A Moonlight Massacre

The Night Operation on the Passchendaele Ridge, 2 December 1917 : the Forgotten Last Act of the Third Battle of Ypres

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Author: Michael LoCicero

Publisher: Helion & Company Limited

ISBN: 9781909982925

Category: History

Page: 517

View: 9783

The Third Battle of Ypres was officially terminated by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig with the opening of the Battle of Cambrai on 20 November 1917. Nevertheless, a comparatively unknown set-piece attack - the only large-scale night operation carried out on the Flanders front during the campaign - was launched twelve days later on 2 December. This volume is a necessary corrective to previously published campaign narratives of what has become popularly known as ''Passchendaele''. It examines the course of events from the mid-November decision to sanction further offensive activity in the vicinity of Passchendaele village to the barren operational outcome that forced British GHQ to halt the attack within ten hours of Zero. A litany of unfortunate decisions and circumstances contributed to the profitless result. At the tactical level, a novel hybrid set-piece attack scheme was undermined by a fatal combination of snow-covered terrain and bright moonlight. At the operational level, the highly unsatisfactory local situation in the immediate aftermath of Third Ypres'' post-strategic phase (26 October-10 November) appeared to offer no other alternative to attacking from the confines of an extremely vulnerable salient. Perhaps the most tragic aspect of the affair occurred at the political and strategic level, where Haig''s earnest advocacy for resumption of the Flanders offensive in spring 1918 was maintained despite obvious signs that the initiative had now passed to the enemy and the crisis of the war was fast approaching. "A Moonlight Massacre" provides an important contribution and reinterpretation of the discussion surrounding Passchendaele, based firmly on an extensive array of sources, many unpublished, and supported by illustrations and maps.REVIEWS "This meticulously researched account of the last, forgotten, phase of the Third Battle of Ypres, utilizing German as well as British sources, provides a detailed insight into why First World War battles were launched, how they were organized at every level and why they so often disappointed the hopes of their planners." Dr John Bourne, Vice President Western Front Association "In this work Michael LoCicero reveals the tragic story of the long forgotten night action that was the final act of the Third Battle of Ypres, 1917. Combining meticulous research with vivid prose, LoCicero explores operations at the highest level without ever losing sight of how this affected the officers and men in the front line. Gripping, thought-provoking and admirably measured, this superb book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the British Army of the First World War." Dr Spencer Jones, University of Wolverhampton"In this fine book, Michael LoCicero has painstakingly reconstructed a hitherto forgotten episode of First World War history. Thanks to him, we are able to look at the Passchendaele campaign through new eyes." Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies, University of Wolverhampton"A scholarly and highly detailed new operational study of a little-known action which was a postscript to the Third Battle of Ypres. With this book, Michael LoCicero has shed much fresh light on the BEF''s command, planning and tactics in late 1917." Peter Simkins, Hon. Professor of Western Front Studies, University of Wolverhampton" ... a mightily impressive book. It sets a standard for anyone wishing to describe and analyse a military operation ..." Long Long Trail website"...an excellent example of the possibilities opened by fastidious use of a wide spectrum of sources ... Where this work is atypical is that it manages to bea rare thing - a genuinely operational study ... Perhaps the greatest success of this book, notwithstanding its deft mastery of narrative and sources both well-known and obscure is that the author always maintains balance ... It demands - and deserves - your close attention. At the risk of sounding evangelical or repetitive, again Helion bring the best modern research to market at an accessible price and beautifully produced. Wholeheartedly recommended." Newsletter of the Society of Friends of the National Army Museum

Passchendaele

The Lost Victory of World War I

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Author: Nick Lloyd

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465094783

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 2817

The definitive account of Passchendaele, one of the most influential and tragic battles of the First World War Passchendaele. The name of a small, seemingly insignificant Flemish village echoes across the twentieth century as the ultimate expression of meaningless, industrialized slaughter. In the summer of 1917, upwards of 500,000 men were killed or wounded, maimed, gassed, drowned, or buried in this small corner of Belgium. On the centennial of the battle, military historian Nick Lloyd brings to vivid life this epic encounter along the Western Front. Drawing on both British and German sources, he is the first historian to reveal the astonishing fact that, for the British, Passchendaele was an eminently winnable battle. Yet the advance of British troops was undermined by their own high command, which, blinded by hubris, clung to failed tactics. The result was a familiar one: stalemate. Lloyd forces us to consider that trench warfare was not necessarily a futile endeavor, and that had the British won at Passchendaele, they might have ended the war early, saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives. A captivating narrative of heroism and folly, Passchendaele is an essential addition to the literature on the Great War.

Passchendaele

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Author: Nigel Steel,Peter Hart

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

ISBN: 1474603327

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 5038

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 material about this horrific offensive. A history to appeal to the scholar and the general reader alike.

Passchendaele

Canada's Triumph and Tragedy on the Fields of Flanders : an Illustrated History

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Author: Norman Leach

Publisher: Coteau Books

ISBN: 9781550503999

Category: History

Page: 47

View: 1687

"This fully-illustrated, easily-accessible, account of the battle of Passchendaele presents the background and details of Canada's coming of age in The Great War." During WWI, the battle for the tiny Belgium town Passchendaele was one of the most significant tests of Canadian courage and expertise. British Commander-in-Chief General Douglas Haig had devised one of the most controversial stratagems of the entire war: Allied forces would attack headlong into the heavily fortified German entrenchments, capture the town of Passchendaele and its highlands, and drive toward the coast to destroy German submarine bases. General Arthur Currie's Canadian Corps was called to the front for this attack. After their victories at Vimy Ridge and Hill 70, the Canadians had earned the nickname "storm troopers" for, like a storm, they could not be stopped. Even for the battle-hardened Canadians, Passchendaele was a living hell. Many drowned in the mud before ever seeing the enemy. Others died from deadly chlorine gas, and others from artillery shells that rained down in numbers over 175 per square metre. The Canadians seized Passchendaele, succeeding where all others had failed, and displaying high standards of leadership, staff work and training.The Corps had suffered 16,000 casualties; nine Victoria Crosses were awarded to acknowledge the extraordinary heroism. Though the actual value of the campaign is debated to this day, one thing is certain: Canadians had been tested against the worst horrors of the Great War, and they had proven their valour.

The German Army at Passchendaele

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Author: Jack Sheldon

Publisher: Casemate Publishers

ISBN: 1844155641

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 7279

Even after the passage of almost a century, the name Passchendaele has lost none of its power to shock and dismay. Reeling from the huge losses in earlier battles, the German army was in no shape to absorb the impact of the Battle of Messines and the subsequent bitter attritional struggle. Throughout the fighting on the Somme the German army had always felt that it had the ability to counter Allied thrusts, but following the shock reverses of April and May 1917, much heart searching had led to the urgent introduction of new tactics of flexible defense. When these in turn were found to be wanting, the psychological damage shook the German defenders badly. But, as this book demonstrates, at trench level the individual soldier of the German Army was still capable of fighting extraordinarily hard, despite being outnumbered, outgunned and subjected to relentless, morale-sapping shelling and gas attacks. The German army drew comfort from the realization that, although it had had to yield ground and had paid a huge price in casualties, its morale was essentially intact and the British were no closer to a breakthrough in Flanders at the end of the battle than they had been many weeks earlier.

They Called it Passchendaele

The Story of the Battle of Ypres and of the Men Who Fought in it

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Author: Lyn MacDonald

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141960310

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 9134

The third battle of Ypres, culminating in a desperate struggle for the ridge and little village of Passchendaele, was one of the most appalling campaigns in the First World War. In this masterly piece of oral history, Lyn Macdonald lets over 600 participants speak for themselves. A million Tommies, Canadians and Anzacs assembled at the Ypres Salient in the summer of 1917, mostly raw young troops keen to do their bit for King and Country. This book tells their tale of mounting disillusion amid mud, terror and desperate privation, yet it is also a story of immense courage, comradeship, songs, high spirits and bawdy humour. They Called It Passchendaele portrays the human realities behind one of the most disastrous events in the history of warfare.

Passchendaele

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Author: Philip Warner

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 1473817056

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 7912

Nearly ninety years ago, on 31st July 1917, the small Belgian village of Passchendaele became the focus for one of the most gruelling, bloody and bizarre battles of World War 1. By 6th November, when Passchendaele village and the ridge were captured, over half a million British, French, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Germans had become casualties. Philip Warner, the noted historian of twentieth-century warfare and the author of over fifty books on military history, many published by Pen and Sword, has skilfully brought together all the elements of this horrific campaign - the historical background, personal accounts, strategies and tactics, the personalities and the political manoeuvres. He investigates the issues which had a crucial effect on the course of the battle, including the mutinous state of the French army, the bombardment which destroyed the drainage system, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig's determination to continue operations despite the appalling weather and ground conditions, and the stormy relationship between Haig and Lloyd George. However, it is the determined fighting ability and the bravery of the allied soldiers, rather than the tactical plans of the commanders, that dominate this detailed and totally absorbing account of the harrowing four-month campaign called the Battle of Passchendaele. Passchendaele is a masterly and timely analysis of one of the most important battles in history.

Passchendaele

The Lost Victory of World War I

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Author: Nick Lloyd

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465094783

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 6935

The definitive account of Passchendaele, one of the most influential and tragic battles of the First World War Passchendaele. The name of a small, seemingly insignificant Flemish village echoes across the twentieth century as the ultimate expression of meaningless, industrialized slaughter. In the summer of 1917, upwards of 500,000 men were killed or wounded, maimed, gassed, drowned, or buried in this small corner of Belgium. On the centennial of the battle, military historian Nick Lloyd brings to vivid life this epic encounter along the Western Front. Drawing on both British and German sources, he is the first historian to reveal the astonishing fact that, for the British, Passchendaele was an eminently winnable battle. Yet the advance of British troops was undermined by their own high command, which, blinded by hubris, clung to failed tactics. The result was a familiar one: stalemate. Lloyd forces us to consider that trench warfare was not necessarily a futile endeavor, and that had the British won at Passchendaele, they might have ended the war early, saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives. A captivating narrative of heroism and folly, Passchendaele is an essential addition to the literature on the Great War.

Passchendaele in Perspective

The Third Battle of Ypres

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Author: Peter Liddle

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 0850525888

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 831

Passchendaele In Perspective explores the context and real nature of the participants’ experience, evaluates British and German High Command, the aerial and maritime dimensions of the battle, the politicians and manpower debates on the home front and it looks at the tactics employed, the weapons and equipment used, the experience of the British; German and indeed French soldiers. It looks thoroughly into the Commonwealth soldiers’ contribution and makes an unparalleled attempt to examine together in one volume ‘specialist’ facets of the battle, the weather, field survey and cartography, discipline and morale, and the cultural and social legacy of the battle, in art, literature and commemoration. Each one of its thirty chapters presents a thought-provoking angle on the subject. They add up to an unique analysis of the battle from Commonwealth, American, German, French, Belgian and United Kingdom historians. This book will undoubtedly become a valued work of reference for all those with an interest in World War One.

Passchendaele

The Untold Story

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Author: Senior Lecturer in History Robin Prior,Trevor Wilson

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300221215

Category: Ypres, 3rd Battle of, Ieper, Belgium, 1917

Page: 280

View: 8866

No conflict of the Great War excites stronger emotions than the war in Flanders in the autumn of 1917, and no name better encapsulates the horror and apparent futility of the Western Front than Passchendaele. By its end there had been 275,000 Allied and 200,000 German casualties. Yet the territorial gains made by the Allies in four desperate months were won back by Germany in only three days the following March. The devastation at Passchendaele, the authors argue, was neither inevitable nor inescapable; perhaps it was not necessary at all. Using a substantial archive of official and private records, much of which has never been previously consulted, Trevor Wilson and Robin Prior provide the fullest account of the campaign ever published. The book examines the political dimension at a level which has hitherto been absent from accounts of "Third Ypres." It establishes what did occur, the options for alternative action, and the fundamental responsibility for the carnage. Prior and Wilson consider the shifting ambitions and stratagems of the high command, examine the logistics of war, and assess what the available manpower, weaponry, technology, and intelligence could realistically have hoped to achieve. And, most powerfully of all, they explore the experience of the soldiers in the light whether they knew it or not of what would never be accomplished."

Passchendaele: The Anatomy of a Tragedy

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Author: Andrew Macdonald

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

ISBN: 1775490653

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 7227

A fresh look at the battles of Passchendaele that reveals, for the first time, where responsibility for the tragedy really lies. this extensively researched book tells the story of one of the darkest hours of Australia and New Zealand's First World War military. With the forensic use of decades-old documents and soldier accounts, it unveils for the first time what really happened on the war-torn slopes of Passchendaele, why, and who was responsible for the deaths and injuries of thousands of soldiers in the black mud of Flanders. Macdonald explores the October battles of third Ypres from the perspective of the generals who organised them to the soldiers in the field, drawing on a wide range of evidence held in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Britain and Germany. His book is far more than a simple narrative of battle and includes critical and comparative assessments of command, personality, training discipline, weapons, systems, tactics and the environment. It looks equally at the roles of infantry, artillery and engineering units, whether Australian, New Zealand, Canadian or British, and in so doing presents a meticulous, objective and compelling investigation from start to finish. Along the way it offers numerous unique insights that have, until now, been obscured by a nearly century-old fog of war. this book will reshape the understanding of one of the most infamous battles of the First World War.

Vcs of the First World War - Passchendaele 1917

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Author: Stephen Snelling

Publisher: History PressLtd

ISBN: 9780752476667

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 303

View: 1519

Latest in our bestselling series that tells the story of the Great War heroes. Includes new information from recently uncovered archives. Biographies of VC winners explore not only their incredible acts of bravery, but also details their lives. Of all the costly campaigns fought across the Western Front during the First World War, none strikes a more chilling chord than Passchendaele. Even now, more than ninety years on, the very mention of the name is enough to conjure up apocalyptic images of desolation and misery on a quite bewildering scale—humanity drowning in a sea of mud. Passchendaele has come to serve as a symbol of the folly and futility of war, chiefly remembered for its carnage and profligate waste of human lives. It also stands as testament to the endurance and extraordinary courage displayed by men of all ranks and nationalities. During the 3 1/2 month long struggle, which claimed the lives of more than 60,000 British and Commonwealth servicemen, 61 men were adjudged to have performed deeds worthy of the Empire's highest award for valour—the Victoria Cross. Men from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa were among their number, alongside men from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. They came from all walks of life, counting humble privates and, for the first time, a general among their ranks. This is a lasting memorial to a body of men who deserve to be numbered among the bravest of the brave.

Major & Mrs HoltÍs Battlefield Guide to Ypres Salient and Passchendaele

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Author: Major Holt,Mrs. Valmai Holt

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 0850525519

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 853

This is the most complete guide to the First World War Battlefield of Ypres that has ever been published. Tonie and Valmai Holt, have condensed the knowledge gained from almost a quarter of a century of researching, writing about, visiting and conducting groups around Ypres into this remarkable book. Here are concise descriptions of the military elements of the battles woven into a kaleidoscope of human, literary and travel information. There are recommended, timed itineraries, in each itinerary representing one day's travelling. Every stop on the routes has an accompanying description and often a tale of heroic or tragic action.Memorials large and small, private and official, sites of memorable conflict, the resting places of personalities of note - they are all here and joined together by a sympathetic and understanding commentary that gives the reader a sensitivity toward the events of 1914-1918 that can only be matched by visiting the battlefield itself. This is a guide book written by people who, because they have been directly involved in taking tours themselves, know the form and type of information that best serves the visitor to the battlefield. NEW, FULLY UPDATED EDITION PACKAGED WITH A FREE, FULL COLOUR FOLD-OUT MAP WORTH '3.99

General Sir Arthur Currie

A Military Biography

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Author: A.M.J. Hyatt

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1487590393

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 200

View: 4607

The most important Canadian in the First World War, Arthur Currie was an extraordinary successful field commander in a war that produced few successful generals. In this biography A.M.J. Hyatt recalls the military career of a remarkable man. Currie's achievements were realized in spite of some formidable obstacles. He was not a professional soldier, having been a civilian before the war. He entered the war under the shadow of a scandal, which, had it been disclosed at the time, would certainly have brought public disgrace. He was not a charismatic man; he had none of the personal flair of so many successful military leaders. In many ways these apparently negative factors make his story all the more remarkable, the secret of his success the more intriguing. That secret, as Hyatt explains, was a fine sense of tactics: Currie, the 'amateur' soldier, had all the instincts of a dedicated professional, and he used them to minimize the destruction of the young Canadian troops under his command. When the war was over Currie returned to civilian life, and was knighted for his service. This biography offers the first balanced account of a central figure in Canadian military histor

Passchendaele

the novel based on the screenplay

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Author: Paul Gross

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781554682904

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 2456

Canadian Corps Soldier vs Royal Bavarian Soldier

Vimy Ridge to Passchendaele 1917

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Author: Stephen Bull

Publisher: Osprey Publishing

ISBN: 9781472819765

Category: History

Page: 80

View: 2699

In 1917 the soldiers of the Canadian Corps would prove themselves the equal of any fighting on the Western Front, while on the other side of the wire, the men of the Royal Bavarian Army won a distinguished reputation in combat. Employing the latest weapons and pioneering tactics, the two elite units would clash in three notable encounters: the Canadian storming of Vimy Ridge, the back-and-forth engagement at Fresnoy, and at the sodden, bloody battle of Passchendaele. Featuring carefully chosen archive photographs and specially commissioned artwork, this study assesses these three hard-fought battles in 1917 that pitted two of the elite fighting forces of the Western Front, and offers a new take on the evolving nature of infantry combat in World War I.

The German Offensives of 1918

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Author: Martin Kitchen

Publisher: Tempus Pub Limited

ISBN: 9780752435275

Category: History

Page: 335

View: 4587

On March 21, 1918 the German Army launched a massive offensive on the Western Front in a last desperate attempt to score a decisive victory. The results were spectacular. They advanced up to 60 kilometers, further by far than the British and French had managed in their offensives on the Somme, the Aisne, and at Ypres. Then the offensive gradually lost momentum, the French counter-attacked in July, the British in August, and the Germans finally lost the initiative. Martin Kitchen, a leading authority on the military history of Germany, provides a gripping account of this critical campaign during which the Germans seemed so close to victory and yet were soon to face a humiliating defeat.

The Road to Passchendaele

The Heroic Year in Soldiers' own Words and Photographs

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Author: Richard van Emden

Publisher:

ISBN: 1473891930

Category: History

Page: 392

View: 9372

Passchendaele is the next volume in the highly regarded series of books from the best-selling First World War historian Richard van Emden. Once again, using the winning formula of diaries and memoirs, and above all original photographs taken on illegally held cameras by the soldiers themselves, Richard tells the story of 1917, of life both in and out of the line culminating in perhaps the most dreaded battle of them all, the Battle of Passchendaele. His pervious book, The Somme, has now sold nearly 20,000 copies in hardback and softback, proving that the public appetite is undiminished for new, original stories illustrated with over 150 rarely or never-before-seen battlefield images. The author has an outstanding collection of over 5,000 privately taken and overwhelmingly unpublished photographs, revealing the war as it was seen by the men involved, an existence that was sometimes exhilarating, too often terrifying, and occasionally even fun. Richard van Emden interviewed 270 veterans of the Great War, has written extensively about the soldiers' lives, and has worked on many television documentaries, always concentrating on the human aspects of war, its challenge and its cost to the millions of men involved. This book will be published in June 2017, in time for the 100th anniversary of the epic Battle of Passchendaele which began on 31st July 1917 Richard van Emden’s books sold over 650,000 books and have appeared in The Times’ bestseller chart on a number of occasions. He lives in West London and regularly appears on television, mostly recently as BBC1’s historian for the national commemorations of the Somme Battle. He has appeared on over forty television documentaries and has written nineteen books on the First World War.