The Great War Part 184, February 23rd 1918

The Closing Victories on the Passchendaele Ridge 553 Mosselmarkt was taken without any remarkable incident, except the capture of several field-guns— three being immediately taken and two more afterwards found embedded in mud. When Goudberg the northern ridge position was stormed the weather by rare good fortune changed in favour of the attack. All that the Canadians then wanted was the opportunity of so consolidating the important stretch of dominating ground they had won as to ensure the holding of it. About half-past eight oclock in the morning they were rewarded for the remarkable speed of their wheeling manoeuvre and double drive by a fall of rain and a gathering of mist consummating the disasters of the enemy. He could see nothing. The laborious victors and their supporting forces were screened from observation in their period of weakness when they were improvising means of resisting the expected counter-offensive. Blindly the German artillery smashed upon the ridge and groped for the new infantry positions and forGathering mist the advancing batteries straggling up assists Canadians to take advantage of the dominating ground. In spite of the rain it was fairly easy for the other stationary British gunners to curtain off the hostile approaches to the new Canadian line and continue to barrage the well-known communications of the enemy. Before the weather changed British aerial observers had spied some large bodies of German shock troops and directed swirls of shell upon them. So from what had been already seen and from what was known at registered ranges on the map the enemys movements could be hampered by almost mechanical bursts of gunfire sent through the rain and fog. The enemy on the other hand could only guess at the places at which he might strike parties of Canadians, changing battery groups supply columns and all the tired men and bogged machinery working with dogged energy for the consolidation of a resounding victory. He slew some of his own troops walking towards the prisoners cage lip interfered with some of the working units but he accomplished Counter-offensive nothing of importance while his organi- disorganised sation for the counter-offensive that Hindenburg and Ludendorff had clamantly ordered in advance was slackened mismanaged and putout of action without any further collision of opposing infantry. As days passed without any grand counter-attack Sir Douglas Haig went out of his way to provoke the enemy_ On November ioth the Battle of the Ridge was resumed by a short narrow thrust along the crest of the Pass­ chendaele hills towards Westroosebeek. Canadian and English troops took part in the affair. The drive was made in the rain and upon the firm ground along the Westroosebeek road the Dominion soldiers fought fast and took a series of strong points while the home battalions pushing slowly through a morass under machine-gun fire gained a tract of fortified ground north of Goudberg. Thereupon General von Armin did what was expected of him. He had been re-grouping his batteries on Roulers Plain and in the little hollows eastward of the ridge. While maintaining a desultory bombardment he had kept an important number of his guns concealed and silent. U r it u r/u jflcta l jj/iotoyru jjft. M O U N TED ONCE MORE AND M O V IN GIN THE OPEN .British cavalry moving forward upon the western front crossing trenches still occupied b y their comrades of the infantry— alongside of whom they had had a good deal of fighting dismounted during the protracted period of trench warfare when open campaigning was suspended. M)M)
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