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Hell on Earth: The never before seen colour photographs of the bloody battle of Passchendaele
Daily Mail ^ | 7/12/07 | Victoria Moore

Posted on 07/17/2007 2:32:18 PM PDT by LibWhacker

They are the most remarkable pictures of one of the most hellish places on earth.

Never seen before, these astonishing photographs, lovingly hand-touched in colour to bring to life the nightmare of Passchendaele, were released this week to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle that, between July and November 1917, claimed a staggering 2,121 lives a day and in total some quarter of a million Allied soldiers.


Killing field: A German machine gun unit strafes No Man's Land at Passchendaele
as artillery shells churn up hte ground and mustard gas billows over the front

What was once pretty countryside around the Belgian village that gave the battlefield its name was reduced to an infernal swamp where the ground oozed with foul-smelling slime, and mustard gas that blistered the skin and made the lungs bleed.

Today, the Queen will attend a Last Post ceremony in Passchendaele at the Menin Gate, where a memorial arch is engraved with the names of the 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who died with no known graves.


Slaughter: One of the 250,000 Allies killed in action

She will also visit the Tyne Cot cemetery, where 11,952 graves are laid out in neat concentric circles, their tombstones white against the green grass, in peaceful defiance of the brutal battle that took their lives.

One of the major conflicts of World War I, it was conceived by British Commander-in-Chief Sir Douglas Haig as a "big push" that would, finally, bring a breakthrough in the stalemate in Flanders.


Another bleak day dawns: Allied soldiers take a breather before the next round
of German bombardment

Officially named the Third Battle of Ypres, the hope was that by breaking through German lines at this point on the Western Front, the Allies could reach the Belgian coast and capture the German submarine bases there.

The Allies prepared the way with a massive two-week bombardment in which 3,000 heavy guns sent more than four million shells pouring into the German lines.


Devastation: Canadian soldiers survey a smashed German bunker

Then, on July 31, the troops poured into a No Man's Land that within days and under torrential rain had become a sodden bog.

It became so deep that men, horses and pack mules drowned in it. What was supposed to be a breakthrough became a battle of attrition.

By November, the British and Empire forces had advanced just five miles at terrible cost, to take the village of Passchendaele - which at least provided an excuse for them to call a halt.

Their one consolation was that the Germans had also suffered grievously.


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: carnage; color; fauxtography; flanders; godsgravesglyphs; milhist; passchendaele; photographs; thirdbattleypres; wwi
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1 posted on 07/17/2007 2:32:22 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

wow, thank you for posting these photos. I think the last British survivor of Passchendaele died about a year ago.


2 posted on 07/17/2007 2:35:42 PM PDT by mware (By all that you hold dear..on this good earth... I bid you stand! Men of the West!)
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To: LibWhacker

Can you imagine what the Left today would have said back then?


3 posted on 07/17/2007 2:37:04 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: LibWhacker

Amazing pictures. Thank you for posting them.


4 posted on 07/17/2007 2:37:39 PM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (The Hunt for FRed November. 11/04/08)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: LibWhacker
LEST WE FORGET PINGS.
6 posted on 07/17/2007 2:41:20 PM PDT by mware (By all that you hold dear..on this good earth... I bid you stand! Men of the West!)
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To: ShadowDancer

Interesting...


7 posted on 07/17/2007 2:42:44 PM PDT by dakine
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To: LibWhacker
Their one consolation was that the Germans had also suffered grievously.

Small consolation ...

I think many Americans fail to comprehend how costly the Great War was to the English. An entire generation of Brits vanished in the muck and mire of the trenches. That and the Blitz have to be the biggest scars modern-day Great Britain bears.

8 posted on 07/17/2007 2:44:04 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: mware

Material from the Guardian (UK) must be excerpted in all corcumstances. Please make a note of it.


9 posted on 07/17/2007 2:44:10 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: Old Sarge

Yes, I can. The same thing they are saying now.


10 posted on 07/17/2007 2:44:24 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Father of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier fighting the terrorists in the Triangle of Death)
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To: LibWhacker

bump


11 posted on 07/17/2007 2:46:05 PM PDT by Gone_Postal (We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat)
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To: LibWhacker

I have walked the battlefield, and the cemeteries. Words truly fail. To follow the trench lines, to try and imagine what it was like..is near impossibel to do. The minds can’t grasp it. What si also amazing are the huge areas of soil where nothing grows..no vegetation...not even weeds. The huge artillery bombardment left so much chemical residue in the soild that nothign can grow there.


12 posted on 07/17/2007 2:46:05 PM PDT by ken5050
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To: Old Sarge
Can you imagine what the Left today would have said back then?

They said it then too. And Lenin rode to power by exploiting the exhaustion in the aftermath of horrors like this. Then proceeded to heap fresh horror on the world.

13 posted on 07/17/2007 2:47:56 PM PDT by Argus
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To: ken5050

I hear ‘ya. I can’t imagine the misery of living like that for months on end, with no end in sight. The pictures can’t possible convey how wretched it must’ve been. I think you’d almost want to die, rather than go on another minute.


14 posted on 07/17/2007 2:50:26 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
A great site to see pictures of the area today.

http://www.jacquelinewinspear.com/france_photos.htm

15 posted on 07/17/2007 2:50:53 PM PDT by Rogle
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To: Admin Moderator
Sorry about that.

The last survivor of Passchendaele

Harry Patch is the last fighting Tommy of the First World War. He alone will preserve the living memory of the carnage of the Battle of Passchendaele on its 90th anniversary this month.

He is now 109 years old. .'

16 posted on 07/17/2007 2:51:16 PM PDT by mware (By all that you hold dear..on this good earth... I bid you stand! Men of the West!)
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To: LibWhacker
The pictures can’t possible convey ...

POSSIBLY! :-(

17 posted on 07/17/2007 2:54:33 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
British strategist/war historian Basil Liddel-Hart related the following story:

Two British staff officers sent up to the front to report back on the situation was so shocked by the swamp like edges of the battlefield that one broke down and sobbed. "Good God, did we really send men to fight in this?".

IOW, the British military leadership didn't even bother to visit the place -- they just said, "keep moving." Haig was not alone in this: it was probably the defining reason for the unbelievable carnage of WWI.

18 posted on 07/17/2007 2:55:19 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: LibWhacker

Except for the subject matter, the photographs are superb. Didn’t think that they were able to take photographs of that high a quality during WWI.


19 posted on 07/17/2007 3:04:58 PM PDT by 353FMG (America, first, last and always.)
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To: LibWhacker
Uh ohhhhhh. The first picture is a photoshopped montage.

Compare it to this other, authentic one:

Notice the shell burst and ruined gun in the background of both photos. The tank is missing, and the Germans pasted in.

Busted...

20 posted on 07/17/2007 3:07:47 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb

Holy cow, nice work! Jeez, you can’t believe anything anymore. I knew they were hand-colored but didn’t know they were that flagrantly manipulated. Sigh...


21 posted on 07/17/2007 3:10:22 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: r9etb

Wow are you good!


22 posted on 07/17/2007 3:13:02 PM PDT by Aggie Mama
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To: r9etb

Well, for what it’s worth, the dead body in picture # 2 looks like a German. Boots - no puttees(SP?).


23 posted on 07/17/2007 3:16:57 PM PDT by PeteB570 (Guns, what real men want for Christmas)
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To: Aggie Mama
Wow are you good!

Lucky, actually. I decided to Google some other images of Passchendaele, and it showed up on the very first row.

24 posted on 07/17/2007 3:20:53 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Old Sarge
Can you imagine what the Left today would have said back then?

At the time of this battle Wilson (or was it his wife) and the demoncRATS were rushing to get our troops into this war.

25 posted on 07/17/2007 3:40:01 PM PDT by fella ( newspapers used habitually to poison the public opinion)
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To: fella

Ah, so by virtue of a “D” in the White House, it was a “legal war”....

I perceive...


26 posted on 07/17/2007 3:48:31 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: r9etb

Illbedamn, another Photoshop job!


27 posted on 07/17/2007 3:50:15 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten; 6323cd; 75thOVI; Adrastus; A message; AnAmericanMother; ACelt; ...

Military history ping

Please FReepmail “indcons” to get on/off the MilHist list


28 posted on 07/17/2007 4:15:21 PM PDT by indcons (Please contribute to FreeRepublic; what would we do without this forum?)
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To: LibWhacker

Thanks. My husband is a revolutionary war/civil war/first world war/second world war buff, so I just emailed him the link.


29 posted on 07/17/2007 4:19:00 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: r9etb; 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten; 6323cd; 75thOVI; Adrastus; A message; AnAmericanMother; ACelt; ...

Oops...looks like this is a Photoshop and the photo posted on this thread appears to be a fake. See post #20 by r9etb (nice work).


30 posted on 07/17/2007 4:19:43 PM PDT by indcons (Please contribute to FreeRepublic; what would we do without this forum?)
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To: fella

After campaigning they would keep us out of the war.


31 posted on 07/17/2007 4:24:18 PM PDT by jwh_Denver (In the Rise and Fall of United States I hope the Fall part is more than one chapter.)
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To: LibWhacker; indcons

Thanks for posting these photos of a real hell hole. Indcons, thanks for the link.

Jimbo


32 posted on 07/17/2007 4:31:06 PM PDT by bcsco ("The American Indians found out what happens when you don't control immigration.")
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To: r9etb
Good eye!

Apparently this is why it is a never before seen photo being locked up all those years in the Daily Mail’s vault of propaganda and photoshop.

I think beerguy needs to be added to complete the spectacle.

All jokes aside, I can not even imagine the fortitude, determination, courage, loyalty, bravery, insanity it would have taken to fight day and night week after week during the First World War.

The casualty figures of the main battles during the war stagger me.Tens of thousands upon hundreds of thousands lost to gain or defend a few square miles.

And to think now not even a hundred years later Islamofacists are seemingly trying to hurtle mankind into even worse destruction.

33 posted on 07/17/2007 5:06:49 PM PDT by A message
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To: ken5050
Read this:

The Gardener

Kipling lost his only son in WWI.

34 posted on 07/17/2007 5:52:51 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: r9etb
Good catch!

It does look odd - the perspective and lighting are off, plus they are too exposed, they would be down deeper in the shellhole with the muzzle of the MG just peeping over the edge. Since it's a montage, the original photo of the machinegunners probably had them in training, with the MG set up in an open field.

35 posted on 07/17/2007 6:03:14 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: trisham

I have some scraps of Hamilton Coolidge’s biplane when he was shot down and killed in 1918. Could you ask you husband if he has any idea what they might be worth or if he knows where I could find out? I’m thinking of selling them and don’t know much about the value of such things.


36 posted on 07/17/2007 6:51:35 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: A message
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
37 posted on 07/17/2007 7:13:49 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: r9etb

PING to #37


38 posted on 07/17/2007 7:23:18 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: Colorado Doug

lol - the inevitable looter guy. He’s never far away.


39 posted on 07/17/2007 7:29:02 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

I’m pretty sure that is an authentic, never before seen picture of Great-Grand-Looter Guy.


40 posted on 07/17/2007 7:42:13 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: LibWhacker

These photos prove just one thing, war IS Hell.


41 posted on 07/17/2007 7:43:46 PM PDT by NCC-1701 (PUT AN END TO ORGANIZED CRIME. ABOLISH THE I.R.S.)
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To: Colorado Doug

ROFL!!!! Can you put a gas mask on him?


42 posted on 07/17/2007 7:51:22 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb
"Haig was not alone in this: it was probably the defining reason for the unbelievable carnage of WWI."

Ever read Alan Clark's The Donkeys? It makes you want to reach into the book and throttle Sir John French and Douglas Haig.

43 posted on 07/17/2007 8:02:08 PM PDT by decal (Sign over DNC headquarters: Please Check Common Sense And Morals At The Door)
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To: devolve

Ping of interest!


44 posted on 07/17/2007 8:12:33 PM PDT by potlatch (MIZARU_ooo_()_ooo_MIKAZARU_ooo_()_ooo_MAZARU_ooo_()_ooo_))
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To: decal
Ever read Alan Clark's The Donkeys? It makes you want to reach into the book and throttle Sir John French and Douglas Haig.

No, but I did read "The War in Outline," By Basil Liddell-Hart. He's scathing in his critique of the entire Allied generalship; and he's not too easy on the Germans, either. For example, he describes the inexplicable lethargy and amazing incompetence of the British leadership at Gallipoli, which turned an easy victory (and likely war-winner) into a disaster.

45 posted on 07/17/2007 8:52:23 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: indcons
Thanks indcons. No ping due to the nature of these photos, but still going into the catalog.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

46 posted on 07/17/2007 10:20:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Friday the 13th, July 2007. Trisdecaphobia! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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two-week bombardment in which 3,000 heavy guns sent more than four million shells
95 a day per gun.
47 posted on 07/17/2007 10:22:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Friday the 13th, July 2007. Trisdecaphobia! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: IncPen; BartMan1

ping


48 posted on 07/17/2007 11:16:56 PM PDT by Nailbiter
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To: Yardstick; Colorado Doug

He’s just taking the Heineken back to the country orgin.


49 posted on 07/18/2007 2:29:36 AM PDT by neb52
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To: ken5050

“What si also amazing are the huge areas of soil where nothing grows..no vegetation...not even weeds.”

That was probably due to the early variants of Agent Orange. It was used on farms to kill unwanted vegetation, like along fence lines.


50 posted on 07/18/2007 2:32:28 AM PDT by neb52
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