One hundred years ago today both sides in the First World War embarked on the Battle of Passchendaele (or the Third Battle of Ypres according to taste). The various battles took place between the Belgian towns of Passendale (modern spelling) and Ieper (local spelling of the place called Ypres by the French and British)

This picture was taken on the day and shows troops in good spirits, given that some of them were going to their deaths.


In the event things turned very nasty indeed and soon looked like this:

Hostilities continued to the 10th of November. The number of casualties has been argued about ever since but figures of about 260,000 dead and wounded on each side are thought to be as good an estimate as any other.


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