Ellen Lee Y10A
The Third Battle of Ypres of 1917 - Passchendaele
- The Third Battle of Ypres of 1917 which is also known as The Battle of Passchendaele was launched by Sir Douglas Haig as he was convinced that the German army was now close to collapse so he decided to make plans for a major offensive to obtain the necessary breakthrough.
- The plan for this battle was to advance against the German Front Line east and north-east of Ypres, and in order to do that, they would have to capture the German lines on ridges and hills surrounding the Allied controlled Belgian town on Ypres.
- On 18th July 1917, an initial bombardment of over 4.5 million shells from 3000 guns was launched which lasted for 10 days and had once again failed to destroy the heavy German defences just like how it was during the Battle of The Somme previously.
- On July 31st 1917, the infantry attack started, the shelling had simmer the clay soil and smashed the drainage systems.
- Unfortunately, the heaviest rain the region had ever seen in 30 years occurred during the battle which turned the area in Flanders into a swamp (quagmire), which is why the battle was also called "The Battle of Mud". This meant that the attack had to be delayed.
- The battle was a disaster mainly because of the British Leader, Sir Douglas Haig. As everyone knows that The Battle of the Somme was a major disaster for the British, Haig did not learn from the many mistakes he had made and often refuses to modify his plans. However, the weather was so bad that the attack had to be delayed, and this might be the only reason that's not Haig's fault as poor weather could not be predicted.
- Overall, I think that Douglas Haig was mainly to blame for the disaster due to his poor leadership and planning. Because of his leadership and planning skills, the allies had only captured 5 miles of land which took 3 whole months and had a total of 325,000 Allied Casualties while the Germans had 260,000. All these disaster would not have happened if Haig is smart enough to abandon the attack when it was clear that a breakthrough wasn't possible.