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German defensive changes: late 1917 On 7 October, the 4th Army again dispersed its troops in the front defence zone. Reserve battalions moved back behind the artillery protective line and the Eingreif divisions were organised to intervene as swiftly as possible once an attack commenced, despite the risk of being devastated by the British artillery. Counter-battery fire to reduce British artillery fire was to be increased, to protect the Eingreif divisions as they advanced. All of the German divisions holding front zones were relieved and an extra division brought forward, as the British advances had lengthened the front line. Without the forces necessary for a counter-offensive south of the Gheluvelt plateau towards Kemmel Hill, Rupprecht began to plan for a slow withdrawal from the Ypres salient, even at the risk of uncovering German positions further north and the Belgian coast. Battle of Poelcappelle The French First Army and British Second and Fifth armies attacked on 9 October, on a 13,500 yards (12,300 m) front, from south of Broodseinde to St. Jansbeek, to advance half of the distance from Broodseinde ridge to Passchendaele, on the main front, which led to many casualties on both sides. Advances in the north of the attack front were retained by British and French troops but most of the ground taken in front of Passchendaele and on the Becelaere and Gheluvelt spurs was lost to German counter-attacks. General William Birdwood later wrote that the return of heavy rain and mud sloughs was the main cause of the failure to hold captured ground. Kuhl concluded that the fighting strained German fighting power to the limit but that the German forces managed to prevent a breakthrough, although it was becoming much harder to replace losses. First Battle of Passchendaele Passchendaele:パッシェンデール The First Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October, was another Allied attempt to gain ground around Passchendaele. Heavy rain and mud again made movement difficult and little artillery could be brought closer to the front. Allied troops were exhausted and morale had fallen.

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>German defensive changes: late 1917 On 7 October, the 4th Army again dispersed its troops in the front defence zone. Reserve battalions moved back behind the artillery protective line and the Eingreif divisions were organised to intervene as swiftly as possible once an attack commenced, despite the risk of being devastated by the British artillery. Counter-battery fire to reduce British artillery fire was to be increased, to protect the Eingreif divisions as they advanced. ⇒ドイツ軍防御体制の変化:1917年後半 10月7日、第4方面軍は再び前線の防御地帯に軍隊を分散させた。予備大隊は砲兵隊守備戦線の背後に戻り、攻撃が始まったらアイングリーフ師団は、英国砲兵隊によってくじかれる危険があるにもかかわらず、できるだけ迅速に介入できるように組織された。英国軍の大砲砲火を減らしてアイングリーフ師団を保護するために、反砲撃の砲火が増やされることになっていた。 >All of the German divisions holding front zones were relieved and an extra division brought forward, as the British advances had lengthened the front line. Without the forces necessary for a counter-offensive south of the Gheluvelt plateau towards Kemmel Hill, Rupprecht began to plan for a slow withdrawal from the Ypres salient, even at the risk of uncovering German positions further north and the Belgian coast. ⇒英国軍が進軍によって最前線を延ばし広げたので、前線地帯を保持するドイツ軍師団も全体的な救援・補強を施して、余分の師団は前方へ送り出した。ゲルヴェルト台地南でケメル・ヒル方向への反撃のために必要な軍隊が欠如しているので、ルプレヒトはさらに北のドイツ軍陣地とベルギー海岸の掩護が欠落する危険をおかしてまで、イープル突出部からのゆるやかな撤退を計画し始めた。 >Battle of Poelcappelle The French First Army and British Second and Fifth armies attacked on 9 October, on a 13,500 yards (12,300 m) front, from south of Broodseinde to St. Jansbeek, to advance half of the distance from Broodseinde ridge to Passchendaele, on the main front, which led to many casualties on both sides. Advances in the north of the attack front were retained by British and French troops but most of the ground taken in front of Passchendaele and on the Becelaere and Gheluvelt spurs was lost to German counter-attacks. ⇒「ポエルカッペルの戦い」 10月9日、フランス第1方面軍と英国第2、第5方面軍が、ブルードサインデの南からサン・ヤンスビークまで、13,500ヤード(12,300m)の前線を攻撃して、ブルードサインデ尾根からパッシェンデールまでの距離の半分まで、主要前線を進軍・攻撃した。両側ともに多くの犠牲者を出すに至った。攻撃(予定)前線北部の(既)進軍域は英仏の軍隊によって保持されたが、パッシェンデール前線やベセレールの大部分の地面、およびゲルヴェルト山脚はドイツ軍の反撃で失われた。 >General William Birdwood later wrote that the return of heavy rain and mud sloughs was the main cause of the failure to hold captured ground. Kuhl concluded that the fighting strained German fighting power to the limit but that the German forces managed to prevent a breakthrough, although it was becoming much harder to replace losses. ⇒ウィリアム・バードウッド将軍は、後に、豪雨と泥地の復活が、攻略した地面を占拠することに関する失敗の主要な原因であった、と書いた。キュールは、戦いが限界までドイツ軍戦闘力の重圧となって、損失を補充するのが非常に難しくなっていったが、ドイツ軍隊は完全突破されること(だけ)は何とか防ぐことができた、と結論した。 >First Battle of Passchendaele The First Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October, was another Allied attempt to gain ground around Passchendaele. Heavy rain and mud again made movement difficult and little artillery could be brought closer to the front. Allied troops were exhausted and morale had fallen. ⇒「第1次パッシェンデールの戦い」 10月12日の「第1次パッシェンデールの戦い」は、パッシェンデール周辺の地面を獲得しようとする、もう1つの連合国軍の企てであった。豪雨と泥が再び動きを困難にして、前線近くへ送ることができた砲兵隊は少なかった。 同盟国軍は疲弊していて、士気が落ちてしまっていた。

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    A cavalry division was given to each army, to operate with the reserve divisions, two tank battalions were attached to the Second Army and a tank brigade to the Fifth Army to exploit the firmer going, should the advances take place. In the early morning of 4 October, news arrived at British Headquarters (HQ) of the great success of the attack. Brigadier-General Charteris, Chief Intelligence Officer at General Headquarters, was sent from Haig's Advanced HQ to the Second Army HQ to discuss a possible exploitation. Plumer did not agree that exploitation was possible, because eight more uncommitted German divisions were behind the battlefield and there were another six beyond them; Plumer preferred to wait until the expected German counter-attacks that day had been defeated. German artillery fire was still heavy and the Flandern II and Flandern III Stellungen (defence lines) behind the attack front could be occupied by the fresh German divisions. An attack on these defensive lines would need close artillery support, which would be impossible because the British artillery was behind a severely battered strip of muddy ground 2 mi (3.2 km) wide. As the magnitude of the victory became apparent, Plumer had second thoughts but by 2:00 p.m., accepted that the moment had passed. On the Fifth Army front, an attempt to get further forward was ordered by Gough and then cancelled, after a local German counter-attack was reported to have pushed the 4th Division off 19 Metre Hill. Rain fell again on 4 October, continued on 5 and 6 October then became a downpour on 7 October. On 5 October, General Birdwood commander of I Anzac Corps told Plumer that the exploitation would not be possible, as the Corps light railway and the Westhoek to Zonnebeke road could not carry forward all the artillery necessary. On 7 October Haig cancelled the exploitation attack to the second objectives (red line), intended for the afternoon of 9 October. The rain stopped that night and the ground began to dry on 8 October, until late afternoon when another downpour began. From 4–9 October, over 30 millimetres (1.2 in) of rain fell, in a month when average rainfall was 75 millimetres (3.0 in).

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    Attempts to hold the ground between the black and green lines failed due to the communication breakdown, the speed of the German advance and worsening visibility as the rain increased during the afternoon. The 55th and 15th division brigades beyond the black line, were rolled up from north to south and either retreated or were overrun. It took until 6:00 p.m. for the Germans to reach the Steenbeek, as the downpour added to the mud and flooding in the valley. When the Germans were 300 yards (270 m) from the black line, the British stopped the German advance with artillery and machine-gun fire. The success of the British advance in the centre of the front caused serious concern to the Germans. The defensive system was designed to deal with some penetration but it was meant to prevent the 4,000-yard (3,700 m) advance that XVIII and XIX Corps had achieved. German reserves from the vicinity of Passchendaele, had been able to begin their counter-attack at 11:00–11:30 a.m. when the three British brigades facing the counter-attack by regiments of the German 221st and 50th Reserve Divisions of Group Ypres, were depleted and thinly spread. The British brigades could not communicate with their artillery due to the rain and because the Germans also used smoke shell in their creeping barrage. The German counter-attack was able to drive the British back from the green line along the Zonnebek–Langemarck road, pushing XIX Corps back to the black line. The Germans also recaptured St Julien just west of the green line on the XVIII Corps front, where the counter-attack was stopped by mud, artillery and machine-gun fire. The three most advanced British brigades had lost 70 percent casualties by the time they had withdrawn from the green line. On the flanks of the Entente attack, German counter-attacks had little success. In the XIV Corps area, German attacks made no impression against British troops, who had had time to dig in but managed to push back a small bridgehead of the 38th Division from the east bank of the Steenbeek, after having suffered heavy losses from British artillery, when advancing around Langemarck.

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    Reserve formations of infantry, artillery, cavalry and tanks were to be made ready behind the Fifth and Second armies, to exploit a successful attack. Gough and Plumer replied over the next couple of days, that they felt that the proposals were premature and that exploitation would not be feasible until Passchendaele ridge had been captured as far as Westroosebeke. Capturing the ridge would probably take two more steps at three-day intervals, followed by another four days to repair roads over the captured ground. Haig explained that although exploitation of the attack due on 10 October was not certain, he desired the arrangements to be made since they could be used at a later date. British offensive preparations Main article: The British set-piece attack in late 1917 The British tactical refinements had sought to undermine the German defence-in-depth, by limiting objectives to a shallower penetration and then fighting the principal battle against Eingreif divisions as they counter-attacked, rather than against the local defenders. By further reorganising the infantry reserves, Plumer had ensured that the depth of the attacking divisions corresponded closer to the depth of the local German counter-attack reserves and their Eingreif divisions, providing more support for the advance and consolidation against German counter-attacks. Divisions attacked on narrower fronts and troops advanced no more than 1,500 yd (1,400 m) into the German defence zone, before consolidating their position. When the Germans counter-attacked, they encountered a reciprocal defence-in-depth, protected by a mass of artillery like the British green and black lines on 31 July and suffered many casualties to little effect. The tempo of the British operations added to the difficulty the Germans had in replacing tired divisions through the transport bottlenecks behind the German front. The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge on 20 September, was the first attack with the more limited territorial objectives developed since 31 July, to benefit from the artillery reinforcements brought into the Second Army area and a pause of three weeks for preparation, during which the clouds dispersed and the sun began to dry the ground.

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    The attacking troops were subjected to more German artillery fire than in recent battles, due to the reduced amount of counter-battery fire from the British artillery and inadequate air observation, during the poor weather from 4–8 October. It places the rain had helped mask the advance but when it stopped, German machine-gunners and field artillery could see British and Australian infantry and inflicted many casualties. Many wounded soldiers were left stranded on the battlefield, under sniper fire in the mud and rain. The battle was also costly for the Germans and Crown Prince Rupprecht wrote of the "oppressive superiority" of the British artillery, even though the 4th Army had fired 27 trainloads of ammunition during the attack. Units had become mixed up, suffered "very high wastage" and "confusion reigns". Rupprecht and Kuhl feared that ground would have to be conceded, to delay the British by making them redeploy their artillery. In the north near Houthoulst Forest, the attack had forced back the German line up to 2,500 yd (2,300 m) and 2,100 German soldiers had been taken prisoner. The strain was reflected in a 4th Army order of General Sixt von Armin on 11 October, acknowledging that although fresh ground holding divisions had defeated attacks, some British troops had advanced a considerable distance, with the result that ground was lost, despite the intervention of Eingreifdivisionen. Armin noted that more German troops were trickling to the rear, even on quiet days and ordered that "the sternest measures" should be taken against them and be made public. Despite the difficulties and the cost, the German defenders had obtained a considerable defensive success but with the attack on 12 October (the First Battle of Passchendaele), the Battle of Poelcappelle caused a "crisis in command". German losses had risen to 159,000 men, which jeopardised the front and "mentally shocked" the survivors. With operations pending in Italy and an offensive expected from the French on the Aisne front, fresh divisions were not available for the 4th Army. The 7th Division had 3,877 casualties from 1–10 October. The Official Historian noted 6,957 casualties in the 66th, 49th and 2nd Australian divisions and 10,973 casualties in the Fifth Army from 9–14 October, which included the First Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October.

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    General Max von Gallwitz the 2nd Army commander, noted in early October that so many of his units had been moved to the 1st Army north of the Somme, that he had only one fresh regiment in reserve. The German counter-attacks were costly failures and by 21 October, the British had managed to advance 500 yards (460 m) and take all but the last German foothold in the eastern part of Staufen Riegel (Regina Trench). A French offensive during the Battle of Verdun on 24 October, forced the Germans to suspend the movement of troops to the Somme front. From 29 October – 9 November, British attacks were postponed due to more poor weather, before the capture of 1,000 yards (910 m) of the eastern end of Regina Trench by the 4th Canadian Division on 11 November. Fifth Army operations resumed in the Battle of the Ancre (13–18 November).

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