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This is the new blog of the Plugstreet Archaeological Project.


   A Great War themed project exploring sites around Comines-Warneton and Messines in Belgium.    The project is being led by members of No Man's Land - The European Group for Great War    Archaeology and the Comines-Warneton Historical Society.




94th Anniversary of the Battle of Messines

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
 
       

Ninety Four Years ago today the Allied forces launched the opening attack of the Battle of Messines. Many months of hard dangerous work by the Tunnelling Companies of the Royal Engineers along with careful planning and preparation by all involved led to a successful attack.
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Ultimo Crater, the result of the explosion of just one of the mines beneath the German Front Line.

Ultimo Crater, the result of the explosion of just one of the mines beneath the German Front Line.

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The objective of the battle was to push back the enemy from a curving front line, which had barely moved since the trenches were established in the later stages of the Battle of Ypres in late summer of 1914. By straightening the front line between Ypres and Armentieres, the Allies gained control of the higher ground of the Messines Ridge, including the towns of Messines and Wytschaete and the infamous Hill 60, leaving them in a strong position for the planned Third Battle of Ypres, more commonly known as Passchendaele.
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Objectives of The Battle of Messines

Objectives of The Battle of Messines

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This map shows the curving front line, with the objective shown in black dots.

Although the Battle was a success, many casualties were suffered on both sides. The tactic of exploding massive mines beneath the German front lines, inevitably caused thousands of deaths, and many more were injured or killed as the infantry advanced to capture objectives.

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As the Team prepares for the 2011 field work, we remember on this day those who took part in the battle.
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The Cross of Sacrifice at Prowse Point

The Cross of Sacrifice at Prowse Point

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Please see our History Section for more details of the battle and those who fought in these fields.

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