foetid air in hand-to-hand fighting.
Written by Will Davies, bestselling author of Somme Mud and In the Footsteps of Private Lynch, Beneath Hill 60 tells the complete and inspiring story behind the major motion picture.
About the Author
Will Davies is a historian, writer and filmmaker. Somme Mud: The war experiences of an Australian infantryman in France 1916-1919, which he edited, has become a bestseller in Australia and the UK and will soon be published in The Netherlands. In the Footsteps of Private Lynch has also been published to acclaim in Australia and the UK. He has recently written Beneath Hill 60 and edited Somme Mud: Young Readers' Edition for high school aged readers.
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Comments about Beneath Hill 60:
Confirms that British Generals had no idea about the type of war they were fighting as they were tucked away, nice & cosy miles from the front line.
So many young men wasted their lives. My grandfather served as a tunneller in the Australian 1st Tunnelling Company. They were working in claustrophic & physically strenuous conditions, not to mention the mental strain.
We have our way of life today because of them.
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st March 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.1 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.22
Edition Number: 2