The complete panoramas of Passchendaele from the author of The Battlefields of the First World War.
Today, concertina'd into a single sombre entity known as Passchendaele, the British 1917 offensives in Belgian Flanders have entered the English language as the epitome of all that was both wretched and noble about the Great War. Collectively known as the Third Battle of Ypres, the fighting raged from early June until mid-November, and revealed new depths of tragedy, heights of gallantry, astonishing stoicism, humour, loss, grief, and terrible human suffering. The remains of no less than 200,000 soldiers still lie unfound within the narrow boundaries of the battlefield of Passchendaele. The German panoramas - many of which have not seen the light of day since the end of the war - match and often surpass the Imperial War Museum for both scale and quality. Like their British equivalents, they were taken at huge personal risk by specialist photographers. All the panoramas reveal what no other photographs can - the view beyond the trench parapet - and a great deal more. Also included are unpublished testimony, letters and memoirs from all the different regiments who served on the Somme, sourced from the regimental archives across the United Kingdom, Ireland and elsewhere; stunning mapping, plans and diagrams throughout; and equivalent aerial photographs.
Peter Barton is a historian, archaeologist and film-maker. He authored The Battlefields of the First World War after researching the forgotten Imperial War Museum panorama archive for eight years. His other books include The Somme, and Passchendaele. He continues to lead an ongoing project to recover, interpret and publish all surviving battlefield panoramas - widely regarded as the 'missing link' for our full understanding of the First World War. He has since uncovered several equivalent unseen collections of panoramas in German archives, included here. Barton has also led several major excavations on the Western Front, and produced the critically acclaimed documentary films The Underground War, The Soldiers' Pilgrimage and Conviction. He is co-secretary of the All Party Parliamentary War Graves and Battlefields Heritage Group.