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Battle of Poelcappelle Today

10 OCT 1917: World War I and the Battle of Poelcappelle, on the Western Front takes place. Australian divisions continued to attack in the third battle of Ypres. The attack on Poelcappelle, launched amid heavy rain, was to cost 1250 casualties for no gain of ground. Also called the first battle of Passchendaele, the battle of Poelcappelle was launched with the ridge upon which Passchendaele stood as its objective.

Like earlier battles in the Ypres offensive, the aim of the Poelcappelle attack was to secure a series of objectives in turn, protected by a heavy artillery barrage; the troops involved would be drawn from the 49th and 66th British, and 2nd Australian Divisions.

Rain, however, had begun to deluge an already poorly drained battlefield, and adequate numbers of guns were unable to be brought within range.

The infantry’s advance also wallowed in the mud. The Australians were able to secure some of their objectives for a short time, but, with little artillery support and both flanks open, they were forced to withdraw.

The 2nd Australian Division sustained 1,250 casualties in the battle. Photo: A street corner in Poelcapelle, Belgium. More;


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