Sunday, June 11, 2017

a century since the WW1 battle of Messines

" As a kid living in Karori I had friends who lived in Messines Road. I thought that the street was named after some local worthy who had been an early settler. Only later did I find out that it remembered a famous battle.

"Last Wednesday was the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Messines which took place on the Western Front in Belgium.

"Breaking through on the Western Front for the allies in World War One was not easy. The Somme battles of 1916 showed that the German forces were formidable foes with deep trenches, strategically placed machine gun posts and heavy artillery, and cleverly distributed barbed wire.

"In early 1917 the newly promoted Field Marshal Douglas Haig wanted to remove the German salient on the Messines Ridge between Ypres in Belgium and Armientères in France. General Sir Herbert Plumer was in charge of the offensive planned for June and it would involve British, Australian and New Zealand troops."

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