Battle of Poelcappelle

Date from 09 October 1917
Category Battle
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Also called the first battle of Passchendaele, the battle of Poelcappelle was launched on 9 October with the ridge upon which Passchendaele stood as its objective. Like earlier battles in the Ypres offensive, the aim of the Poelcappelle attack was to secure a series of objectives in turn, protected by a heavy artillery barrage; the troops involved would be drawn from the 49th and 66th British, and 2nd Australian Divisions. Rain, however, had begun to deluge an already poorly drained battlefield, and adequate numbers of guns were unable to be brought within range. The infantry's advance also wallowed in the mud. The Australians were able to secure some of their objectives for a short time, but, with little artillery support and both flanks open, they were forced to withdraw. The 2nd Australian Division sustained 1,250 casualties in the battle.

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