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Sketches of Canada for November 6th!

Canadian History for Kids: Passchendaele

Canadian Commander Sir Arthur Currie was unwilling to become involved.

But, slowly, step by step, the Canadian military they would take the village, and secure Passchendaele Ridge. A great turning point in World War 1. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada, looks at the ‘Battle of Mud’.

The Battle of Passchendaele (or Third Battle of Ypres or “Passchendaele”) was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the Canadians and their allies against the German Empire.

Ypres is a Belgian city in West Flanders. Passchendaele lay on the last ridge east of Ypres. It was a vital part of the supply system of the German Fourth Army.

The conditions were aweful. They had been described as the Murderous Mud at Passchendaele.

British and Australian troops had fought there for more than three months. Their efforts had been unsuccessful: 100,000 casualties for very little ground won. The situation looked hopeless.

Arguments over strategy, heavy rains, and mud marked the controversial three-month Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres.

The Canadian plan in taking Passchendaele was very simple. They would attack in a series of battles, each with a small goal. Step by step, they would take the village, the overall objective being to secure a defensible position on the Passchendaele Ridge.

On November 6th, 1917, the Canadians finally took the town of Passchendaele. 15,654 Canadians had fallen during these horrible battles. The British lost an estimated 275,000 casualties at Passchendaele to the German’s 220,000, making it one of the war’s most costly battles.

Nine Canadian soldiers received the Victoria Cross in recognition of their efforts at Passchendaele:

  • Colin Fraser Barron
  • Thomas William Holmes
  • Cecil John Kinross
  • Hugh McKenzie
  • George Harry Mullin
  • Christopher Patrick John O’Kelly
  • George Randolph Pearkes
  • James Peter Robertson
  • Robert Shankland

And that’s this weeks Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.
 

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