PASSCHENDAELE: Unseen Panoramas of the Third Battle of Ypres

PASSCHENDAELE: Unseen Panoramas of the Third Battle of Ypres

PETER BARTON    Book Number: 89070    Product format: Hardback

This major contribution to the study of World War I is based on a series of 50 panoramic photographs of the whole sweep of different battlefields, some of them taken by Germans and never published before. From the archives at the Imperial War Museum, hundreds more photos in tandem with extracts from soldiers' diaries and letters show the reality of one of the worst battles in the history of the world. Controversial even among its commanding officers, Passchendaele was part of the Ypres Salient, a key spur of Allied territory that was highly vulnerable to German attack and where hundreds of men were lost every day for the sake of gaining a few inches of thick mud. In October 1914 the German 4th Army moved to occupy Ypres, with Belgian refugees scattering in all directions. In 1916 the Somme and Verdun forced the Allies to accept that the war would not be easily won, and in 1917 the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, tried unsuccessfully to sideline the controversial commander-in-chief Sir Douglas Haig. It was Haig who, following the costly advances at Arras and Vimy, moved on to initiate the assault on Passchendaele Ridge in the Third Battle of Ypres, and in his exhortation to the Canadian Corps Haig evasively claimed that he was unable to tell them the top-secret reason. A photo shows two Allied officers supporting a German prisoner as they wade slowly through the mud that reduced all progress to snail's pace, while another shot captures soldiers crossing one of the infamous duckboard routes from which it was easy to slip and drown in mud. Lieutenant Howkins reported that the Salient was a place of "abomination and desolation", while Second Lieutenant P. J. Campbell described the terrifyingly slow struggle from one pillbox shelter to another. A shell exploded nearby and "I saw a hole opening between my feet, water and mud leaping away." A superb read and an important resource. 468pp, hundreds of atmospheric photos in black and white and colour, maps and diagrams. A brick of a book, 22 x 27cm. First Edition 2007.
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Published price: £60
Bibliophile price: £9.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9781845294229
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from Anonymous on 13/05/2021
Have others by Peter Barton highly recommend if you are interested in WW1 Battlefields then and now.