General Sir Douglas Haig had to attend a meeting with the French High Command at Chantilly on 15 November and needed some good news to bolster the standing of the British with the French.
With this in mind he ordered an attack on the sector from Beaumont-Hamel in the south to Serre in the north with the objective of making some progress he could report to the meeting. Haig demanded the attack be started on 12 November 1916.
The November attack was launched from what were almost entirely the same trenches as those used on 1 July, but this time the British had more guns in support.
Against this the British trenches were a sea of mud following the heavy autumnal rainfall of the previous weeks. This was despite the pumping that had been done to get rid of as much water as possible to try to make the trenches habitable.
The attack was planned to get off to a good start by exploding another 30,000lb mine under the previous crater at Hawthorn Ridge at 05.45.
After the explosion the 51st (Highland) Division launched the attack into swirling mist. They succeeded in capturing Beaumont-Hamel by 16.00 after some bitter fighting.
Unfortunately the success at Beaumont-Hamel was not matched at any other point on the short front of the attack.
The result was that whilst the British captured and held Beaumont-Hamel, the Germans continued to overlook them from higher ground to the east.
Although the victory had questionable strategic importance, it was a propaganda victory for Haig who was able to hold it up to the French at the Chantilly conference as a major British advance.