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Thought you guys might find this interesting, a little blurb on the Battle of Paschendale.

The set-piece victories had once again emboldened [General Douglas] Haig [Commander of the British Expeditionary Force in World War 1] who, against [General Herbert] Plumer's [local commander for Paschendale] advice, decided to press for more, even though the rains had returned. The resulting deluge, referred to by some as a monsoon, transformed the battlefield once again into a nearly impassable wilderness of mud. Slogging through mud that often reached their waists, first ANZAC [Australia-New Zealand Army Corps] troops then Canadian troops strove to reach the top of the last ridge and the village of Paschendale. Due to the muddy horror of this futile portion of the battle, many refer to the entire offensive as the Battle of Paschendale rather than its proper name the Third Battle of Ypres. Some men fell into water-filled shell holes and due to their slippery sides were unable to clamber out and drowned. Wounded men struggled in the clinging mud only to be dragged down to their horrible deaths. The Germans added to the plight of the forlorn soldiers by using mustard gas for the first time in the war. It had all gone terribly wrong. One soldier remembers his experience at Paschendale:

"Mud. We slept in it, ate in it. It stretched for miles - a sea of stinking mud. The dead buried themselves in it. The wounded died in it. Men slithered around the lips of huge shell craters filled with mud and water... [On] each side of the track lie the debris of war... Here an arm and a leg. It was a nightmare journey... Finally dawn broke, a hopeless dawn. Shell holes and mud. Round about rifles with fixed bayonets stuck in the mud marking the places where men had died and been sucked down."

In the end the brave Canadian units seized the ruined village of Pashendale and the Third Battle of Ypres dragged to a halt. Estimates vary widely, but both sides suffered over 300,000 total casualties during the struggle. To many of the British, Third Ypres ranks with the Somme as one of the twin disasters of World War I. The first and last phases of the battle were misguided and horrific...

Taken from The Illustrated History of World War I by Andy Wiest
Published 2001 in London by Brown Books
Pages 170-171

My grandfather was at the Battle of Paschendale. He was injured and was moved back here to Australia. I got his discharge papers somewheres...
I was happy to see a song for it.
A really trippy thing for me was in 1982, when I first heard Number of the Beast it was at a party on a farm called Paschendale Farm here in Australia. So yeah that song has a very special meaning for me (I actually registered to post something about Paschendale but you beat me to it.. hehe)

Yes, I had a great great grandfather at Paschendale, who never came home from it. So this is sort of emotional for me.

The Three Battles of Ypres were among the most important for the soldiery of the British Empire. In the first battle the tired and battered British Expeditionary Force defeated a major German attempt to shatter the lines. However, between the Battle of the Frontiers, the First Battle of the Marne, and the First Battle of Ypres, over 90% of the original soldiery of the BEF became casualties. We have to remember, though, that the four day delay given to the German Fifth Army by the BEF in the Battle of the Frontiers was what allowed French general Joffre the time to reinforce Paris. Because the Germans lost the First Battle of the Marne Paris survived and trench warfare began.

Anyway, the First Battle of Ypres was the final German attempt to outflank the Allied positions. The BEF reached the Belgian city first and dug in, repelling the German attacks at points only a few feet away from the British lines. Had the Germans broke the battered BEF they would have turned the flank and restored a war of mobility. The Germans were at that time much better soldiers than the French who made up the bulk of the Allied force at the time, and it is unlikely that the French could have repelled a renewed German thrust towards Paris.

By the end of the race to the sea the Germans lost 120,000 soldiers, the French 65,000, and the BEF 55,000 dead of the original 70,000.

The Second Battle of Ypres was the only major German offensive in 1915. In the area of Ypres the trenchlines jutted out into German lines, creating a salient around which the Germans controlled all the hills. The salient was nicknamed "Hellfire Corner". The Germans opened the Second Battle of Ypres with the first gas attack of the war. It hit colonial French Algerian troops who panicked and fled. The Germans advancing in the attack were only halted by a fierce counterattack by the Highland Canadian units on the flank. The Canadians resorted to urinating in handkerchiefs and socks and breathing through that as a form of primitive gas mask.

A little sidenote here, it's here that Germans heard for the first time bagpipes. For those of you who haven't heard them, it sounds like a sheep being horribly mutilated. Yet somehow it sounds awesome and awe inspiring. Anyway, the Canadian units counterattacking were in kilts (ie skirts) and highland gear, which the Scots in British units weren't allowed to wear. Suffice to say, a charge of men in dresses with a horrible bleating leading them scared the Germans, who were very disconcerted by the noise. The piper was then shot, and the result was a massacre by the Canadian Black Watch against the Germans, who quickly wiped out the offending German regiment. Thus the Highland units were nicknamed "The Screaming Bitches from Hell".

Anyway, the first attack was defeated. The second gas attack hit the Canadians square on. This time the Germans had more reserves, but once again the Canadians held firm, despite appaling casualties reaching as high as 80% in some regiments.

This battle cost the Germans 40,000 casualties and the Allies 69,000.

And you can scroll up to see about the Third Battle of Ypres, or Paschendale...300,000 casualties on each side.

Paschendale is IMO more than another classic - I think it is hands down the best Maiden song EVER! And each time I hear it, I become more sure of that. I sincerely hope they're playing it live - I would love to see it!

Here's a scan I made that I might add one day to the commentary:


This is probably Maidens most important historical epic to me. Because to be honest I have never heard of Paschendale [!--emo&:blush:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/blush.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'blush.gif\' /][!--endemo--] The Pictures are amazing and what war isn't horrible? I don't wish it on anybody. Is it from a French, Canadian or French-Canadian newspaper? lol The only comment is that they same rather large, would you shrink them to fit them better on the actual comment?

[!--QuoteBegin-Onhell+Sep 28 2003, 08:58 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Onhell @ Sep 28 2003, 08:58 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] The only comment is that they same rather large, would you shrink them to fit them better on the actual comment? [/quote]
I'll see what I can do. I'll probably make a smaller version on which you can click to see the whole page better.

It is from a French weekly newspaper of that time that I have btw. A legacy of my great grand-father who fought in the last months of the war after losing one of his brothers near Verdun (the other one fought too and survived, but was marked for life and died in the 1920s of drug abuse).

May such wars never ever take place again. Amen!

[!--QuoteBegin-Maverick+Sep 28 2003, 08:53 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Maverick @ Sep 28 2003, 08:53 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] May such wars never ever take place again. Amen! [/quote]
Here's hoping, my friends.

[!--QuoteBegin-Onhell+Sep 28 2003, 07:58 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Onhell @ Sep 28 2003, 07:58 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] Because to be honest I have never heard of Paschendale... [/quote]
Paschendale is a forgotten battle to most people, because the slaughterfest was even more pointless than that of the Somme, which most people remember as the supreme butchery of WW1. Of course, it happened before America was really in the war, so there's simply no way anyone in America would hear about this outside of a university level course.

It was a British battle but the actual battle of Paschendale was fought by the Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders. I learned about it in high school but even then we didn't talk about it in the detail that the song goes into. The song highlights the battle that can be called the epitomy of trench warfare: mustard gas, countless pointless charges, waist deep mud, rampant sickness, and casualties in the hundreds of thousands.

I'm a history major who specializes in modern European history. Aside from the Holocaust, this battle is the most disgusting thing we humans have done to one another. I am agnostic, but I pray that we never see war like this again.

[!--QuoteBegin-Maverick+Sep 28 2003, 08:53 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Maverick @ Sep 28 2003, 08:53 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] It is from a French weekly newspaper of that time that I have btw. A legacy of my great grand-father who fought in the last months of the war after losing one of his brothers near Verdun (the other one fought too and survived, but was marked for life and died in the 1920s of drug abuse).

Very interesting and also nice that you still have this paper.
Cool to have a historical document on the site which is so close to yourself!

Sorry, I'm just a dumb American, I don't speak French. [!--emo&;)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/wink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'wink.gif\' /][!--endemo--] Can anybody give me an English translation of the captions from that great picture?

The more I hear about the battle of Paschendale, the more amazed I become that it isn't covered in the average high-school history class. I've learned about a handful of things from Maiden songs: the Crimean War, S.T. Coleridge, East End prostitutes... [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

Thanks LooseCannon. I'm not sure, but probably most people outside of Europe don't even remember WWI, it being vastely overshadowed by WWII. And it is sad, because many of the problems in the Middle East today are a direct result from WWI, not II. Like SinisterMinister was saying, American history books are extremely bias, superficial and lacking when it comes to valid, useful or even true information. You said it was a British battle yet it was fought by Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Isn't that because they are part of the Common Wealth of Nations? Just like in this last war in Iraq, the British forces were aided by the very same countries.

In the First World War, Onhell, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia were all dominions, meaning self-governing. However, they did not have freedom from the Privy Council, which meant that all decisions of the various Dominion governments could be overthrown by the British Cabinet ministers. Because of this major policies such as declaration of war was not in our hands. Canadian and ANZAC forces were actually extensions of British forces, with British officers and generals.

The whole battle was a British assault, under the command of General Haig, BEF commander. The actual part of Paschendale was carried forward by the Canadian and ANZAC portions of the British lines. Paschendale was the climax of the 3rd Battle of Ypres.

To be continued; leaving Comp class.

Sorry to break this up.

And yes, American textbooks are very biased. For instance, American school children are informed that they in fact won the War of 1812 (for those who do not know, it was an attempt to conquer Canada while Britain was busy with Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte). This is in fact false. Strategically, America was defeated by the Canadian/British forces. The American objectives were to conquer Canada, the Canadian objectives were to survive. The war changed no territorial line at all, therefore the Americans failed to achieve their objectives. But by talking about victories such as the Battle of Lake Champlain (after which the Star Spangled Banner was written) and the Battle of New Orleans, the Americans will attempt to show that they defeated British/Canadian forces. Conveniently forgetting the fact that two invasions of Canada were tossed back by inferior Canadian militia and their native allies, that most of Michigan and Maine were invaded and conquered, and that Washington DC was leveled by a British raid.

"And the White House burned burned burned..."

But I digress.

I think that Canada and the other Dominions study WW1 more than other nations because it was in that war that the blood of our youth purchased our right to be independent and free from British rule. There isn't a historian out there who will argue against the fact that Canada entered Confederation in 1867 but was only truly born on Easter Weekend, 1917, at a place called Vimy Ridge. One can argue the same about Gallipoli for the Australians and New Zealanders. ANZAC Day is still observed in both nations (I believe, I am not 100% positive).

And finally, I would like to remind everyone that only Australia supported British unilateral action on Iraq. I am very pleased to say that my Prime Minister, Mr. Chretien, had the guts to make a break from the USA on this point. We're often referred to as the "US's little brother"...well, I think the little brother is growing up, Mr. Bush. Excuse us having our own opinions.

Just a small bit of info about this battle I found out-relating to Australias involvement- 38000 dead which equates to 35 deaths for every meter gained in the battle. This was probably the biggest British fuck up of the war ,in relation to sending Australians troops into a battle which was so poorly planned they didnt have much hope of surviving, since The Gallipoli campaigne in 1915 ( Incase you dont know- they landed us on the wrong beach and thousands were killed before they got out of the water).

BTW- This is IMO the greatest Maiden song ever written, bar none!

Passchendaele is alsow known as the Third Battle Of Ypres. Adolf Hitler fought in Passchendaele. After 100 days of battle the alies had advanced 8 km at the cost of 500000 killed and wounded (alies and germans).

[img src=\'\' border=\'0\' alt=\'user posted image\' /]
And yes, those "things" in the mud are corpses...

All pictures that was taken at the front was checked and those who where considered to "messy" were destroyed. So there are no pictures of how bloody it realy was. And whitout pictures we will not even get close if we trie to imagine how it was.

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the phrase "cruelty has a human heart" may very well be taken from William Blake's poem "A Divine Image".

Did Maiden spell Paschendale wrong? On the article it's spelled Passchendaele. [!--emo&:blink:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/blink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'blink.gif\' /][!--endemo--]