The Ypres Salient - CWGC

Canadian stretcher bearers carry wounded through the mudThe British Official Historian's considered description of the battlefield prior to 'First Passchendaele' constitutes an admirable and sober complement to the photographic images taken of the dreadful conditions prevailing during the latter stages of the 'Third Ypres' fighting: 'The conditions, too, were lamentable. The sodden battleground was littered with wounded who had lain out in the mud among the dead for two days and nights: and the pillbox shelters were overflowing with unattended wounded, whilst the dead lay outside. The survivors, in a state of utter exhaustion, with neither food nor ammunition, had been sniped at by the Germans on the higher ground throughout the 10th, with increasing casualties.' (‘Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1917’ (Volume II), compiled by Brigadier-General Sir James E Edmonds, London, HMSO, 1948, p.339).

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