For much of World War I the village of Bullecourt was safely behind the German front line. All of this changed in February, 1917 when the Germans withdrew several miles to form a stronger defensive line. Bullecourt became incorporated in the Hindenburg Line defenses, with German strong points built into many houses and local hillsides. The position was attacked by the British as part of the Battle of Arras, on April 11, 1917. This battle was a preliminary to the larger Nivelle offensive, and was one of the first in which air superiority played a major role.
No breakthrough was achieved, but the British command was satisfied with the results. The Australian authorities were extremely critical of the way in which their troops were handled in the engagement, and this was one of the battles that led to post-war demands for greater independence by Britain's colonies. This battle, the ingenious German fortifications and all the personalities involved are described in the accustomed Battleground Europe detail, with numerous illustrations, maps and a guide to the battlefield as it is today.