The Ypres Salient - CWGC

Battle of Pilckem Ridge 31 July-2 August: A group of Royal Engineersat work on a light railway line near BoesingheOperations against the Passchendaele-Staden ridge to the north-east of Ypres were in turn dependent on the British occupation of the uplands directly to the east of Ypres - the Gheluvelt Plateau. Grouped, concealed and protected behind this feature were significant numbers of German artillery batteries - pre-registered on targets around Ypres and the Salient. These German guns posed a grave threat to the main British advance and a failure to secure the Plateau would be to jeopardise all hopes of lasting progress to the north and north-east. Despite Haig's long appreciation of the importance of this area the mistake of not securing the western edge of the Gheluvelt Plateau following the successful occupation of the Messines Ridge on 7 June fatally compromised British operations at the outset of the first phase of the Third Battle of Ypres.

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