To use the name Passchendaele to identify the series of battles fought to the east of Ypres, during the Flanders offensive from the 31st July to the 10th November 1917 is strictly incorrect. There were six major battles between the 31st July and the 9th October, and each battle was to be given an independent title. It was the penultimate battle on the 12th October that was to become officially called the First Battle of Passchendaele, and the final series of attacks between the 26th October and the 10th November, that were to be called the Second Battle of Passchendaele. The conditions of mud and shell-shattered ground experienced during this final period were amongst the worst throughout the whole campaign. There were however periods in August, between the Battle of Pilckem Ridge and the Battle of Langemarck, when conditions were in places as bad, and optimism in the ranks dropped to an all time low. But the name by which the offensive was to be remembered around the world, and the name that was to arouse such emotion, and later controversy, was Passchendaele. Nearly 100 years later, mention of the word Passchendaele still evokes an atmosphere of grim foreboding, despair, and tragedy. The word has become synonymous with images of mud, mutilation and death, and the despair borne of hopelessness and futility. This account will attempt to show that the battles, and the efforts of the men who fought them under collectively the worst conditions the British Army has ever experienced, were far from futile.
TO PLAY A GIANT’S PART The Role of the British Army at Passchendaele
This book is intended to give a full and accurate account of The Battles of Ypres 1917, which have become known collectively as the Third Battle of Ypres, or more commonly the Battle of Passchendaele.A new revisionist account that gives a overdue reinterpretation of orthodox views making full use of War Diary’s, Overdrawn Trench Maps, and both published and non published reference sources.In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event. Revision of history is part of the normal scholarly process of writing history and should be applauded.