Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

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Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 07 Jun 2012 07:39

I've been looking at this over the last couple of days with a view to adding to the Wiki page. The OH and AOH have material but I'm looking for sources on the nature of the plans for 4, 9 Oct and 12 Oct. Conventionally the attack of 9 Oct is described as rushed and so a departure from the formula that brought the victories of 20 & 26 Sept and 4 Oct. I've been wondering if the 9th Oct attack might be better seen as a delayed exploitation of the 4th Oct success, rather than a rushed attempt to replicate the three earlier attacks. The NZOH seems to think so and also claims that the attack of 12th Oct was the cancelled second stage of the plan for 9 Oct. As usual sources for the German army in English are sparse so any suggestions are welcome (other than the OH's Sheldon, Terraine and Sheffield).

Thanks.

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 08 Jun 2012 08:25

Does anyone know if 11th Division had tank support on 9 October?

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 10 Jun 2012 12:38

I'm having trouble with the description of objectives. Originally the plan was for an attack in the morning and an exploitation in the afternoon if circumstances merited. The second part was cancelled beforehand yet decriptions in the OH, AOH and NZOH refer to first and final objectives. Are these references to the original morning and afternoon objectives or intermediate ones up to the final morning objective?

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... ction=edit

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 13 Jun 2012 07:51

I've roughly plotted the two objective lines shown on the barrage map on the page with the one on the 1st Passchendaele page. It looks like final objective for the 9th (blue line) is the first objective for the 12th (red line) and that the beginning of the barrage for the 12th is the 9th October first objective (red line). Either the people who decided, thought that the red line for 9th October had been reached or it was too late to change much before the gig on the 12th began.

Given the state of the ground, I assume that contact patrol reports were the fastest to travel through the chain of command and according to the AOH an early report had troops 500 yards beyond their real position, although isolated parties did get to the blue line on 9th October. When did news of the real stuation and the withdrawals in the afternoon and that nght get to division, corps and 2nd Army?

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 13 Jun 2012 10:55

Wiki have invited me to the British Library in the Smoke on saturday, so any suggestions for reading re: Poelcappelle and 1st Passchendaele are welcome. Thanks.

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 13 Jun 2012 11:32

Does anyone have a copy of the NZOH? The online version has this

P. 278. It was now laid down that not more one third of the guns should be out of action at any one time, owing to moving forward; and in the shortness of the time available, this provision, should in itself, added to the gunners' position were prepared beforehand, mid ammunition was taken forward and protected from the rain During the night 9th/10th October one or two sections were hauled forward with the utmost difficulty.

which appears to be gobbledegook. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 17 Jun 2012 22:49

Hmmmm, even the BL doesn't have translations of Kuhl and Rupprecht. Pity. Still musn't grumble, I made a contact at the PRO which might help.

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Peter H » 19 Jun 2012 09:07

A good NZ related book is:

Massacre at Passchendaele the New Zealand Story Glyn Harper
http://www.amazon.com/Massacre-Passchen ... 1869503635

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 19 Jun 2012 09:31

Thanks.

I've put a request in at the library (yes, Hull's still got one) for the Divisional histories as they have some material on 9 and 12 October. Sheldon and Terraine are all I can find for the Germans.

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 21 Jun 2012 17:59

Well they've got four divisional histories anyway. They want £3.50 for inter-library loans though, fat chance.

Here's what I've gleaned for 1st Passchendaele https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Bat ... schendaele

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 24 Jun 2012 13:09

From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth: The New Zealand Division on the Western Front 1916-1918 by John H. Gray looks helpful.

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 25 Jun 2012 15:25

Does anyone have any sources to suggest for the southern British corps for the period after Broodseinde?

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 06 Jul 2012 20:15

186 views and no comments? Thanks....

I got Passchendaele the day-by-day Account out the library today but it's as constrained as everything else by the lack of sources. Still, mustn't grumble it's saved me the bother of scraping the divisional histories together.

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Michate » 08 Jul 2012 11:42

186 views and no comments? Thanks....
I'd feel inclined to comment if I had at my disposal the relevant tome (no. 13) of the German OH to add a little bit from the German perspective, but sadly it is the only one my local library is missing.

Anyway, I remember Stachelbeck's recent study on 2nd Bavarian Reserve Division has a chapter on that division's involvement in the Flanders battle in October, but would have to look up whether it actually includes the episode you are referring to in this thread.

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Re: Poelcappelle 9 Oct 17

Post by Attrition » 08 Jul 2012 15:06

Thanks, I've been plugging away but the lack of sources in English as well as translations from French and German (with the noble exception of Jack Sheldon) aren't helpful. I managed to scrounge a day in London at the British Library recently but I fear that the PRO is the only source that will help.

I have the impression that during the wettest periods, both sides were capable of getting infantry forward but that they had great difficulty staying there under counter-attack, so the side which attacked last usually ended up holding the disputed ground. Given that the British did most of the attacking this meant that the German Army recovered most if not all lost ground. In drier weather with good visibility the British generally had the advantage.

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