by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : December 2011
over a week were 11, 000. In early October 1917, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Australian Divisions captured Broodseinde Ridge at the cost of thousands dead. However, once again unseasonal torrential rain came and the quagmire was once again impassable. On 12 October the 3rd and 4th Divisions attacked Passchendaele atop the main ridge. Totally exhausted, they handed over to the Canadians in mid-November. Itwason4 th October 1917 when the 3rd Australian Division captured the ground on which the Tyne Cot cemetery is now located. This was on the first day of the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge, when the II ANZAC Corps, consisting of the 3 rd Australian Division and the New Zealand Division, went into the attack across the valley of the small Hanebeek river. At the top of this so called ridge just 7 kilometres from Ypres (or Ieper as it is known to the Belgians now) is a Commonwealth W ar Mem orial to the 34,000 missing soldiers believed to be dead in this battle. It is called Tyne Cot and the huge cross is placed on the top of a German concrete bunker that was finally captured and was used as an Allied Dressing station at the end of the battle. The view back to Ypres shows why the Germ ans fought for this ridge so hard; they commanded the higher ground which enabled them to see ALL the Allied movements and to ensure that their artillery had good targets throughout the battle. Looking over the ridge to the north east, is a plain barely a few metres lower. Any tactical, strategic or real benefit to the Allies in the taking of this ridge was minimal. This section of British Army trench map (Parts of Sheets 20 & 28, Edition 1A) shows the German positions in red corrected to 27 th September 1917. This map was used by commanders of the New Zealand Division during the October 1917 battles. The highlighted square area is the location of Tyne Cot cemetery as it is now. A trench called DAB TRENCH can be seen running north-south. A narrow-gauge railway line is shown leading to DAB TRENCH from a junction at the north-eastern corner of the British Tyne Cot cemetery. Four concrete blockhouses are marked along DAB TRENCH inside the current boundary of Tyne Cot, with an additional bunker shown on the railway line. Two of the other buildings named after rivers can be seen on this map, namely Seine (bottom left) and Marne (bottom right). By November it was clear to the General Staff that progress was hopeless and the battle fizzled to an end. The pressure brought to bear on the Germans HAD in fact taken the pressure off the French army and with the imminent arrival of the Doughboys from the United States in 1918, the Allies started to plan for a final offensive to bring the Germans to the negotiation table. However the overthrow of the Tsar in Moscow and the Russian revolution m eant that the German & Austrian armies only had to fight on the W estern front in 1918 and the Kaiser was able to move vast numbers of men to the West for their own massive offensive in March 1918, Operation Michael. For the Australians it was to be a tough winter, the coldest on record and the spring would see massive changes to the way the Australian soldiers fought. German positions on a British trench map in 1917 showing Tyne Cot