General Sir Herbert Plumer: How His Second Army Paved the Road for Allied Victory

General Sir Herbert Plumer’s command of the Second Army during World War I, particularly during the Battle of Messines, brought overwhelming victory over German forces, drained the enemies resources, and afforded the Allies an opportunity to gain an advantage within the war. Since the war began, the Allied forces had been badly battered and worn down by enemy fire, much heavier than their own and needed to level the playing field of the belligerents in order to make great strides toward victory. General Sir Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer’s efforts to capture German resources at the Belgian ridge near the village of Messines made Allied superiority in the war exponentially more possible by displacing their adversaries and bringing forth a significant loss to their army, from which they would not recover. It is undeniable that General Sir Plumer’s leadership and forethought on the battlefield was a significant factor in the success of the Allied army as a whole which led to victory within the war.

Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer was born in Devon, England on March 13, 1857 at the estate of his family, becoming the second son of Hall Plumer and Louisa Alice Hudson.1 As a result of his family’s wealth and status, Plumer was educated at a prestigious English private school for boys, Eton College, situated near Windsor.2 Studying at the Royal War College, Plumer made ranks as second lieutenant of the 65th Foot, later known as the York and Lancaster Regiment, on September 11, 1876.3 Plumer’s first deployment with his newly appointed regiment was in Locknow, India where his natural talents as a leader were witnessed and he was promoted to captain in the British Army in 1882; being sent to the Sudan just two years later during the “Nile Expedition.”4 Africa was where Plumer witnessed his first instances of fighting on the battlefield in the Battle of El Teb as well as one month later in the Battle of Tamai.5 At this time, the British were at war against the extremist Muslim leader of the Sudanese Muslims, fighting alongside Egyptian forces. Gaining a victory against their adversaries in the Sudan, Plumer’s regiment was called back to Britain, at which time Plumer began to further his military education at the Army Staff College at Camberley for the next three years, graduating in 1887.6

After his graduation, Plumer served three years in Ireland before being reassigned to be a member of the senior staff in Jersey until 1893; during such time, Captain Plumer wrote The Military Resources of the Island of Jersey in which he discusses the island, its resources, strengths and weaknesses, and how to best train to utilize these resources to the advantage of the British Army.7 After completing his assignment on the island of Jersey, Plumer was once again reassigned, this time to his former unit, now renamed the York and Lancaster Regiment, Second Battalion; now traveling to South Africa to the region of Natal.8 With the growing threat to white settlers by the Zulu Warriors within South Africa, Plumer was tasked as the military secretary of Lieutenant Goodenough to raise and train a military unit in order to protect the new settlers in the area; an experience for which he detailed in his book entitled An Irregular Corporation in Matabeleland which was published in 1897.9 Throughout his various assignments over the first twenty years in the British Army, he gained the knowledge necessary to successfully lead and his natural forethought and military architectural capabilities made him an excellent candidate to lead the British Army; by 1899, he was named commander of the Rhodesia Field Force as the Boer War ensued.

For his victories in battle, of which he saw many, he was made a Commander of the Order of the Bath, at which time he rose in rank to become brigadier general.10 From this time, his ranking quickly rose. Having been a captain in the British Army for eighteen years, he was promoted from brigadier general to major general in just two years; assuming the title in 1902 and, after arriving back on home soil, was given command of the Fourth Infantry Brigade at Aldershot. His successes did not end there, however. In 1906, Plumer was knighted and took station shortly thereafter in Ireland; only two short years passing before he was promoted once again, this time to lieutenant general.11 There was no question that Plumer had proven himself, not only as a valiant soldier on the battlefield for which his army could rely, but also as an exceptional leader of which the British Army so needed and appreciated. Plumer continued to serve as lieutenant general for the next six years, maintaining his rank as the First World War broke out in 1914.

As the First World War conflict began and Britain declared war against Germany, it seemed as though Plumer would once again rise in ranks and lead forces into battle across the Western Front. The experience that Plumer had collected over more than a quarter of a century in the British Army had become a culmination of expertise that no one could deny was necessary in order to support a daring and, very likely, difficult campaign of which Great Britain had no doubt would be necessary in order for the Allies to gain victory within the war. Under the advisement of Sir John French, the British military was set to appoint Plumer as commander of II Corps; however, just as he was to be appointed, the position was given to General Horace Smith-Dorrien, at the discretion of General Horatio Kitchener and General Sir Plumer was, instead, promoted to commander of the Second Army.12 In taking charge of his newly appointed regiment, Plumer was sent to France to take lead of the Northern Command and by December of 1914, he had filled his post and gained charge of V Corps as well.13 Just four months later, on April 22, 1915, the V Corps, led by Plumer, was engaged in the Second Battle of Ypres fighting for control of the crucial Flemish hamlet and here is where General Sir Plumer’s contributions to the success of the Allied forces in the First World War were witnessed.

The battle, which consisted of six engagements, came as a shock to the Western Front as the German offensive brought a mass attack of poison gases to the battlefield for the first time.14 The battle, which was fought within a 33 day time span saw immense losses on the battlefield, a devastating consequence of the modernization of warfare tactics that had taken place just prior to the start of the First World War. Casualties accumulated on the field varied by belligerents; the numbers shockingly immense. The Germans were noted as losing 34,933 lives in battle, the British forces recorded 59,275 casualties, the French lost 21,973, and the Canadian losses calculated to be approximately 5,975; thus bringing Allied casualties to an approximate total of 87,223.15 Thought the losses were great in the Second Battle of Ypres, the conflict allowed General Sir Plumer to shine as a leader early on in the war and rise up above that of his peers to take command on the Western Front during the Great War.

During the first days of battle, it became clear to General Smith-Dorrien, commander of II Corps, that the German forces were unyielding and the Allies had no chance of victory without a full scale counter offensive to halt the German advance and push them back to their earliest positions.16 For this reason, General Smith-Dorrien proposed a two and a half mile retreat toward Ypres so as to plan a successful counter-attack and was relinquished of his position and sent back the Great Britain.17 At this time, Sir John French appointed General Sir Plumer as Smith-Dorrien’s replacement and through Plumer’s skill and experience on the battlefield, the forces were able to launch a general retreat back toward allied France and regroup their men without conceding their position greatly to the German Forces.18 Officially, it was stated that Smith-Dorrien had resigned from his post and Plumer now assumed the position he had been set to assume as the war initially began.19 This would be the position that Plumer would hold for the remainder of the war, exercising knowledge, skill, forethought, and understanding; becoming the lead architect of the Second Army offensives as the war progressed on the Western Front.

Plumer’s name and war record is not as well recognizable as the likes of General Pershing and General Horacio Herbert Kitchener, though his most notable and crucial contribution to the Allied forces came in 1917 when he led his Second Army to launch an offensive against the German forces in what has been named the Battle of Messines. For Plumer was well versed in the art of war, his planning came more than a year before, in January 1916 when he suggested to Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig that the Allied forces must secure the Messines Ridge at the southern end of the Ypres Salient in order to move north with a successful offensive within the region and finally gain victory at Ypres.20 With this campaign, the British forces hoped to secure the coastal region of Belgium away from German forces and expel them from ports which they feared the Germans may secure and threaten the support of British forces to the battle on the Western Front.21

When proposing the securement of the Messines Ridge, Plumer chose this location for a very specific reason. Although it is not the highest ground on the ridge line, in order to secure the high grounds of Gheluvelt Plateau, north of Messines Ridge, and Wytschaete, adjacent to the Messines Ridge and a vital base for artillery observation; the Messines must first be under allied control.22 The soil on the ridge was also integral to the success of the mission as it was categorized by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as “well balanced”; consisting of clay, fine silt, course silt, pure sand, and course sand.23 Peter Liddle states that this was “ground already familiar from the dry autumn of First Ypres in October and November 1914.”24 The drainage systems in the region had been previously destroyed in the Second Battle of Ypres, however, the region was the driest of any that would yield success during the taking of the region and dry land was imperative to the British force during the fight. Of this, historian Gerard de Groot contended that “any rain would have been disastrous…Haig’s plans required a drought of Ethiopian proportions to ensure success”; Haig himself stating that, “Operations are liable to the danger of interruption by bad weather. A few hours of rain brings the brooks into flood which only subsides within periods varying up to twenty-four hours. A few weeks rain may make the whole country impracticable for prolonged operations for at least one week.”25 The plans for the campaign were meant to include the subsequent capture of the Gheluvelt Plateau aided by the allied French forces, however, with the German offenses launched at le Région Fortifiée de Verdun against the French, the operation was delayed until it was decided by Haig that the Messines Ridge would be taken by Plumer and his men without the allied support.26

The British offensive preparations began as General Sir Herbert Plumer and his men mobilized in order to launch the ambitious offensive against the German held high ground of the Messines Ridge. The Second Army used an immense amount of centralized artillery plans in order to prepare for the forthcoming battle. This was said to be the first time an Army artillery plan had been created on a basis of survey data and aided by “gun calibration and meteorological data, and a 1:10,000 barrage map (in several sheets) produced.”27 Prior barrage maps had struggled to create a coordinated model for forces to rely upon which had become a vital element for major operations during the First World War.28 Target finding was no longer a guessing game for the Allied forces and, rather, systematic which greatly revolutionize the guessing game of battle. Mining began to along the front lines of the Wijtschate salient the year before; proving difficult for the region’s complex groundwater tables.29 This lead to the use of two army geologist to assist in the mining process, the British miners digging into the blue clay, approximately 80 to 100 feet deep and making their way dangerously close to the German counter mining efforts; within meters of the enemy forces.30

Maude states that, “Several weeks before the actual details of the offensive became known to the front line troops our artillery had started organized destructive shoots on various points in the enemy’s lines and on his communications.”31 Apart from mine digging, the British extensively utilized photographic reconnaissance taken from aircraft and wire cutting while Plumer ordered two days of counter-battery fire beginning on May 21.32 From the end of May 1917 through June 5, British attack barrages were rehearsed in order to identify their weaknesses and exploit the location of German batteries prior to the commencement of the battle.33 Each division of the Second Army was given a duty and which they would carry out as the enemy lines became more active during the bombardments of the German mining system by British forces and the battle drew near.34

Plumer’s Second Army’s plan of attack was to advance on the German Oosttaverne line in order to gain three very clear objectives in the initial days of the battle. With the use of three corps divisions of the Second Army, II Anzac Corps, IX Corps, and X Corps, the corps were to launch the offensive under the guidance of the army commander, while taking into account the strengths and shortcomings of the Allied forces at the Somme as well as the battle of Arras.35 The first objective set forth by Plumer was for his men to take the ridge in a single day.36 With fresh forces moving in to the front lines, the afternoon would see the subsequent advance of the British forces down the ridge. The Corps were all instructive to organize their artillery according to the conditions of the battlefield while staying within the structure of the army plan; implementing precautions such as extra artillery on the battlefield in order to replace those lost due to casualties.37 This forethought would prove invaluable during the battle as Plumer’s plan of attack seemed to be some of the most extensively thought out of the entire First World War.

The German defense of the Messines were extensive as well. Once again taking into account the Battle of the Somme, the German defenses were revised from a forward slope to lines beginning behind the ridge and continuing northfrom the Lys to Linselles and onto Werviq and Beselare.38 The German lines began to weaken near the Menin Ridge, which the German commanding officers feared the British forces would exploit and as such believed that counter-mining efforts were vital in order to neutralize the British efforts to take the German vantage point.39 The defenses, though extensive as they were easily grazed over by the British bombardment due to the reconnaissance of the British aircraft and the bombardments brought forth the loss of morale for the German forces, even prior to the battle itself beginning.40 It was clear that The Germans, although analyzing previous operation in the War and making changes to their defense accordingly, were struggling to meet the tactical planning introduced by Plumer’s command of the Second Army.

With an ominous thunderstorm clearing just three hours before, the Battle of Messines began at 3:10 AM on June 7, 1917, as the first mines exploded followed by heavy artillery fire from the British Army.41 Of zero hour, Maude writes, “To one who saw the dull glare of the exploding mines and the continuous flashes of our guns, and heard the rumble of the explosions mingled with the crash of the shells and rattle of the machine guns, this zero hour will always remain a very vivid recollection.”42 He continues depicting the events as stating that the ground “trembled with these vast subterranean explosions, and the debris hurled high into the air could be seen against the gray dawn of the morning sky.”43 Gas shells were released upon known German positions as the counter-battery groups assaulted their adversaries as their advanced upon them; the German response delayed and scattered by the offensive attack.44

The first objective of the British offensive, led by the II Anzac Corps, focused heavily upon the German front lines of trenches on the southern expanse of the ridge; the British forces calling the objective the Blue line. From the start, “ The attack went well. The opposition was met with and overcome all along the line.”45 After becoming disorganized just prior to the launching of the offensive, the objective was launched on time and immediately followed the leading bomb detonations. Making their way toward the German front, the forces moved through the now uneven terrain, being careful to avoid the gas bombs as they marched forward.46 To their right, the IX Corps advanced with the support of multiple mine detonations to clear their immediate path including three at Kruisstraat and one mine further north at Spanbroekmolen. This made their advance relatively easy and without resistance from the German foes.47 The 16th division attacked their stunned adversaries at Maedelstede Farm and the Vierstraat–Wytschaete road, while the 19th division struck two brigades just north, aided by mine blasts, leading the surviving Germans to retreat or surrender.48 The X Corps had the shortest advance of their brothers, making their way across the summit and exposing the addition defenses of the Germans. Still horrified from the surprise attacks, the German artillery fire was delayed and their adversaries, the British, were able to gain an advantage over them.49

The second objective was referred to as the “black line,” and thus, began the defense of the newly acquired stronghold and the village of Messines. The II Anzac Corps divisions positioned at the river Douve began to dig their way in, defeating a small counter-attack by the Germans, and position their weapons in defense of the Messines village.50 The defense by the Germans of their garrison was valiant, yet at the capture of their commandant, they were forced to surrender.51 the IX Corps was to secure the Bogaert Farm and the surrounding woods, finding the objective under defended as a result of the earlier bombardment, the German forces at L’Hospice held their ground; yet, despite this, the region was secured for the British by 5:00 AM.52 The X Corps was not so easily successful in achieving their next objective. While the allied victory of the White Chateau allowed the British forces to pass across the summit relatively simply, it was when they had advanced past Denys and Ravine woods that they had met their first challenge. Dug into the earth were German “machine gun nests” and the British forces learned quickly that they would not win this leg of the battle on their own; retreating in order for their commander to order an additional bombardment just after 2 PM and the 23rd division suffered several casualties before finally securing their position that evening.53 Between the first two objectives, the British casualties were far less than originally anticipated which led to a welcomed congestion on the ridge as the British forced advanced to their final objective.

The Oosttaverne line was the final objective devised by Plumer in the initial British preparation of the Battle of Messines. After a seven hour necessary pause of the battle, the British once again began their offensive in order to, this time, take the Oosttaverne line. Bringing in masses of additional artillery including 146 machine guns and 24 reserve tanks to the front line, the Anzac forces began to advance upon the Germans with the IX corps at their flanks and the surviving X Corps tanks advancing from Damm and Denys Woods.54 The advance of Plumer’s Second Army continued relatively unopposed as the forces were able to secure Bug Wood, Rose Wood and Verhaest Farm. With only six British casualties, they were able to capture 289 German soldiers and it seemed as though all objectives had been met short of taking the Oosttaverne Line at the Ypres-Comines canal.55 This final stretch, however, was met with great resistance and the British infantry alone could not subdue the German defense. It was only with the aid of British air forces and the loss of ninety percent of the total British casualties in the battle, that the last objective was met and the Allied forces arrived victorious.56

The Battle of the Messines was a crucial battle orchestrated by General Sir Herbert Plumer which led to a strategic Allied victory over seven days of fighting and just over 24,000 British and Allied lives lost during the preparation and implementation of the battle.57 Supported by a combined arms tactical system, the battle illustrated the strength and genius of the General Plumer as his forces engaged in one of the most complex battles of the First World War. Although many had criticized the impact of the battle on the Allied success, B.H. Liddell Hart contending that the same tactics implemented in different circumstances would have resulted in a failure.58 Regardless of this, Plumer’s insight and command of the Second Army combined with his meticulous preparation for battle in order to successfully meet each of the set objectives for the allied forces, broke the German morale and helped to pave the way for further Allied victories until the signing of the armistice which ended the First World War.

During the last days of the war, Plumer remained with the Second Army during the German Spring Offensive and the Allied Hundred Days’ Offensive, turning down a position as Chief of the Imperial General Staff.59 After the war had ended, Plumer continued to serve, accepting the position as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine as well as Governor of Malta from 1919 to 1924; at the same time being promoted to the title of field marshal in the British Army.60 For his long and valiant service to his nation, he was awarded the title of Viscount Plumer just three years before his death on July 16, 1932; yet, he legacy lives on as his victory in the face of immeasurable odds upon the Messines Ridge and precise detail through which he achieved victory, addressed war as not only a science but an art for which he understood and conducted nearly flawlessly.

1 Mark Grossman, World Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, (New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc, 2007), 274.

2Ibid.

3The London Gazette no. 24761, September 12, 1879, Accessed on October 29, 2015, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/24761/page/5454.

4 Mark Grossman, World Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, (New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc, 2007), 274.

5Tony Heathcote, The British Field Marshals 1736–1997, (Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword, 1999), 241.

6 Mark Grossman, World Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, (New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc, 2007), 274.

7Herbert Plumer, “The Military Resources of the Island of Jersey,” Royal United Services Institution, Journal 35 (164) (1891): 1077-1090.

8 Mark Grossman, World Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, (New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc, 2007), 274.

9Ibid.

10 Mark Grossman, World Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, (New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc, 2007), 274-275.

11Ibid, 275.

12Ibid.

13Ibid.

14J.E. Edmonds and G. C.Wynne, Military Operations France and Belgium, 1915: Winter 1915: Battle of Neuve Chapelle: Battles of Ypres. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence I (London: Macmillan, 1927), 176-178.

15J. Sheldon, The German Army on the Western Front 1915, (Barnsley, UK: Pen and Sword Military, 2012), 116.

16J.E. Edmonds and G. C.Wynne, Military Operations France and Belgium, 1915: Winter 1915: Battle of Neuve Chapelle: Battles of Ypres. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence I (London: Macmillan, 1927), 175-178.

17Ibid.

18Ibid, 179.

19Mark Grossman, World Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, (New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc, 2007), 275.

20J.E. Edmonds, Military Operations France and Belgium 1914: Antwerp, La Bassée, Armentieres, Messines and Ypres, October–November 1914. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II, (London, UK: Macmillan, 1929), 312.

21Ibid.

22John Terraine, The Road to Passchendaele: The Flanders Offensive 1917, A Study in Inevitability, (London, UK: Leo Cooper, 1977), 2.

23Peter Liddle, Passchendaele in Perspective: The Third Battle of Ypres, (London, UK: Pen & Sword, 1997), 142.

24Ibid, 143.

25Ibid.

26 J. E. Edmonds, Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II, (London, UK: HMSO, 1948), 416-417.

27Peter Liddle, Passchendaele in Perspective: The Third Battle of Ypres, (London, UK: Pen & Sword, 1997), 121.

28Ibid.

29Cleland, H. “The Geologist in War Time: Geology on the Western Front”. Economic Geology XIII (2) (1918): 145–146.

30Ibid.

31Alan Maude, The 47th (London) Division 1914–1919, (London, UK: Amalgamated Press, 1922), 96.

32H. A. Jones, The War in the Air Being the Part Played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence IV, (London, UK: Clarendon Press, 1934), 118.

33Alan Maude, The 47th (London) Division 1914–1919, (London, UK: Amalgamated Press, 1922), 96-98.

34Ibid, 96-97.

35 J. E. Edmonds, Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II, (London, UK: HMSO, 1948), 32.

36 Ibid.

37Martin Farndale, Western Front 1914–18. History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, (London, UK: Royal Artillery Institution, 1986), 186.

38 G. C. Wynne, If Germany Attacks: The Battle in Depth in the West, (Cambridge: Clarendon Press, 1939), 262.

39Ibid.

40Ibid, 271.

41J. E. Edmonds, Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II, (London, UK: HMSO, 1948), 54.

42Alan Maude, The 47th (London) Division 1914–1919, (London, UK: Amalgamated Press, 1922), 99.

43Ibid.

44J. E. Edmonds, Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II, (London, UK: HMSO, 1948), 54-55.

45Alan Maude, The 47th (London) Division 1914–1919, (London, UK: Amalgamated Press, 1922), 99.

46 J. E. Edmonds, Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II, (London, UK: HMSO, 1948), 56-57.

47Ibid, 57-59.

48Ibid.

49Ibid, 59-60.

50Ibid, 63-64.

51Ibid.

52J. E. Edmonds, Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II, (London, UK: HMSO, 1948), 64-65.

53Ibid, 69-70.

54Ibid, 75-77.

55Ibid.

56 G. C. Wynne, If Germany Attacks: The Battle in Depth in the West, (Cambridge: Clarendon Press, 1939), 278-281.

57Ibid, 282.

58B. H. Liddell Hart, The Real War 1914–1918, (New York, NY: Little, Brown, 1930), 339-340.

59Tony Heathcote, The British Field Marshals 1736–1997, (Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword, 1999), 242.

60Ibid.

Bibliography

Cleland, H. “The Geologist in War Time: Geology on the Western Front.” Economic Geology XIII (2) (1918): 145–146.

Edmonds, J. E. and Wynne, G. C.. Military Operations France and Belgium, 1915: Winter 1915: Battle of Neuve Chapelle: Battles of Ypres. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence I. London, UK: Macmillan, 1927.

Edmonds, J. E. Military Operations France and Belgium 1914: Antwerp, La Bassée, Armentieres, Messines and Ypres, October–November 1914. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II. London, UK: Macmillan, 1929.

Edmonds, J. E. Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II. London, UK: HMSO, 1948.

Farndale, Martin. Western Front 1914–18. History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. London, UK: Royal Artillery Institution, 1986.

Grossman, Mark. World military leaders: A Biographical Dictionary. New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc, 2007.

Heathcote, Tony. The British Field Marshals 1736–1997. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword, 1999.

Jones, H. A. The War in the Air Being the Part Played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence IV. London, UK: Clarendon Press, 1934.

Liddell Hart, B. H. The Real War 1914–1918. New York, NY: Little, Brown, 1930.

Liddle, Peter. Passchendaele in Perspective: The Third Battle of Ypres. London, UK: Pen & Sword, 1997.

Maude, Alan. The 47th (London) Division 1914–1919. London, UK: Amalgamated Press, 1922.

Plumer, Herbert. “The Military Resources of the Island of Jersey.” Royal United Services Institution. Journal 35 (164) (1891): 1077-1090.

Sheldon, J. The German Army on the Western Front 1915. Barnsley, UK: Pen and Sword Military, 2012.

Terraine, John. The Road to Passchendaele: The Flanders Offensive 1917, A Study in Inevitability. London, UK: Leo Cooper, 1977.

The London Gazette no. 24761. September 12, 1879. Accessed on October 29, 2015, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/24761/page/5454.

Paper written and submitted to American Military University on November 29, 2015

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