Why was The 3rd battle of Ypres a disaster?
The 3rd battle of Ypres, which is also known as the battle of passchendaele, was one of the major events of World War 1 that caused many casualties on both side. It was launched in 31 July 1917, ended in 6 November 1917. Douglas Haig was the person who decide to launch this attack, and once again, it turned into a disaster. Why did it turn into a disaster? Was Haig the person to be blamed?
Why did Douglas Haig decide to launch an attack at Ypres at 1917?
Haig had this plan of attack Passchendaele in 1916, but battle of somme took place first.He believed that the Germans were close to being collapsed, and he was encouraged by the gains of Messines, so he made a plan for attacking Ypres.
What was the plan for the battle?
H The Failure of French army attacking Nivelle caused mutiny, which caused the French army under attack by the Germans while soldier's are running away. Since Passchendaele was German's submarine pens, if the battle of Passchendaele could work, it could destroy the submarine pens of Germany and help the French from the pressure of Germany in the same time.
Although it seemed like a good idea, it didn't have support from the Britains Prime minster- David Lloyd George. He thought about the poor planning of the battle of Somme, but due to the absent of anther better plan and the gains of Messines, he agreed with the plan to be carried out.
What happened during the battle?
On 18 July 1917, 3000 artillery guns fired towards 4 million shells. On 31 July 1917, the infantries started to attack, but the Germans were fully prepared. The battle field was muddy before the battle had begun , and with the heaviest rain ever occurred in the area, it turned the battle field into a swamp with low visibility, causing tanks to be unavailable to be used. Soldiers kept dying from both side, but there were only small victories for the British, until the Canadian's join the battle in mid October. They started pushing the battle field towards the Germans, but with high cost. Just for few hundred meters, they lost 12,000 soldiers. In 30 October, they finally took down Passchendaele, but they defended for 5 days due to the Germans really wanted Passchendaele. As a result, the Entente took Passchendaele with a high cost. It ended with around 450,000 casualties for the Entente and 260,000 casualties for the Alliance.
Why was the battle a disaster?
What were the reasons for the failure?
The battle eventually turned into a disaster, mainly because of the unexpected heavy rain. The field was mainly made of mud and rocks, without the rain, the field was already very muddy, and with the heaviest rain ever occurred in that area, it turned the battle field into a swamp. With the holes filled with water made by artillery's fire and rain, many soldier dhttps://tackk.com/idn't get killed by the enemy, but died drowning.
Haig made the same mistake as what he did in the battle of Somme- he thought that the Germans are nearly going to collapse. He also didn't blame the bad weather for the lack of progress in the start, but the use of person. He made Gough to a front futher north, and put Plumer in charge of the battle, but it was a wrong decision. Plumer was a person that wants small but certain victories while Gough is a person who likes a big movement that would bring them to success. As a result, many small battle's were fought between September and October, making Haig believe the German is on the edge of collapsing.
Was Haig to be blamed for the failure or was there something more important?
Despite the wrong choice of person, Haig's plan also went wrong due to the unexpected heavy rain. It was the heaviest rain that occurred in the area, and it was one of the main reason that made the battle field into a low visibility swamp. This was something that interrupted the plan, and was the main reason of the high casualties of both side. So i believe that Haig didn't have a good use of people caused a bit of problem, but mainly it was caused by mother nature disliking humans fighting for stupid reasons, and giving people a warning by the heavy.
-First World War
-A Chinese website talking about the battle of Passchendaele
-History learning site