The battles



The Great War on the Western Front included many battles: Passchendaele, the Somme, Broodseinde Ridge, Fromelles, Delville Wood, Thiepval, Messines Ridge, Yser, ....  Why did these battles take place where and when they did?  How did strategy and tactics evolve between 1914 and 1918?  Why was the trench stalemate broken in 1918, first by the Germans and then by the Allies?  Great War battles are often approached as stand-alone events but to answer these sorts of questions one needs an insight into the broader picture. In many cases they were a result of far-away, events, political decisions or strategic calculations.

Other factors include the terrain, the development of new weapons and fighting techniques and the revival of tunneling and mining.  Improvements in transport and logistics facilitated the deployment of mass armies and enabled prolonged artillery bombardments.  Advances in medical techniques required an elaborate casualty clearing organisation.  All these aspects are part of the complicated story of a Great War battle.

Depending on the backgrounds and interests of our visitors, we adapt the way these battles are approached. People from the Forces or those with a keen interest in military matters will expect a more detailed tactical and organisational story.  A group of school students on their first visit might want to understand a general account of events. A successful tour is one that matches the content to the audience.  Tell us your interests and background and we will tailor your tour to your specific requirements.

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