The Battles of Ypres, 1917 (Third Ypres)

31 July – 10 November 1917: the Battles of Ypres, 1917.. The British finally got what they had wanted since 1914: the opportunity to attack at Ypres and breakout of the confines of the salient of trenches around it. Often known as the Third Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele, the offensive began with encouraging gains but terrible summer weather soon bogged it down.By August the offensive was clearly failing in its objectives and had descended into attritional fighting. New techniques by both sides led to agonisingly slow forward movement for the British, at enormous cost in casualties to both sides. Bad weather in October led to the battlefield becoming an impossible quagmire.

The gradual eastwards advance from Ypres

Phase: the Battle of Pilkem, 31 July – 2 August 1917

Second Army (Plumer)
X Corps (Morland)

41st Division.

Fifth Army (Gough)
II Corps (Jacob)

8th Division
24th Division
25th Division
30th Division
53rd Brigade of 18th (Eastern) Division.
XIV Corps (Cavan)
Guards Division
38th (Welsh) Division.
XVIII Corps (Maxse)
39th Division
51st (Highland) Division.
XIX Corps (Watts)
15th (Scottish) Division
55th (West Lancashire) Division.

The Battle of Pilckem Ridge. An advanced British 18 pounder RFA gun battery taking up new positions close to a communication trench near Boesinghe, 31 July 1917. Imperial War Museum Q5723. All smiles as the battle progresses well at first

The Battle of Pilckem Ridge. An advanced British 18 pounder RFA gun battery taking up new positions close to a communication trench near Boesinghe, 31 July 1917. Imperial War Museum Q5723. All smiles as the battle progresses well at first

Subsequent: the capture of Westhoek, 10 August 1917

Fifth Army (Gough)
II Corps (Jacob)

18th (Eastern) Division
25th Division.

Phase: the Battle of Langemarck, 16 – 18 August 1917

Second Army (Plumer)
X Corps (Morland)

39th Division.

Fifth Army (Gough)
II Corps (Jacob)

8th Division
14th (Light) Division
24th Division
56th (1st London) Division
53rd Brigade of 18th (Eastern) Division.
XIV Corps (Cavan)
20th (Light) Division
29th Division
38th (Welsh) Division.
XVIII Corps (Maxse)
11th (Northern) Division
48th (South Midland) Division.
XIX Corps (Watts)
15th (Scottish) Division
16th (Irish)
36th (Ulster) Division
61st (2nd South Midland) Division.

Phase: the Battle of the Menin Road, 20 – 25 September 1917

Second Army (Plumer)
IX Corps (Gordon)

19th (Western) Division
37th Division.
X Corps (Morland)
23rd Division
33rd Division
39th Division
41st Division.
I ANZAC Corps (Birdwood)
1st Australian Division
2nd Australian Division
4th Australian Division
5th Australian Division.

Fifth Army (Gough)
II Corps (Jacob)

8th Division
14th (Light) Division
24th Division
56th (1st London) Division
53rd Brigade of 18th (Eastern) Division.
XIV Corps (Cavan)
20th (Light) Division
29th Division
38th (Welsh) Division.
XVIII Corps (Maxse)
11th (Northern) Division
48th (South Midland) Division.
XIX Corps (Watts)
15th (Scottish) Division
16th (Irish)
36th (Ulster) Division
61st (2nd South Midland) Division.

Phase: the Battle of Polygon Wood, 26 September – 3 October 1917

Second Army (Plumer)
IX Corps (Gordon)

19th (Western) Division
37th Division.
X Corps (Morland)
5th Division
7th Division
21st Division
23rd Division
33rd Division
39th Division.
I ANZAC Corps (Birdwood)
1st Australian Division
2nd Australian Division
4th Australian Division
5th Australian Division.
II ANZAC Corps (Godley) (relieved V Corps on 28 September, taking over 3rd and 59th Divisions)
3rd Division
59th (2nd South Midland) Division
3rd Australian Division
New Zealand Division.

Fifth Army (Gough)
V Corps (Fanshawe)

3rd Division
59th (2nd South Midland) Division.
XIV Corps (Cavan)
4th Division
20th (Light) Division
29th Division.
XVIII Corps (Maxse)
11th (Northern) Division
48th (South Midland) Division
58th (2/1st London) Division.

Phase: the Battle of Broodseinde, 4 October 1917

Second Army (Plumer)
IX Corps (Gordon)

19th (Western) Division
37th Division.
X Corps (Morland)
5th Division
7th Division
21st Division.
I ANZAC Corps (Birdwood)
1st Australian Division
2nd Australian Division.
II ANZAC Corps (Godley)
3rd Australian Division
New Zealand Division.

Fifth Army (Gough)
XIV Corps (Cavan)
4th Division
29th Division.
XVIII Corps (Maxse)
11th (Northern) Division
48th (South Midland) Division.

Phase: the Battle of Poelcapelle, 9 October 1917

Second Army (Plumer)
IX Corps (Gordon)

19th (Western) Division
37th Division.
X Corps (Morland)
5th Division
7th Division.
I ANZAC Corps (Birdwood)
1st Australian Division
2nd Australian Division.
II ANZAC Corps (Godley)
49th (West Riding) Division
66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division.

Fifth Army (Gough)
XIV Corps (Cavan)
Guards Division
4th Division
29th Division.
XVIII Corps (Maxse)
11th (Northern) Division
48th (South Midland) Division.

Exhausted stretcher bearers from the 3rd Australian Division rest in the mud and drizzle of Broodseinde Ridge, during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), 11 October 1917. Imperial War Museum image E(AUS)941 from the Australian War Memorial

Exhausted stretcher bearers from the 3rd Australian Division rest in the mud and drizzle of Broodseinde Ridge, during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), 11 October 1917. Imperial War Museum image E(AUS)941 from the Australian War Memorial

Phase: the First Battle of Passchendaele, 12 October 1917

Second Army (Plumer)
IX Corps (Gordon)

19th (Western) Division
37th Division.
X Corps (Morland)
14th (Light) Division
23rd Division.
I ANZAC Corps (Birdwood)
4th Australian Division
5th Australian Division.
II ANZAC Corps (Godley)
3rd Australian Division
New Zealand Division.

Fifth Army (Gough)
XIV Corps (Cavan)
Guards Division
4th Division
17th (Northern) Division.
XVIII Corps (Maxse)
9th (Scottish) Division
18th (Eastern) Division.

Phase: the Second Battle of Passchendaele, 26 October – 10 November 1917

Second Army (Plumer)
II Corps (Jacobs)
(relieved XVIII Corps of Fifth Army on 2 November)
1st Division
58th (2/1st London) Division
63rd (Royal Naval) Division.
IX Corps (Gordon)
19th (Western) Division
37th Division.
X Corps (Morland)
5th Division
7th Division
14th (Light) Division
21st Division
23rd Division
39th Division.
Canadian Corps (Currie)
1st Canadian Division
2nd Canadian Division
3rd Canadian Division
4th Canadian Division.
I ANZAC Corps (Birdwood)
1st Australian Division
2nd Australian Division
5th Australian Division.

Fifth Army (Gough)
XIV Corps (Cavan)
35th Division
50th (Northumbrian) Division
57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division.
XVIII Corps (Maxse)
58th (2/1st London) Division
63rd (Royal Naval) Division.
XIX Corps (Watts) (relieved XIV Corps on 29 October)
17th (Northern) Division
18th Eastern)
35th Division
50th (Northumbrian) Division
57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division.

A German soldier seated on wooden track between Ypres and Passchendaele. Two notice boads read: " Track leading to Crest Farm and Passchendaele" and (possibly) "Hamburg Battalion HQ". Imperial War Museum made Q57535

A German soldier seated on wooden track between Ypres and Passchendaele. Two notice boads read: ” Track leading to Crest Farm and Passchendaele” and (possibly) “Hamburg Battalion HQ”. Imperial War Museum made Q57535

Links

Battles of the Western Front in France and Flanders

The Second Battle of Ypres, 1915

Guide to visiting the Ypres battlefields

Books

...