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3rd Ypres 1917

The entry below is a synopsis of our speakers talk on 31st January 2018.

by Dr John Derry (Emeritus Professor in History at Newcastle University) gave us a presentation entitled “3rd Ypres 1917” at this week’s meeting of the Cullercoats Men’s Club.

John’s talk covered the period 1917 to 1918 and covered the problems with the French General Nivelle who was promoted to commander-in-chief of the French armies but his planning caused very high casualties and prompted a munity in the French ranks.

He was replaced by Philippe Pétain who restored the moral of the troops and earned acclaim for stopping the Germans at the Battle of Verdun. On the English side General Haig appointed Genral Plumer to the front and using the RFC as cannon spotters June 1917 won an overwhelming victory over the German Army at the Battle of Messines.

John went on to describe how the British finally got what they had wanted since 1914: the opportunity to attack at Ypres and breakout of the confines of the salient of trenches around it. Often known as the Third Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele, the offensive began with encouraging gains but terrible summer weather soon bogged it down.

A very good morning for all our members who thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

Questions followed on several points to conclude the presentation.

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