Thursday, February 22, 2007

Meet the diggers of Ypres

There's interesting archeological/forensic work about to start in Ypres, graveyard of the British army owing to four major battles there between l9l4-l9l8. British and Belgian archeologists and historians are set to begin excavations on a series of tunnels and dugouts, in an attempt to understand more fully how soldiers used them. I assume all of this is preparatory to the upcoming 90th anniversary of the battle of Passchendaele, which began at the end of July l9l7.

The Passchedaele commemorations ought to be at the top of your list if you are planning to be anywhere in Europe this summer. For maximum effect, though, you need to visit in September and August, when those fields turn to muck so thick that people can(and often did) actually drown in it. This particular episode in the war is not known as the "Battle in the Mud" for nothing.

1 comment:

german said...

##wow that sounds eally interesting and quite grisly. is that where they wboth came up with the bright idea of digging tunnels to go under the trenches an pop out on the otherside and get the "mythical break through" sadly didn't work either and all theat happened was a lot of miner and men were blown up since the other side knew they were digging deep