Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers' War 1914-18 by Peter Barton

By Peter Barton

While the struggle raged throughout Flanders fields, an both frightening and occasionally extra risky conflict happened underground. "Beneath Flanders Fields" tells the tale of the tunnellers' warfare, which nonetheless continues to be essentially the most misunderstood, misrepresented and mystifying conflicts of the good battle. A wealth of non-public tales exhibit the engineering, know-how and technology at the back of how this such a lot excessive of battles was once fought - and received. They communicate of ways the tunnellers lived a constant life within the depths of the battlefield for nearly and a part years, enduring actual and psychological stresses that have been usually extra severe than their infantry opposite numbers. Their lives have been diminished to a fancy battle of silence, rigidity and claustrophobia, best as much as the main dramatic mine offensive in heritage introduced on 7 June 1917 at Messines Ridge. but, Messines was once no longer the top in their tale, which persisted with the crafting of an entire underground global of headquarters, cookhouses and hospitals, housing the innumerable troops who gone through this a part of the Western entrance. the following, this outstanding, hidden international is printed and the delicate legacy it has left at the back of on Flanders fields is delivered to mild.

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The battle had decided little; for a more than a million casualties, a belt of ground 30 miles long had been won by the Allies. /Aboi/e; A railway wagon carries food for total of the trenches. Its cargo of shells destroyed, British soldiers pose in its bullet-riddled hulk a few miles from the front lines 1,302,000 rounds of heavy artillery ammunition, were consumed. The German difficulties were not unknown to their opponents. With Thiepval secure, and the assurance of his Intelligence staff that the Germans had already committed 70 divisions to battle since the start of the Somme offensive and had lost at least 370,000 men, Haig now felt that no relaxation of pressure was acceptable, and decided to increase the frontage of his offensive by bringing back part of the Third Army.

It aimed tionaries to gain the support of the South Slav immigrants in the Allied countries, recruit volunteers and convince the Allied governments that the Habsburg monarchy was Count Stefan Tisza (above) was Prime Minister of Hungary at the outbreak of the war. In the eary days of the war the Hungarians had been unable doomed. to conclude a political truce They co-operated with the Serbian government and, in the first two years of the war, worked on their own, without regard to the political developments in the Habsburg Empire.

The main attack was naturally to be undertaken by V Corps, not only because of the better state of the ground behind its lines, but because it had been much less used during the previous months, and was therefore readier for action than II Corps. The planned operation on V Corps' front was divided into three stages. The first required an advance of about half a mile from Beaucourt station up the Beaumont Hamel valley and round the eastern end of that village, then across Redan Ridge and the slopes in front of Serre.

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