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.