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Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres)

The conditions British Troops faced in Flanders and Passchendaele.
Text:
British Troops in Flanders
The British Troops in Flanders have had to contend with almost incredible difficulties, owing to the autumn and winter rains, which have converted the ground into a morass of bogs and swamps. The photograph shows a domestic scene behind the lines. Some of the men are washing in the floods, while others are shaving and dressing before the day's work begins.
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Reverse:
CS 684. Wt. 7685 - 74m. - 12/17/C. & S. E2202

The conditions British Troops faced in Flanders and Passchendaele.

Image text

British Troops in Flanders

The British Troops in Flanders have had to contend with almost incredible difficulties, owing to the autumn and winter rains, which have converted the ground into a morass of bogs and swamps. The photograph shows a domestic scene behind the lines. Some of the men are washing in the floods, while others are shaving and dressing before the day's work begins.

S1

Reverse:

CS 684. Wt. 7685 - 74m. - 12/17/C. & S. E2202

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With the French sidelined after the Nivelle Offensive and the subsequent army mutinies, British commander Haig could proceed with his own offensive, without minimal French interference, and before the Americans arrived.

On 31 July, 1917, after two weeks of an artillery barrage that destroyed the drainage of the land across which his men were intended to advance, Haig unleashed nearly 1,000,000 men against a comparable number of German defenders. The Allied forces advanced over a mile in places in the initial assaults. Within days the seasonal rains began,and the land reverted to mud.

Trenches, ditches, shell craters, all filled with water and mud in which men, horses, and field guns. Some drowned.

Haig launched further attacks on August 16 and August 21. Some attacks in September gained ground. In October, the British attacked on October 4, and 12, and 22, and 26, and 30.

The conditions of mud and rain and slaughter took their toll. For the first time in the war, the Germans found the British surrendering easily.

As October drew to a close, Central Power forces were collapsing the Italian Front in the Battle of Caparetto. Britain sent five divisions to aid Italy. At the same time, the opposing armies were battling over the village of Passchendaele. On November 7, the British took the ruins of the village, and ended the offensive.

In the Battle, the British suffered over 300,000 casualties, and the Germans 200,000 [TAYLOR]. German casualties: 159,000 [Herwig, 332] LIDDEL HART: The British lost 400,000 men. Herwig, p 331, German casualties: 159,000 for July 11 to October ~11 for the 63 divisions of the army group under Crown Prince Rupprecht.

1917-07-31

1917-11-06