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Selected titles: The Third Battle of Ypres
Major & Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guide to Ypres Salient & Passchendaele Passchendaele Passchendaele-The Hollow Victory Passchendaele In Perspective

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Tracing Your Great War Ancestors: Ypres The British at Passchendaele 1916-18 Passchendaele In 100 Locations The Passchendaele Campaign 1917

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The Great War Illustrated – The Home Front Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial Victoria Crosses on the Western Front – Third Ypres 1917 Defending the Ypres Front 1914 – 1918

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Click to browse more books about Ypres during the Great War

New: The Road to Passchendaele by Richard van Emden

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The Road to Passchendaele, by bestselling First World War historian Richard van Emden.

Using the winning formula of diaries and memoirs, combined with original photographs taken on illegally-held cameras by the soldiers themselves, The Road to Passchendaele tells the story of 1917, of life both on the line and behind, it culminating in perhaps the most dreaded battle of them all; the Battle of Passchendaele.

The author has an outstanding collection of over 5,000 privately-taken and previously unpublished photographs, revealing the war as it was seen by the men involved, an existence that was sometimes exhilarating, too often terrifying, and occasionally even fun. Richard van Emden has interviewed 270 veterans of the Great War, and written extensively about the soldiers’ lives, as well as working on many television documentaries, always concentrating on the human aspects of war, its challenge and its cost to the millions of men involved.

Richard van Emden will be appearing as a programme historian on BBC Two’s World War One Remembered: Passchendaele, live from Ypres. Episode one, For The Fallen, airs 30 July, 7pm.

As seen in the Daily Mail and The Spectator

New: Nurses of Passchendaele

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Nurses of Passchendaele – Caring for the Wounded of the Ypres Campaigns 1914-1918 by Christine Hallett.

The Ypres Salient saw some of the bitterest fighting of the First World War. The once-fertile fields of Flanders were turned into a quagmire through which men fought for four years. In casualty clearing stations, on ambulance trains and barges, and at base hospitals near the French and Belgian coasts, nurses of many nations cared for these traumatised and damaged men.

Drawing on letters, diaries and personal accounts from archives all over the world, The Nurses of Passchendaele tells their stories – faithfully recounting their experiences behind the Ypres Salient in one of the most intense and prolonged casualty evacuation processes in the history of modern warfare. Nurses themselves came under shellfire and were vulnerable to aerial bombardment, and some were killed or injured while on active service.

Alongside an analysis of the intricacies of their practice, the book traces the personal stories of some of these extraordinary women, revealing the courage, resilience and compassion with which they did their work.

The German Army at Passchendaele by Jack Sheldon

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The German Army at Passchendaele by Jack Sheldon.

Even after the passage of a century, the name Passchendaele has lost none of its power to shock and dismay. Writing after the war, General Hermann von Kuhl memorably described this battle as ‘The Greatest Martyrdom of the World War’ and so it must have seemed to the men who fought and died there, floundering in the bottomless mud of that ill-starred autumn. Reeling from the huge losses of Verdun and the Somme in 1916 and the heavy spring fighting around Arras, the Aisne and Champagne, the German Army was in no shape to absorb the impact of the Battle of Messines and the subsequent bitter attritional struggle which lasted from August to November.

Throughout the fighting on the Somme the German High Command had always felt that it had the ability to counter Allied thrusts, but following the shock reverses of April and May 1917, much heart searching had led to the urgent introduction of new tactics of flexible defence. When these in turn were found to be wanting in the face of ‘bite and hold’ tactics on an unprecedented scale, the psychological damage shook the German defenders badly. But, as this book demonstrates, at trench level the individual German soldier was still capable of fighting extraordinarily hard, despite being hugely outnumbered, outgunned and subjected to relentless, morale-sapping shelling and gas attacks.

The heartbreakingly slow progress of the fighting for the Passchendaele Ridge in October had an equally bad effect on the British troops. As the battle finally wound down in November 1917, the Imperial German Army could draw comfort from the realisation that, although it had had to yield ground and had paid a huge price in casualties, its morale was essentially intact.

More titles by Jack Sheldon:

The German Army on the Somme 1914-1916 The Germans at Thiepval Fighting the Somme The German Army at Cambrai

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Cambrai veteran Deborah’s centenary move

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Deborah and the War of the Tanks

A British tank veteran ‘Deborah’ (D51), discovered under the battlefields of Cambrai after lying buried for decades, began its final journey this week, from a barn in the village of Flesquières to a purpose-built home at the new Cambrai Tank Museum 1917. The move took months of preparation, and required two heavy-duty cranes and a special transporter. Deborah will become the centrepiece in the new museum, which is due to open on 26 November.

In November 1917, Deborah played a leading role in the first successful massed tank attack at Cambrai. Eighty years later, in a remarkable feat of archaeology, the tank’s buried remains were rediscovered and excavated, and are now preserved as a memorial to the battle and to the men who fought in it. John Taylor’s book, Deborah and the War of the Tanks (published in 2016), tells the tale of the tank and her crew and tracks down their descendants to uncover a human story every bit as compelling as the military one.

More about Deborah: A Tale of Two Tanks, via ITV news

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