November 6, 1977 – Canadians take Passchendaele

November 6, 1977 – Canadians take Passchendaele

After three months of horrific fighting, the Third Battle of Ypres finally ends when Canadian forces take the village of Passchendaele in Belgium. In one of the bloodiest battles of World War I, a combination of over-ambitious aims, terrible weather conditions, and misguided persistence by British Field Marshal Douglas Haig led to nearly 250,000 total casualties suffered by both sides. At the time Allied forces were scheduled to begin the long-planned offensive, Allied artillery and unusually heavy rains had turned the battlefield into a sea of mud. Soldiers fought in the mud, slept in the mud, and some men drowned in the mud when they slipped into water-filled shell craters. When the offensive was finally called off, after the Canadian victory at Passchendaele, the total Allied advance amounted to only five miles.