Wednesday, 6 July 2011

ABC Wednesday Y is for Ypres

During the First World War the Belgian town of Ypres, known to the British Tommies as ‘Wipers’, was subject to sustained battles between the Allies and the Germans. Under almost constant bombardment it was virtually obliterated.

It stood in the way of Germany’s plans to travel from the north across Belgium and into France. Belgium was neutral but when it was invaded by Germany the British entered the war.

The Third Battle of Ypres, better known as the Battle of Passchendaele, was perhaps the costliest in terms of losses. There were nearly half a million casualties on all sides after months of fighting in which just a few miles of ground were secured by the Allies.

Adolf Hitler fought in this battle and was injured when caught in a British gas attack. Would history have been different had he been killed?

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‘The Late War’ by D H Lawrence

The War was not strife
it was murder
each side trying to murder the other side
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
‘Reconciliation’ by Siegfried Sassoon

When you are standing at your hero’s grave,
or near some homeless village where he died,
Remember, through your heart’s rekindling pride,
The German soldiers who were loyal and brave.

Men fought like brutes; and hideous things were done;
And you have nourished hatred, harsh and blind.
But in that Golgotha perhaps you’ll find
The mothers of the men who killed your son.

To see more Ys please click here


  1. yes, Lawrence, we need to fight our wars more civilly. or is that an oxymoron? with the emphasis on war as moronic.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. Great post. Loved the poem and the musing, how the world would have been so different had Hilter not survived the battle....

  3. Another interesting bits of info.

    Gorgeous picture!

    My ABC, please come and see.

  4. There would have been less victims, that's for sure. History ? I don't know. Today Ypres doesn't talk very much about that battle, here is the homepage : It's a nice town.

  5. Oh how sad so many lost in battle. History would have had a different slant, had Hitler died that day.

    The poem is very touching.

    Thanks for another good History Lesson.

  6. Perhaps the book that affected me most deeply as a young person was "All Quiet on the Western Front." And now I have a good friend who is especially interested in Ypres and Passchendaele. There is a movie about the experience of one Canadian, Michael Dunne, at Passchendaele written and directed by his grandson, Paul Gross. Yes, if only Hitler had been mortally wounded.
    Thank you for an excellent contribution to Y-Day!
    Helen Mac

  7. Perhaps if Hitler had been killed, he might have become some sort of god-icon to his followers.
    Ypres, however, is a perfect choice for Y day, Janice.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  8. playing with history is always tempting but not necessarily wise. A great deal of evil can be attached to Hitler's name however there were many others with and behind him - and not to forget the atrocities of the Japanese.

    Interesting post as always


  9. You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give to fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with the Creative Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to and pick up your award.

  10. Was this the battle that put Hitler, an aspiring artist at the time, of all things, into the hospital where he went blind for a while?

  11. I really like that you chose a day of the week to do the A-Z! I did the intense April A-Z challenge, and have just finished my own personal challenge to do A-Z food. Had thought about doing it once per week but ended up going full speed. But the results were interesting and unexpected and by the time I got to letter 'U' I had gotten under the recipes to start mining for my creative work, the rich imagery food provokes. You have a lot of interesting posts here! Glad I stopped by again - your original comment left on my blog during the A-Z challenge resurfaced when someone else commented on my V is for Video Poem. Delighted to have found you again!

  12. Would history have been different had he been killed?


    PERHAPS COULD BE MORE DANGEROUS...We know what the people are capable to do when they lose their idols...


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