Battle of Passchendale

Topics: Arthur Currie, Western Front, Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig Pages: 3 (972 words) Published: December 16, 2012
Battle of Passchendale:
1) Background:
a. General Douglas Haig, British General, believed that the morale of the German army was very low - especially after the success of the Allies at the Battle of Messines. i. He thought that the Allies could use this low morale and go across Flanders without much trouble. b. British were afraid that the Russians were going to pull out soon so they had to attack soon before the German forces only had to focus on the western front c. Aim of the campaign was destruction of German submarine bases on the Belgian coast 2) Key Events/Battle Strategy:

a. July 18th 1917: a ten day long artillery barrage was launched at the German lines. i. This made the Germans aware of the upcoming Allies attack, thus the Allies could not surprise them b. British attempts to be offensive in the battle was unsuccessful due to heavy rains, the heaviest in 30 years i. Tanks found themselves immobile, stuck fast in the mud. Similarly the infantry found their mobility severely limited. 1. As a consequence no major offensive could be contemplated until 16 August, when the Battle of Langemarck saw four days of fierce fighting which resulted in small gains for the British, but heavy casualties. ii. Herbert Plumer became charge of Haig’s plan. Plumer planned a series of small gains rather than an all-out breakthrough. The attacks began on 20 September with the Battle of the Menin Road Bridge, followed by the Battle of Polygon Wood on 26 September and the Battle of Broodseinde on 4 October. These established British possession of the ridge east of Ypres. c. Allied soldiers were getting exhausted as the Germans made full use of mustard gas which resulted in chemical burns. d. Unwilling to concede the failure of the breakthrough, Haig pressed on with a further three assaults on the ridge in late October. The eventual capture...
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