Sunday, September 28

Field Trip, WWI

Chateau Wood Ypres 1917 by Frank Hurley
Eitan up at 4AM (Sunday) for an over-night field trip to Belgium to trace the route taken by an Australian WWI platoon on their way to fight at Passchendele (near Ypres). Tomorrow the boys will drive to the Somme where the trenches have been preserved. This followed by a visit to the British memorial at Thiepval and a British Cemetary. 

The Battle of Passchendaele was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the British and their allies against the German Empire. The battle took place on the Western Front, between July and November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgiam city of Ypres in West Flanders , as part of a strategy decided by the Allies at conferences in November 1916 and May 1917.
Passchendael lay on the last ridge east of Ypres, five miles from a railway junction at Roeselare, which was a vital part of the supply system of the German Fourth Army. The next stage of the Allied strategy was an advance to Torhout-Couckelaere, to close the German-controlled railway running through Roeselare and Torhout, which did not take place until 1918. 

Further operations and a British supporting attack along the Belgian coast from Nieuwpoort, combined with an amphibious landing, were to have reached Bruges and then the Dutch frontier. The resistance of the German Fourth Army, unusually wet weather, the onset of winter and the diversion of British and French resources to Italy, following the Austro-German victory at the Battle of Caoretto (24 October – 19 November) allowed the Germans to avoid a general withdrawal, which had seemed inevitable to them in October. 

The campaign ended in November when the Canadian Corps captured Passchendaele. In 1918 the Battle of Lys and the Fifth Battle of Ypres were fought before the Allies occupied the Belgian coast and reached the Dutch frontier.
(source: Wiki)