Tag: Passchendaele

"I confess I stick to it more because I see nothing better, and because my instinct prompts me to stickto it, than to any convincing arguments by which I can support it."
(From a letter of Sir William Robertson - Chief of the Imperial General Staff - to Douglas Haig)

“We could not believe that we were expected to attack in such appalling conditions. I never prayed so hard in my life. I got down on my knees in the mud and prayed to God to bring me through.”

- Private Pat Burns, 46th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Passchendale, November 1917

The words of soldiers tell us a lot about the conditions in which the battle took place, but the images reflect the dimensional view of the drama consumed in Passchendaele.
Passchendaele has entered in the British collective memory as the tragic symbol of the Great War on the Western Front, as well as the military débâcle  par excellence. The reasons for this consideration of a battle, although concluded with good local successes and lower losses compared to Somme, can be sought in a series of social, psychological and military variables. It should first be noted that in England the patriotic enthusiasm around the war had long since weakened, so that in January...
At 03:50 a.m. On July 31, 1917, the battle of Passchendaele began with the assault of Pilckem by nine British divisions; German general Hermann von Kuhl defined the battle «[...] the greatest martyrdom of the first World War [where] no division could survive more than a week in that hell.»
The battle, wich ended in November of the same year, opposed the British on one side and the German Empire on the other. The battle was one of the biggest defeats in British military history due to the heavy...
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