The Ypres Salient - CWGC

Major-General E M Perceval's 49th (1st West Riding) Division, whose 146th and 148th Brigades attacked that morning, experienced early on much anguish, frustration and many casualties. Canadian pioneers laying tape through the mud for a road to PasschendaeleConfronted by concentrated machine-gun fire from German pillboxes on the higher ground around 'Bellevue' all attempts to outflank and neutralize these obstacles were rendered useless at the outset by the British artillery's failure to identify and destroy belts of thick low barbed-wire entanglements which served to protect these formidable strongholds: 'The wire entanglements, recently repaired, and the pillboxes were part of the Flanders I Line [established German defence line] still uncaptured from the Ravebeek northwards to Spriet and beyond. Although both wire and strongoints were clearly marked on the maps issued to all concerned and could be seen from the Gravenstafel spur, the artillery preparation had made little impression on them.' ('Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1917' (Volume II), compiled by Brigadier-General Sir James E Edmonds, London, HMSO, 1948, fn.2, p.331).



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