THE ANATOMY OF A RAID. AUSTRALIA AT CELTIC WOOD 9TH OCTOBER 1917 (THE BROODSEINDE RIDGE – THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES).

Spagnoly, Tony.


£25.00




1st ed., 1991. Xxiv + 158 pp., 1 large fldg., photo panorama + 37 other photo-plates + 10 ills., + 1 large fldg., map + 7 other maps, partly cold., red & black. D.j., 21 x 15cm. FINE. This is an account of a little-known raid on Celtic Wood by the Australians on 9th October 1917 that took place during the great battles for the Passchendaele Ridge which raged around the Belgian town of Ypres. On that date there was a heroic, though unsuccessful, major corps attack by British and Australian infantry across the devastated battlefield from the Gravenstafel ridge upward towards the village of Passchendaele itself. The planners threw in eighty-five young Australians slightly to the south of Broodseinde in an attempt to convince the Germans to spread their counter-battery barrage away from the area of the main advance. This was the raid on the small woodland area known as Celtic Wood. Although eighty-five men took part only forty-three were accounted for. What happened to the other forty-two? This is just one of the mysteries surrounding this obscure raid. No eye-witnesses ever recorded an explanation, at least not on the Australian side, and official records scarcely mention the raid at all. The author has gone to great lengths to uncover what he can about this little-known raid in which a group of Australian infantrymen disappeared without trace or record. His account is expertly written and generously embellished with photographs, illustrations and maps including a large, folding photograph panorama and a large, folding map.


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