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Encyclopedia > Passchendaele
Battle of Passchendaele
Third Battle of Ypres
Part of the Western Front of World War I
Australian gunners in Château Wood near Hooge, 29 October 1917.
Australian gunners on a duckboard track in Château Wood near Hooge, 29 October 1917. Photo by Frank Hurley.
Date 31 July 191710 November 1917
Location Ypres,
West Flanders flag West Flanders,
Flag of Belgium Belgium
Result Stalemate[1]
Combatants
Flag of the United Kingdom British Empire

Flag of France France
Passendale is a rural village in the Belgian province of West Flanders and a part of (deelgemeente) the municipality of Zonnebeke. ... Combatants Belgium British Empire Australia[1] Canada[2] India[3] Newfoundland[4] New Zealand[5] South Africa[6] United Kingdom France and French Overseas Empire Portugal[7] United States Germany Austria-Hungary Commanders No unified command until 1918, then Ferdinand Foch Moltke → Falkenhayn → Hindenburg and Ludendorff → Hindenburg and Groener Casualties... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x769, 100 KB)Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, October 29, 1917. ... is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Chateau Wood, Ypres, 1917 by Frank Hurley James Francis Frank Hurley (1885 - 1962) was an official photographer with the Australian Imperial Force during World War I. Hurley travelled on a number of expedititions to the Antarctic including Douglas Mawsons 1911 expedition. ... is the 212th day of the year (213th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Ypres municipality and district in the province West Flanders Ypres (French, pronounced generally used in English1) or Ieper (official name in Dutch, pronounced ) is a Belgian municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_West_Flanders. ... West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen) is the westernmost province of Flanders and of Belgium. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Belgium_(civil). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Canada-1868-Red. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_New_Zealand. ... Image File history File links South_Africa_Red_Ensign. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...

German Empire
Commanders
Flag of the United Kingdom Douglas Haig
Flag of the United Kingdom Hubert Gough
Flag of the United Kingdom Herbert Plumer
Arthur Currie
Flag of German Empire Max von Gallwitz
Flag of German Empire Erich Ludendorff
Strength
Unknown Unknown
Casualties
448,000 killed and wounded 260,000 killed and wounded

The 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres or simply Third Ypres, was one of the major battles of World War I. In this battle, British, ANZAC, Canadian and South African units engaged the Imperial German Army. The battle was fought for control of the village of Passchendaele (Passendale in modern Flemish, now part of the community of Zonnebeke) near the town of Ypres (Ieper in Flemish) in West Flanders, Belgium. The plan was to drive a hole in the German lines, advance to the Belgian coast and capture the German submarine bases there. It was intended to create a decisive corridor in a crucial area of the front, and to take pressure off the French forces. After the Nivelle Offensive the French Army was suffering from extremely low morale, resulting in mutinies and misconduct on a scale that threatened the field-worthiness of entire divisions. Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Field Marshal Lord Haig Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCIE, ADC (June 19, 1861 – January 28, 1928) was a British soldier and senior commander (Field Marshal) during World War I. He was commander of the British Expeditionary Force during the Battle of the Somme... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough (August 12, 1870–1963) was a British World War I general who commanded the British Fifth Army from 1916 to 1918. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Herbert Onslow Plumer, 1st Viscount Plumer (1857–1932) was a British colonial official and soldier. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Canada-1868-Red. ... General Sir Arthur William Currie General Sir Arthur William Currie, GCMG, KCB (December 5, 1875 – November 30, 1933) was the first Canadian commander of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (a corps of four divisions) on the Western Front during World War I. Currie was among the most successful generals of the... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Categories: Stub | German World War I people ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Ludendorff in 1918 Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (sometimes given incorrectly as von Ludendorff) (April 9, 1865 – December 20, 1937, Tutzing, Bavaria, Germany) was a German Army officer, Quartermaster General during World War I, victor of Liege, and, with Paul von Hindenburg, one of the victors of the battle of Tannenberg. ... Combatants Belgium British Empire Australia[1] Canada[2] India[3] Newfoundland[4] New Zealand[5] South Africa[6] United Kingdom France and French Overseas Empire Portugal[7] United States Germany Austria-Hungary Commanders No unified command until 1918, then Ferdinand Foch Moltke → Falkenhayn → Hindenburg and Ludendorff → Hindenburg and Groener Casualties... The Battle of the Frontiers was a series of battles fought along the eastern frontier of France and in southern Belgium shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. ... The Battle of Liège was the opening battle of the German invasion into Belgium, and the first battle of World War I. The siege of the city lasted from August 5 until the 16th when the final fort surrendered. ... This article or section is incomplete and may require expansion and/or cleanup. ... The Great Retreat covers the slow retreat by the Allies to the River Marne after their defeat by the Germans at Battle of Mons on 23 August. ... Course of the Race to the Sea showing dates of encounters and highlighting the significant battles. ... The Battles of Neuve Chapelle and Artois was a battle in the First World War. ... This article or section is incomplete and may require expansion and/or cleanup. ... Combatants France United Kingdom German Empire Commanders Joseph Joffre Unknown Strength 9 French & British divisions (initial) Unknown Casualties 100,000 French 11,000 British 75,000 A battle on the Western Front of World War I, the First Battle of Artois was fought at the same time as the Second... The Battle of Hill 70 took place took place near the French city of Lens on 15 August and 16 August 1917 and was fought between the Canadian Corps under the command of Gen. ... Combatants France United Kingdom German Empire Commanders Auguste Dubail John French Crown Prince Rupprecht Strength French Tenth Army 6 British Divisions German Sixth Army Casualties 48,000 French 50,000 British 20,000 German A battle on the Western Front of World War I, the Second Battle of Artois is... The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. The battle was the British component of the combined Anglo-French offensive known as the Second Battle of Artois. ... Combatants  France  German Empire Commanders Philippe Pétain Robert Nivelle Erich von Falkenhayn Strength About 30,000 on 21 February 1916 About 150,000 on 21 February 1916 Casualties 378,000; of whom 120,000 died. ... The Battle of Hulluch was a conflict in World War One, April 27-29, 1916, involving the 16th Division of the British Armys 19th Corps. ... Combatants British Empire Australia Canada New Zealand Newfoundland South Africa United Kingdom France German Empire Commanders Douglas Haig Joseph Joffre Max von Gallwitz Fritz von Below Strength 13 British & 11 French divisions (initial) 51 British and 48 French divisions (final) 10. ... The Battle of Arras took place from 9 April to 16 May 1917. ... Combatants Canada United Kingdom German Empire Commanders Julian Byng Arthur Currie Ludwig von Falkenhausen Strength 200,000 Unknown Casualties 3,598 dead, 7,004 wounded 20,000 dead or wounded, 4,000 captured The Battle of Vimy Ridge was one of the opening battles in a larger British campaign known... Combatants France German Empire Commanders Robert Nivelle Charles Mangin François Anthoine Mazel von Boehm Fritz von Below Strength 1. ... The Battle of Messines was launched on June 7, 1917 by British General Herbert Plumers second army, which included the 16th (Irish) Division and the 36th (Ulster) Division, near the villages of Mesen (in French Messines, as it was on most maps at that time) and Wytschaete. ... Combatants United Kingdom Newfoundland German Empire Commanders Julian Byng Georg von der Marwitz Strength 2 Corps 1 Corps Casualties 44,207 Casualties 179 tanks out of action 45,000 Casualties (British estimates) The Battle of Cambrai (20 November - 3 December 1917) was a British campaign of World War I. Noted... The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advance by either side since 1914. ... British and Portuguese captured by German forces in the Flanders region (1918) British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas during the battle, 10 April 1918. ... The Third Battle of the Aisne was a German offensive during World War I that focused on capturing the Chemin des Dames Ridge before the American Expeditionary Force could arrive in France. ... Combatants United States France British Empire German Empire Commanders John J. Pershing James Harbord Crown Prince Wilhelm Strength 2 U.S. divisions French 6th Army (elements) British IX Corps (elements) 5 German divisions (elements) Casualties 9,777 unknown The Battle of Belleau Wood was a battle of the first World... Combatants  France  United Kingdom  United States  German Empire Casualties 168,000 The Second Battle of the Marne, or Battle of Reims, was a major World War I battle fought from July 15 to August 5, 1918, near the Marne River. ... The Battle of Chateau Thierry was fought on July 18, 1918. ... Combatants Australia  United States German Empire Commanders John Monash Casualties 976 KIA, 338 WIA 2000 KIA, 1600 POW The Battle of Hamel (4 July 1918) was a planned attack launched by the Australian Corps of the Australian Imperial Force against German positions in the town of Hamel in northern France... Combatants Belgium British Empire France United States of America German Empire Commanders King Albert I Ferdinand Foch Douglas Haig Philippe Petain John Pershing Erich Ludendorff Casualties 411,636 British 531,000 French 127,000+ American 785,733 The Hundred Days Offensive was the final offensive in World War I by... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (popularly abbreviated as ANZAC) was originally an army corps of Australian and New Zealand troops who fought in World War I at Gallipoli against the Turks. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Passendale is a rural village in the Belgian province of West Flanders and a part of (deelgemeente) the municipality of Zonnebeke. ... Ypres municipality and district in the province West Flanders Ypres (French, pronounced generally used in English1) or Ieper (official name in Dutch, pronounced ) is a Belgian municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. ... Ypres (French, generally used in English1; Ieper official name in the local Dutch/Flemish) is a municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of West Flanders. ... West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen) is the westernmost province of Flanders and of Belgium. ... USS Virginia, a Virginia-class nuclear attack (SSN) submarine Alvin in 1978, a year after first exploring hydrothermal vents. ... The Nivelle Offensive was a 1917 Allied attack on the Western Front in World War I. The offensive was a costly failure. ... 1917 - Execution at Verdun at the time of the mutinies The French Army Mutinies of 1917 took place in the Champagne section of the Western Front and started just after the conclusion of the disastrous Second Battle of the Aisne. ...


Although the period of the battle saw spells of good weather lasting long enough to dry out the land, Passchendaele has become synonymous with the misery of fighting in thick mud. Most of the battle took place on largely reclaimed marshland, swampy even without rain. The extremely heavy preparatory bombardment by the British tore up the surface of the land, and heavy rain from August onwards produced an impassable terrain of deep "liquid mud", in which an unknown number of soldiers drowned. Even the newly-developed tanks bogged down.


The Germans were well-entrenched, with mutually-supporting pillboxes which the initial bombardment had not destroyed. After three months of fierce fighting the Canadian Corps took Passchendaele on 6 November 1917, ending the battle, but in the meantime the Allied Powers had sustained almost half a million casualties and the Germans just over a quarter of a million. Passchendaele was the last gasp of the "one more push" philosophy which posited that the stalemate of attritional trench warfare could be broken by brute offensive action against fixed positions. Its comparative failure and the horrendous conditions in which it was fought damaged Field-Marshal Haig's reputation and made it emblematic of the horror of industrialised warfare. Bunkers in Albania A bunker is a defensive military fortification. ... The Canadian Corps was a World War I Canadas soldiers in September of 1915 after the arrival of the 2nd Canadian Division in France. ... is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Contents

Tactical overview and preliminary battles

By this stage of the war, the commanders-in-chief — Field-Marshal Douglas Haig (British Empire); General Erich Ludendorff (German Empire); and General Philippe Pétain (France) — regarded the Western Front as a single continuous battle which had started with the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. Thus, no sooner had hostilities ended in one sector then a fresh offensive started in another. The Allied objective was to keep Imperial Germany, who were also fighting the war on the Eastern Front, under constant pressure. Since the Somme, tactics and counter-tactics had significantly developed on both sides of the line. Field Marshal Lord Haig Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCIE, ADC (June 19, 1861 – January 28, 1928) was a British soldier and senior commander (Field Marshal) during World War I. He was commander of the British Expeditionary Force during the Battle of the Somme... Ludendorff in 1918 Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (sometimes given incorrectly as von Ludendorff) (April 9, 1865 – December 20, 1937, Tutzing, Bavaria, Germany) was a German Army officer, Quartermaster General during World War I, victor of Liege, and, with Paul von Hindenburg, one of the victors of the battle of Tannenberg. ... Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951), generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain, was a French general, later Chief of State of Vichy France (Chef de lÉtat Français), from 1940 to 1944. ... Combatants Belgium British Empire Australia[1] Canada[2] India[3] Newfoundland[4] New Zealand[5] South Africa[6] United Kingdom France and French Overseas Empire Portugal[7] United States Germany Austria-Hungary Commanders No unified command until 1918, then Ferdinand Foch Moltke → Falkenhayn → Hindenburg and Ludendorff → Hindenburg and Groener Casualties... For other battles known as Battle of the Somme, see Battle of the Somme (disambiguation). ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ...


The bridge to the north of Ypres had been lost to the Germans in the First Battle of Ypres, creating an allied salient sticking out into the German positions and overlooked by German artillery on higher ground. Haig decided to collapse the salient, break through the front and capture the German submarine bases on the Belgian coast. A successful action would not only put the submarines out of action, but shorten the allied lines and potentially trap a number of German troops behind the new lines. Haig gave General Sir Hubert Gough command of the battle. This is widely regarded as a mistake as Gough had aggressive anul sex with the commander, with neither the experience nor the temperament for the task ahead. In military terms, a salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... USS Virginia, a Virginia-class nuclear attack (SSN) submarine Alvin in 1978, a year after first exploring hydrothermal vents. ... Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough (August 12, 1870–1963) was a British World War I general who commanded the British Fifth Army from 1916 to 1918. ...


The build up of Allied troops in the sector had alerted the Germans to the possibility of an imminent offensive. In response, General Ludendorff sent his strategist, Colonel von Lossberg, to the salient as chief of staff of the German Fourth army who were holding the line. Lossberg moved the German Army out of the trenches into a strong defensive line of pillboxes, designed to resist even very heavy artillery and to provide enfilading fire. A bunker is a defensive warfare fortification to protect oneself. ...


Messines Ridge

Main article: Battle of Messines

In order to take the salient, engineers had been digging under the Messines Ridge and planting a series of nineteen enormous explosive mines. This work did not go unnoticed, and the German forces dug a series of counter-mines in order to block their work. The German efforts were unsuccessful, and the mines were in place by early June. In late May the allies started bombarding the German lines, "softening up" the defenses. Early in the morning of June 7, at 2:50 AM, the shelling ceased, a signal that an infantry assault would begin in moments. The German infantry that had been sheltering in bunkers made ready for an attack, while their shift-change moved up from the rear to relieve them. The Battle of Messines was launched on June 7, 1917 by British General Herbert Plumers second army, which included the 16th (Irish) Division and the 36th (Ulster) Division, near the villages of Mesen (in French Messines, as it was on most maps at that time) and Wytschaete. ...


Instead of an assault, the mines were exploded right under the newly occupied trenchlines. The mines killed approximately 20,000 German troops, members of both the night shift and the incoming relief forces. Assaults followed shortly thereafter, and were able to capture the trenches with almost no opposition. German counterattacks on the next two nights were completely ineffectual. The plan was a complete success.


Haig ordered General Plumer, the Second Army commander, to continue the battle, but was persuaded to delay further attacks until preparations could be made and the strategic Messines Ridge could be consolidated. The delay was fatal. Had the British pressed forward they would have found the Germans in disarray and the battle would have succeeded. In waiting to consolidate the British position, Haig allowed the Germans to consolidate their position. Herbert Onslow Plumer, 1st Viscount Plumer (1857–1932) was a British colonial official and soldier. ...


July 1917

As a second stage of the action, General Sir Hubert Gough was put in charge of the attacks to secure the Gheluvelt Plateau which overlooked Ypres. Many field guns were moved into the area and started a four-day bombardment, but the Germans recognised the sign of an impending offensive, and moved more troops in to reinforce the defences. Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough (August 12, 1870–1963) was a British World War I general who commanded the British Fifth Army from 1916 to 1918. ...


In July the Germans used mustard gas for the first time. It attacked sensitive parts of the body, caused blistering, damage to the lungs and inflammation of the eyes, causing blindness (sometimes temporary) and great pain. Airborne exposure limit 0. ...


One problem in carrying the offensive forward was the Yser canal, but this was taken on 27 July when the Allies found the German trenches empty. Four days later, the offensive proper opened with a major assault at Pilckem ridge, when the Allies gained about 2000 yards. The Allies suffered about thirty-two thousand casualties — killed, wounded or missing — in this one action. is the 208th day of the year (209th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Ground conditions during the whole Ypres-Passchendaele action were bad because the ground was already fought-over and partially flooded. Continuous shelling destroyed drainage canals in the area, and unseasonable heavy rain turned the whole area into a sea of mud and water-filled shell-craters. The troops walked up to the front over paths made of duckboards laid across the mud, often carrying up to one hundred pounds (45 kg) of equipment. It was possible for them to slip off the path into the craters and drown before they could be rescued. The trees were reduced to blunted trunks, the branches and leaves torn away, and the bodies of men buried after previous actions were often uncovered by the rain or later shelling.


September 1917

A new strategy known as "bite and hold" was adopted for the actions of September and October, after the bad weather in August had contributed to the failures of earlier large-scale attacks. The idea was to make small gains which could be held against counter-attack. Sir Herbert Plumer replaced Hubert Gough in command of the offensive.


By now, 1,295 guns were concentrated in the area, approximately one for every five yards of attack front. On 20 September at the battle of Menin Road, after a massive bombardment, the Allies attacked and managed to hold their objective of about 1,500 yards gained, despite heavy counter-attacks, suffering twenty-one thousand casualties. The Germans by this time had a semi-permanent front line, with very deep dugouts and concrete pillboxes, supported by artillery accurately ranged on no man's land. is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 29th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Division, Canadian Corps. ...


Further advances at Polygon Wood and Broodseinde on the south-western edge of the salient accounted for another two thousand yards and thirty thousand Allied casualties. The British line was now overlooked by the Passchendaele ridge, which therefore became an important objective. An advance on 9 October at Poelkapelle (Poelcapelle) was a dismal failure for the Allies, with minor advances by exhausted troops forced back by counter-attacks. is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Langemark-Poelkapelle is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. ...


First Battle of Passchendaele

Aerial view of Passchendaele village, before and after the battle, demonstrating that the entire village and even the roads were pulverised as combatants shelled all trace of enemy cover or transportation — urban warfare that effectively de-urbanised the terrain.
Aerial view of Passchendaele village, before and after the battle, demonstrating that the entire village and even the roads were pulverised as combatants shelled all trace of enemy cover or transportation — urban warfare that effectively de-urbanised the terrain.

The First Battle of Passchendaele, on 12 October 1917 began with a further Triple Entente attempt to gain ground around Poelkapelle. The heavy rain again made movement difficult, and artillery could not be brought closer to the front owing to the mud. The Entente troops were fought-out, and morale was suffering. Against the well-prepared Triple Alliance defences, the gains were minimal and there were 13,000 Allied casualties. Download high resolution version (500x674, 80 KB)Aerial view of the village of Passchendaele (North is to the right of the photo) before and after the Third Battle of Ypres, 1917. ... Download high resolution version (500x674, 80 KB)Aerial view of the village of Passchendaele (North is to the right of the photo) before and after the Third Battle of Ypres, 1917. ... is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ...


By this point there had been 100,000 Allied casualties, with only limited gains and no strategic breakthrough.


Second Battle of Passchendaele

Main article: Second Battle of Passchendale
Canadian general Sir Arthur William Currie, who led the Canadian Corps in the Second Battle of Passchendaele. Currie correctly predicted that the Canadians would incur from 16,000 to 20,000 casualties if they were to be successful at defeating the Germans.

At this point two divisions of the Canadian Corps were moved into the line to replace the badly depleted ANZAC forces. After their successes at Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Hill 70, the Canadians were considered to be an élite force and were sent into action in some of the worst conditions of the war. Combatants Canadian Corps German Empire Commanders Arthur Currie Erich Ludendorff Casualties 15,694[1] unkown the second battle of Passchendaele was part of the much larger Third Battle of Ypres The Second Battle of Passchendaele was the culminating attack during the Third Battle of Ypres. ... Image File history File links ArthurCurrie. ... Image File history File links ArthurCurrie. ... General Sir Arthur William Currie General Sir Arthur William Currie, GCMG, KCB (December 5, 1875 – November 30, 1933) was the first Canadian commander of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (a corps of four divisions) on the Western Front during World War I. Currie was among the most successful generals of the... The Canadian Corps was a World War I Canadas soldiers in September of 1915 after the arrival of the 2nd Canadian Division in France. ... The Battle of Vimy Ridge was one of the opening battles in a larger British campaign known as the Battle of Arras. ... The Battle of Hill 70 took place took place near the French city of Lens on 15 August and 16 August 1917 and was fought between the Canadian Corps under the command of Gen. ...


Upon his arrival, the Canadian Commander-in-Chief General Sir Arthur Currie expressed the view that the cost of the objective would be sixteen thousand casualties. While Currie viewed this figure as inordinately high in relation to the value of the objective, Haig was used to casualty figures in the hundreds of thousands after years of huge allied losses, and he ordered the offensive to proceed. General Sir Arthur William Currie General Sir Arthur William Currie, GCMG, KCB (December 5, 1875 – November 30, 1933) was the first Canadian commander of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (a corps of four divisions) on the Western Front during World War I. Currie was among the most successful generals of the...


The Canadians moved into the line during mid-October, and on 26 October 1917, the Second Battle of Passchendaele began with twenty thousand men of the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions advancing up the hills of the salient. It cost the Allies twelve thousand casualties for a gain of a few hundred yards. is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ...


Reinforced with the addition of two British divisions, a second offensive on 30 October resulted in the capture of the town in heavy rains. For the next five days the force held the town in the face of repeated German shelling and counter-attacks, and by the time a second group of reinforcements arrived on 6 November, four-fifths of two Canadian divisions had been lost. is the 303rd day of the year (304th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Their replacements were the First and Second Canadian Divisions. German troops still ringed the area, so a limited attack on the 6th by the remaining troops of the Third Division allowed the First Division to make major advances and gain strong points throughout the area.


One such action on the First Division front was at Hill 52; the Tenth Battalion, CEF were called out of reserve to assist an attack on Hill 52, part of the same low rise Passchendaele itself was situated on. The Battalion was not scheduled to attack, but the Commanding Officer of the Tenth had wisely prepared his soldiers as if they would be making the main assault – a decision that paid dividends when the unit was called out of reserve. On 10 November 1917, the Tenth Battalion took the feature with light casualties. The Calgary Highlanders are a Land Force Reserve Infantry Regiment, headquartered at Mewata Armoury in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. ...


A further attack by the Second Division the same day pushed the Germans from the slopes to the east of the town. The high ground was now firmly under Allied control.


Aftermath

The Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing and the Tyne Cot Cemetery
The Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing and the Tyne Cot Cemetery

Because of the Third Battle of Ypres there were insufficient reserves available to exploit the Allied success at the Battle of Cambrai, the first breakthrough by massed tanks, that restored somewhat the shaken confidence of the British government in the final victory. The politicians were reluctant however to fully replace the manpower losses, for fear the new troops would be sacrificed also. This made the British Army vulnerable to a German attack. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1964x1141, 647 KB) Summary Author: Redvers. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1964x1141, 647 KB) Summary Author: Redvers. ... Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) burial ground for the dead of World War I located in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. ... Combatants United Kingdom Newfoundland German Empire Commanders Julian Byng Georg von der Marwitz Strength 2 Corps 1 Corps Casualties 44,207 Casualties 179 tanks out of action 45,000 Casualties (British estimates) The Battle of Cambrai (20 November - 3 December 1917) was a British campaign of World War I. Noted...


The major German offensive of 1918, Operation Michael, began on 21 March 1918, and a supporting operation which became the Battle of the Lys, began on 9 April. This regained almost all of the ground taken by the Allies at Passchendaele, with the Germans advancing about 6 miles. This meant that every inch of ground (that had taken 450,000 casualties and 5 months to take) gained in the offensive was lost to the Germans, in a space of about three days, further proving the point of many historians that the Ypres salient was "not the most strategically significant area on which to wage a major campaign". 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advance by either side since 1914. ... is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... British and Portuguese captured by German forces in the Flanders region (1918) British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas during the battle, 10 April 1918. ... is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


These battles, and those British Empire soldiers who gave their lives, are commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, the Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world with nearly 12,000 graves. The Menin Gate Memorial at the eastern exit of the town of Ieper (usually known in English as Ypres) in Flanders, Belgium, marks the starting point for one of the main roads out of the town that led Allied soldiers to the front line during World War I. Designed by... Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) burial ground for the dead of World War I located in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. ... The Azmak Cemetery, near Suvla Bay, Turkey, contains the graves of some of the soldiers who died during the Gallipoli Campaign. ...


More than any other battle, Passchendaele has come to symbolise the horrific nature of the great battles of the First World War and the uselessness of the tactics employed. The Germans lost approximately 270,000 men, while the British Empire forces lost about 300,000, including approximately 36,500 Australians, 3,596 New Zealanders and 16,000 Canadians — the latter of which were lost in the intense final assault between 26 October and 10 November; 90,000 British, New Zealand and Australian bodies were never identified, and 42,000 never recovered. Aerial photography showed 1,000,000 shell holes in 1 square mile (2.56 km²). The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Quotations

"I died in Hell
(they called it Passchendaele); my wound was slight
and I was hobbling back; and then a shell
burst slick upon the duckboards; so I fell
into the bottomless mud, and lost the light"
Siegfried Sassoon

The horror of the shell-hole area of Verdun was surpassed. It was no longer life at all. It was mere unspeakable suffering. And through this world of mud the attackers dragged themselves, slowly, but steadily, and in dense masses. Caught in the advanced zone by our hail of fire they often collapsed, and the lonely man in the shell-hole breathed again. Then the mass came on again. Rifle and machine-gun jammed with the mud. Man fought against man, and only too often the mass was successful. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE MC (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967) was an English poet and author. ...

General Erich Ludendorff

I stood up and looked over the front of my hole. There was just a dreary waste of mud and water, no relic of civilization, only shell holes… And everywhere were bodies, English and German, in all stages of decomposition. Ludendorff in 1918 Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (sometimes given incorrectly as von Ludendorff) (April 9, 1865 – December 20, 1937, Tutzing, Bavaria, Germany) was a German Army officer, Quartermaster General during World War I, victor of Liege, and, with Paul von Hindenburg, one of the victors of the battle of Tannenberg. ...

Lieutenant Edwin Campion Vaughan

The man beside him, who had been through the campaign, replied tonelessly, 'It's worse further on up.' Edwin Campion Vaughan was a subaltern in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Royal Warwicks) 48th Division. ...

Leon Wolff, In Flanders Fields

Passchendaele was just a terrible, terrible place. We used to walk along these wooden duckboards — something like ladders laid on the ground. The Germans would concentrate on these things. If a man was hit and wounded and fell off he could easily drown in the mud and never be seen again. You just did not want [to] go off the duckboards.

Private Richard W. Mercer (911016)

I fell in a trench. There was a fella there. He must have been about our age. He was ripped shoulder to waist with shrapnel. I held his hand for the last 60 seconds of his life. He only said one word: 'Mother'. I didn't see her, but she was there. No doubt about it. He passed from this life into the next, and it felt as if I was in God's presence. I've never got over it. You never forget it. Never.

Harry Patch, last living survivor of Passchendaele, 12/07/2007

Some of the boys buried here are the same age as me, killed on the same day I was fighting. Anyone of them could have been me. I didn't know whether I would last longer than 5 minutes. We were the Poor Bloody Infantry and we were expendable. What a terrible waste. Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme, First World War. ...

Harry Patch 29/7/07[2]

Cultural references

  • The British Heavy metal band Iron Maiden wrote the song "Paschendale" for their 2003 album Dance of Death as a homage to the battle. The song vividly describes a soldier's vision of the battle.
  • Edward Elgar's Cello concerto was written in 1919 at his home in Sussex from where he had earlier heard the artillery of the war in Flanders, possibly from the Battle of Passchendaele.
  • British rock-pop band The Men They Couldn't Hang included "The Crest" on its album Waiting for Bonaparte. The lyrics describe a military family in which the grandfather survived Passchendaele but went insane, and ends with advice by the father to the son to discard the old medals, "sacrifice tradition and save your family."
  • In the Franco Zeffirelli-movie Tea with Mussolini Lady Hester Random played by Maggie Smith mentioned that her son died in Passchendale.
  • Irish singer Chris de Burgh wrote the song "This Song for You", which describes a British soldier in Passchendaele who writes a letter to his 'darling' the night before the attack. It appears on the album "Spanish Train and Other Stories". This was sung by him at the Festerval of Remembrance at the Royal ALbert Hall in 2006.
  • Indie band GoodBooks wrote "Passchendaele" (released July 16, 2007), a song which tells of a man "born towards the end of the 19th Century" who goes off to fight, and die, at Passchendaele, "fighting for the cause, in a war to end all wars".
  • New Zealand celtic band Wild Geese included the song "Ridge of Messines" on the 2002 CD Promises to Keep. It tells of the New Zealand Division's part in the 1917 Battle of Messines in which this unit captured the village of Messines. Bass player Neil Frances wrote the song in memory of his grandfather who took part in the battle.
  • In the BBC Television show Blackadder, during the fourth incarnation of the show, Captain Blackadder fights and, presumably, dies in the Battle of Passchendaele during the Big Push.
  • The poignant letters of one of Passchendaele's casualties who died a month after the battle of 12 October in the hospital at Le Tréport are published in 'Under the Shadow: Letters of Love and War 1911-1917'.
  • The poem In Flanders Fields.
  • The Thomas Pynchon novel Gravity's Rainbow mentions "the smell of Passchendaele".[1]
  • Playwright Howard Barker's "The Love of a Good Man" is set in Passchendaele. The play centers around the aftermath.

“Heavy metal” redirects here. ... This article is about the band. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... See also: 2003 in music (UK) Musical groups established in 2003 Record labels established in 2003 // January - following an investigation by The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and London detectives, police raids in England and the Netherlands recover nearly 500 original Beatles studio tapes, recorded during the Let It... Dance of Death is Iron Maidens 13th studio album, released first in Japan on September 2 and rest of the world on September 8, 2003. ... Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet, OM, GCVO (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English Romantic composer. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Sussex is a historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. ... The Men They Couldnt Hang (TMTCH) are a British rock band whose mixture of folk and punk is not dissimilar to that of The Pogues (in fact founder member Shanne Bradley was an original female punk artist and founder of Shane MacGowans first band, The Nipple Erectors). ... Franco Zeffirelli (born Gianfranco Corsi on February 12, 1923), is an Italian film director. ... Tea with Mussolini (1999) is a semi-autobiographical film directed by Franco Zeffirelli, telling the story of young Italian boy Lucas upbringing by a kind British woman and her circle of friends. ... Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, DBE (born 28 December 1934), better known as Dame Maggie Smith, is a two-time Academy Award, and Emmy-winning English film, stage, and television actress. ... Chris de Burgh (born Christopher John de Burgh Davison on October 15, 1948) is an Irish musician and songwriter. ... In popular music, indie music (from independent) is any of a number of genres, scenes, subcultures and stylistic and cultural attributes, characterised by perceived independence from commercial pop music and mainstream culture and an autonomous, do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. ... An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... World War I (originally known as The Great War before World War II) was at the time and in the years just after described as the war to end all wars (or, in the jargon of the French Poilus: la der des ders, i. ... This redirect page has been listed on Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... For other uses, see Blackadder (disambiguation). ... Captain Edmund Blackadder (1871—1917 assumed, MIA) was the main character in the fourth and final series of the popular BBC sitcom Blackadder. ... A small portion of In Flanders Fields appeared alongside McCraes portrait on a Canadian stamp of 1968, issued to commemorate a half-century since his death. ... Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. ... Gravitys Rainbow is an epic postmodern novel written by Thomas Pynchon and first published on February 28, 1973. ...

See also

Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defence. ... Hedd Wyn (13 January 1887–31 July 1917) was a Merionethshire farmer and poet of World War I. Born Ellis Humphrey Evans, the eldest of eleven children of Evan and Mary Evans, he used the Bardic name Hedd Wyn, Welsh for white peace. Evans spent most of his life on... Henry Harry Patch (born June 17, 1898) is, at age 109, the secondnd-oldest living man[1] in the United Kingdom and one of the last three surviving British veterans of the First World War still living in the country. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Although the British forces managed to make minor gains, Haig's overall objective had been a complete breakthrough of German lines, the total advance was a little over 5 miles
  2. ^ Daily Telegraph Number 47,323 Monday 30th July 2007

This article deals with The Daily Telegraph in Britain, see The Daily Telegraph (Australia) for the Australian publication The Daily Telegraph is a British broadsheet newspaper founded in 1855. ...

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Leon Wolff, In Flanders Fields (Viking, New York, 1958) is the standard modern history, highly praised by both B. H. Liddell Hart and J. F. C. Fuller
  • Edwin Campion Vaughan's "Some Desperate Glory", Diary of a young officer, is often cited as one of the five best books on war.
  • Philip Warner "Passchendaele" Pen and Sword military classics, Barnsley 1987, 2005 is a very fine history, very critical of General Haig, written by a Senior Lecturer at Sandhurst Academy. Generally a well-balanced and harrowing story, with many quotations from the memoirs of soldiers who were there.
  • Robertson Davies' novel Fifth Business, in which the main character, a Canadian soldier, is lost on the battlefield of Passchendaele, and is severely wounded.
  • Glyn Harper, "Massacre at Passchendaele — The New Zealand Story", Harper Collins, 2000, ISBN 1-86950-342-2. Describes the battle of Passchendaele from the New Zealand perspective.
  • Winston Groom, A Storm in Flanders- The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918,Atlantic Monthly Press, 2002, ISBN0-87113-842-5. World War I Account of Tradegy and Triumph on the Western Front written by an American Author.

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The military historian Basil Liddell Hart. ... J.F.C. Fuller (September 1, 1878 – February 10, 1966), full name John Frederick Charles Fuller, was a British Major General, military historian and strategist, notable as an early theorist of modern armoured warfare, including categorising principles of warfare. ... Edwin Campion Vaughan was a subaltern in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Royal Warwicks) 48th Division. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... William Robertson Davies, CC, FRSC, FRSL (born August 28, 1913, at Thamesville, Ontario, and died December 2, 1995 at Orangeville, Ontario) was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. ... Book cover Fifth Business is perhaps Robertson Davies best-known novel, and is widely considered his finest. ...

Dramatizations

Passchendaele is the name of a film project spearheaded by Canadian actor and director Paul Gross. ... Paul Michael Gross (born 30 April 1959), is a Canadian actor, producer, director, singer and writer born in Calgary, Alberta. ...

Oral histories

  • "Passchendaele" in Oral Histories of the First World War: Veterans 1914-1918 at Library and Archives Canada

External links

World War I Portal

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Memory Project - globeandmail.com (728 words)
It is with thankfulness one can record today the capture of Passchendaele, the crown and crest of the ridge which made it the great barrier round the salient of Ypres, and has hemmed us in the flats and swamps.
The Canadian troops, who at dawn attacked this most vital of all the German remaining defences in the Passchendaele Ridge system, were this afternoon, according to the latest reports, resting on the northern tip of the crest, some 800 yards beyond the centre of the hamlet.
The main defences of Passchendaele consisted of a great number of machine guns, and a heavy barrage was thrown against the Canadians as they advanced along the crest of the ridge.
Passchendaele (1307 words)
Passchendaele, otherwise known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was one of the major battles of World War I, fought by British and Commonwealth soldiers against the German army near Ypres (Ieper[?] in Flemish) in West Flanders, north-western Belgium.
The label "Passchendaele" should properly apply only to the battle's later actions in October-November 1917, but has come to be applied also to the entire campaign from July 31.
These battles, and those British and Commonwealth soldiers who gave their lives, are commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing[?], and at the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world with nearly 12,000 graves.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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