Saturday, May 27, 2023

Battle of Passchendaele

Battle of Passchendaele, also called Third Battle of Ypres, happened between July 31 to November 6, 1917. On one side were the forces of France and Britain (along with other allies such as Canada) and on the other were the Germans. Both sides suffered heavy casualties and endured appalling conditions.

The offensive at Passchendaele was launched on the 18th July 1917 with a bombardment of the German lines involving 3,000 guns. In the 10 days that followed, it is estimated that over 4¼ million shells were fired.

The rain began on 31 July - the first day of the battle. The battlefield had been churned up by the Allied artillery bombardment, destroying the ditches that acted as a drainage system.

Early in October 1917, the Canadians were sent to Belgium to relieve the battered ANZAC forces and take part in the final push to capture Passchendaele. Advancing through the mud and enemy fire was slow and there were heavy losses but the soldiers clawed their way forward. The name Passchendaele has become synonymous with mud, blood and futility.

On 6th November 1917, after three months of fierce fighting, British and Canadian forces finally took control of the tiny village of Passchendaele in the West Flanders region of Belgium, so ending one of the bloodiest battles of World War I.

The Allies suffered over 250,000 casualties - soldiers killed wounded or missing - during the Third Battle of Ypres. Casualties among German forces were also in the region of 200,000.

The Allies lost an estimated 275,000 casualties at Passchendaele - soldiers killed wounded or missing - during the Third Battle of Ypres and casualties among German forces were 220,000, making it one of the war’s most costly battles of attrition.

Passchendaele, often remembered as the low point of the British war effort, remains synonymous with the terrible and costly fighting on the Western Front.
Battle of Passchendaele

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