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The 43rd Battalion was assigned the objective of capturing Bellevue Spur, an adjoining hill with a trench system considered a main line of defence at Passchendaele Ridge. At first they made good progress with their advance but were soon caught …
The 43rd Battalion was assigned the objective of capturing Bellevue Spur, an adjoining hill with a trench system considered a main line of defence at Passchendaele Ridge. At first they made good progress with their advance but were soon caught in a German crossfire. Dozens were killed or wounded, yet a platoon under Lt. Shankland managed to hold a position facing Bellevue Spur and withstand several deadly counterattacks. After organizing the survivors for what seemed a desperate last stand, Shankland went to the rear to round up reinforcements from the 52nd Battalion. His report to battalion headquarters identified a weakness in the German artillery coverage, and pointed to a possible route along which an impromptu group could advance. A hasty new attack was ordered. As the group moved forward, attacking from the flank, the attackers were able to effectively put an end to the German resistance at Bellevue Spur. Lt. Shankland was awarded the VC in person by King George V for his inspired leadership during this battle.
The Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the Allies against the German Empire. The battle took place on the Western Front, from July to November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders, as part of a strategy decided by the Allies at conferences in November 1916 and May 1917. Passchendaele lies on the last ridge east of Ypres, 5 mi (8.0 km) from Roulers junction of the Bruges (Brugge) to Kortrijk railway. The station at Roulers was on the main supply route of the German 4th Army. Once Passchendaele Ridge had been captured, the Allied advance was to continue to a line from Thourout to Couckelaere (Koekelare).
Wikipedia: Battle of Passchendaele