Passchendaele is a village in West Flanders, Belguim, near Ypres.  The nearby Passchendaele Ridge, some 200 feet high, was captured and then fortified by the Germans in October 1914.  It was a vital strategic gain as it gave them command of the Allied Lines.  It was captured by the British against strong resistance during the October to November 1917 campaign as part of the Third Battle of Ypres.  It was then retaken by the Germans in March 1918 and recaptured by the Belgains in October 1918.


Third Battle of Ypres

The Third Battle of Ypres (also known as Passchendaele) took place between July and November 1917.  It was an allied offensive which included British, Canadian and Australian troops and was launched under the command of British CiC Douglas Haigh and was an attempt to capture ports on the Belgian coast held by the Germans.

It was a long and bitter battle, fought in appalling conditions of driving rain and waterlogged ground, and achieved an advance of only 5 miles of territory which was of no strategic importance but cost the Allies 300,000 casualties.

The following link takes you to the description of the battle on Wikipedia.  Other descriptions of this battle can be found by clicking on the following links.

Great War  First World War  History  History Learning Site