Author(s): Nigel Steel
In the autumn of 1917, after years of stalemate at Ypres, the British and French armies launched a massive offensive to take Passchendaele Ridge. Following an intensive bombardment the Allies began their attack, but the low ground between the lines had been churned into a quagmire, and the attack was literally bogged down. All surprise had been lost, and the German defence in depth was well organised. For the first time the Germans used mustard gas, while German planes flew low to strafe the British infantry with machine guns. After two and a half months the British finally took the ridge they had been aiming for, but at the cost of over 300,000 Allied lives. German losses in the offensive were estimated at 260,000.
Based on the archival holdings at the Imperial War Museum, this book gathers together a wealth of previously unpublished material about this horrific offensive. A history to appeal to the scholar and the general reader alike.
Reissued to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the start of the battle The drama and horror of one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War Features previously unpublished testimonies from the sound archives of the Imperial War Museum 'There have been many descriptions of the horrors of the Third Battle of Ypres ... but few of them have painted as vivid and detailed a picture of what it was like for those who fought in it as this book by Nigel Steel and Peter Hart' Field Marshal Lord Carver, TLS 'Steel and Hart offer fresh insights into the battle ... Into one engrossing narrativr they blend shrewd strategic analysis with frontline accounts' Correlli Barnett, BBC HISTORY
Nigel Steel and Peter Hart are both historians at the Imperial War Museum in London. They have collaborated on two previous titles, on Gallipoli and the war in the air. Peter Hart was born in 1955. He went to Liverpool University before joining the Sound Archive at the Imperial War Museum in 1981. He is now Oral Historian at the Archive.
1 Gestation; 2 Messines; 3 Plans and Preparations; 4 Pilckem Ridge, 31 July 1917; 5 August Despair; 6 Footsloggers; 7 Gunners; 8 Bite and Hold; 9 Journey's End; 10 Epilogue; Notes to the text; Sources; Index