'The Third Battle of Ypres' a talk given by Professor John Derry
08 Apr

Making a very welcome return to the branch is the superb Professor John Derry who has become - by popular demand - a regular speaker at our branch meetings.


For many people the Third Battle of Ypres is indelibly associated with the conditions in which the campaign ended – many people think that Passchendaele was the only battle that was fought – and the appalling casualties. Only historians remember Plumer’s success at the Messines Ridge and his three later victories (Menin Road, Polygon Wood and Broodseinde).


The strategic objectives of the Ypres salient were sounder than those of the Somme a year earlier and the British did well in three of the campaign’s five phases. Ludendorff later said that he was dreading the possible resumption of a British offensive in Flanders, and this was one reason for the ‘gambler’s throw’ of the German Offensive in March 1918. 


Despite the horrors and frustrations of 1917, it is time for a more balanced assessment than that propagated by the ‘Lions led by Donkeys’ school.


Members of The Western Front Association and non-members are equally welcome. We ask for a modest £4 donation on the door which includes tea,  coffee and biscuits at the break (before the Q&A session with the speaker). Any new visitors will be assured of a welcoming and friendly atmosphere among a group of like-minded enthusiasts. 


Portrait: General Sir Herbert Plumer, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, painted at Headquarters Second Army. Painted by William Orpen. Image courtesy of The Imperial War Museum (IWM Art.2398)

Manor Academy, Millfield Lane, Nether Poppleton, York, YO26 6PA
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08 Apr 2017 14:30