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Beneath Hill 60
The Australian Miners' Secret Warfare Beneath the Trenches of the Western Front
By Will Davies

Paperback - cover creased.

290 pages
Published In: Australia, 01 March 2010

We all remember images from WWI of massive artillery barrages and soldiers crossing shattered landscapes towards certain slaughter. Beneath these killing fields of the Western Front, another war was taking place, a deadly game 30 metres down, played between thousands of troops. These were not infantrymen, but miners. Their mutual goal was to tunnel beneath 'no man's land', under the opposing lines and destroy the German enemy from below. Unfortunately, the Germans had the same idea and were digging in from the other side. Over 4,585 Australian miners took part in this secret subterranean war, fighting under stress and conditions that terrified even the most hardened infantryman on the surface. To coincide with Anzac Day, the action-packed story of Australia's cat-and-mouse underground mine warfare - one of the most misunderstood, misrepresented, and mystifying conflicts of WWI will be told onscreen. The 1st Australian Tunneling Division was responsible for the mines set under 'Hill 60', a high point that dominated that part of the killing fields of Belgium. They were led by Captain Oliver Woodward, who had started his mining career in Charters Towers, Queensland, and went on to head BHP in Australia. His bravery and that of his men in guarding those underground mines and their subsequent massive explosions broke the gridlocked trench warfare that had continued for three years. Through exhaustive research, Will Davies has uncovered first-hand accounts of life for the tunnellers and soldiers at the front.

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