Between July and November 1917, in a small corner of Belgium, more than 500,000 men were killed or maimed, gassed or drowned - and many of the bodies were never found. The Ypres offensive represents the modern impression of the First World War: splintered trees, water-filled craters, muddy shell-holes. The climax was one of the worst battles of both world wars: Passchendaele. The village fell eventually, only for the whole offensive to be called off. But, as Nick Lloyd shows, tably through previously unexamined German documents, it put the Allies nearer to a major turning point in the war than we have ever imagined.
Nick Lloyd is Reader in Defence Studies at King's College London, and based at the Joint Services Command & Staff College near Swindon. He specializes in British military and imperial history in the era of the Great War and is the author of three books, Loos 1915 (2006), The Amritsar Massacre: The Untold Story of One Fateful Day (2011) and Hundred Days: The End of the Great War (2013).