Following Bullecourt, the Australians enjoyed a break from the front and were able to rest, refit, and train. At the end of July 1917, the British launched a major offensive in Flanders, at Ypres. Initial advances were successful but soon bogged down under stiffening enemy resistance and wet conditions. The ground became a morass. By September, the ground had dried, and the Australian divisions were brought in.
Three successful pushes – Menin Road, Polygon Wood and Broodseinde – in September and early October steadily drove the Germans back to the top of Passchendaele ridge. Through October and into November, wet weather and sheer exhaustion meant further attacks became hopelessly bogged down. Though the final ridge was eventually gained, no breakthrough was possible. Losses were horrendous on both sides. During the five-month campaign, almost half a million men were lost. The fighting in these weeks cost the Australians another 38,000 casualties.