The treacherous Passchendaele ground was an enemy itself | CBC Archives


The murderous mud of one First World War battlefield.
Passchendaele battle was a treacherous slough of mud and muck, and an enemy in itself.

This November 11, 2018, marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. The 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, which took place during the Third Battle of Ypres, was, for the Canadian Corps, one of the most bloody and destructive of the war.

With mudholes deep enough to swallow a man, the treachery of that battlefield and the futility of the achievement evokes the senselessness of the four-year war.

On Nov. 10, 1917, Canadian troops captured Belgium’s Passchendaele ridge, ending a grueling offensive that began for them 15 days earlier and ending the drive for Vimy which had begun in June.

In 1972, the CBC presented the story of the battle, as told by some of the men who were there. Here, from CBC Archives, are excerpts from that program, Their Springtime of Life.

‘The men would simply sink and disappear in that mud . . .’

Read on . . .