Crisis The first indication came from a reconnaissance flight: „Strong enemy elements moving westwards in direction Combles, no own forces observed between Bapaume and Combles.“ This was British 5th Army, apparently choosing the most unfavourable option, i.e. moving west. The second indication was an attack on the forward elements of 17th Army. „Unkown fast British (?) tanks advancing northeastwards, attack repulsed, but high casualties of own infantry. – Ammunition of 12th Kanobil Battalion spent 90%.“ The next information came from the aviators again. „Approximately 100 enemy tanks approaching Albert from direction Combles.“ 17th Army reported that they had no forces to counter this threat. 12th Kanobil Bn couldn’t be resupplied before March 23rd, 17:00 hours. 18th Army had 8th Kanobil Bn at Cappy at the Somme and could send them north, reinforced by infantry riding on the vehicles. It was a trap. 8th Kanobils were caught in the flank by numerous British guns while attacking the enemy tank force. Losses were heavy, only 20 vehicles rallied at Bray-sur-Somme. The losses of the infantry were even more grave. The unprotected Kanobil riders were mowed down by British machine guns. No own forces were now left to stop 5th British Army from breaking out of the pocket.