Third Battle of Ypres Passchendaele, 1917
U-Boats (Unterseeboot) German submarine U9 (1914)
1914 – Ger U-Boats targeting British Warships • Feb 1915 – Ger U-Boats begin targeting British merchant ships – Why? Retaliation for the tight British blockade stopping supplies reaching Germany. • 7 May – U-20 sinks Lusitania – 1201 lives lost (128 Americans) • 19 August - U-27 sank the Arabic (more Americans killed)
October 1916, the U-boats began another campaign against commerce. • the Allies found they could solve the problem by putting merchant ships into defended convoys. • End of 1917 - monthly losses were halved (U-boats had been neutralised). U-boats lined up at the docks. The fleet reached its peak in 1917 when 146 U-boats were on patrol.
Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, 29 October 1917.
Read Page 85 • What was the purpose or overall aim of the attack? • Why were the British unable to break through the German lines? • Why is Passchendaele remembered as such a terrible battle?
PaschendaleSteve Harris, Adrian Smith In a foreign field he lay. Lonely soldier unkown grave On his dying words he prays. Tell the world of Paschendale Relive all that he's been through. Last communioun of his soul Rust your bullets with his tears. Let me tell you 'bout his years Laying low in a blood filled trench. Kill time 'til my very own death On my face I can feel the falling rain. Never see my friends again In the smoke in the mud and lead. Smell the fear and the feeling of dread Soon be time to go over the wall. Rapid fire and the end of us all Whistles, shouts and more gun fire. Lifeless bodies hang on barbed wire Battlefield nothing but a bloody tomb. Be reunited with my dead friends soon Many soldiers eighteen years. Drown in mud no more tears Surely a war no-one can win. Killing time about to begin Home, far away. From the war, a chance to live again Home, far away. But the war, no chance to live again The bodies of ours and our foes. The sea of death it overflows In no man's kand god only knows. Into jaws of death we go
Crucified as if on a cross. Allied troops they mourn their lossGerman war propaganda machine. Such before has never been seen Swear I heard the angels cry. Pray to god no more may dieSo that people know the truth. Tell the tale of Paschendale Cruelty has a human heart. Everyman does play his partTerror of the men we kill. The human heart is hungry still I stand my ground for the very last time. Gun is ready as I stand in lineNervous wait for the whistle to blow. Rush of blood and over we go Blood is falling like the rain. It's crimson cloak unveils againThe sound of guns can't hid their shame. and so we die on Paschendale Dodging shrapnel and barbed wire. Running straight at the cannon fireRunning blind as I hold my breath. Say a prayer symphony of death As we charge the enemy lines. A burst of fire and we go downI choke a cry but no-one hears. Fell the blood go down my throat Home, far away. From the war, a chance to live againHome, far away. But the war, no chance to live again See my spirit on the wind. Across the lines beyond the hillFriend and foe will meet again. Those who died at Paschendale
In Flanders Field In Flanders fields the poppies blowBetween the crosses, row on row,That mark our place; and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved, and were loved, and now we lieIn Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies growIn Flanders fields. — John McCrae Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on May 3, 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, the day before. The poem was first published on December 8, that year in Punch magazine.
Arguments in Favour • At the root of the July 1 losses was the lack of training the soldiers had received and so Haig compensated with an inflexible battle plan. • Haig did not trust subordinate commanders to make their own plans or modify his own allowing him to reduce his own responsibility for any perceived failures.