Cauldron

I Died In Hell (Part 2) - Battle of Passchendaele - Jul 31, 1917 – Nov 10, 1917

Episode Summary

Years of artillery fire in both directions had cratered the Ypres salient into a lunar landscape. And remember these craters rapidly filled with water from below and rain from above. The rain at Passchendaele went on and off for the entirety of the offensive. August historically a dry month, in 1917, full of rain and damp, moist weather. Everything and everyone was wet all the time; even on rain-free days, the men couldn't dry-out because they were sitting in muddy holes. Robert Sherriff of the East Surrey Reg wrote, "The living conditions in our camp were sordid beyond belief. The cookhouse was flooded, and most of the food was uneatable. There was nothing but sodden biscuits and cold stew. The cooks tried to supply bacon for breakfast, but the men complained that it smelled like dead men...At dawn, on the morning of the attack, the battalion assembled in the mud outside the huts. I lined up my platoon and went through the necessary inspection. Some of the men looked terribly ill: grey, worn faces in the dawn, unshaved and dirty because there was no clean water. I saw the characteristic shrugging of their shoulders that I knew so well. They hadn't had their clothes off for weeks, and their shirts were full of lice."

Episode Notes

Hello again, and thank you for listening to Cauldron. I'm your host, Cullen, and we have another doozy for you today but first some quick housekeeping. I want to thank all of you that have given the show a 5-star rating. Seventy-three people have taken the time to support the show on iTunes, and it means a lot to me. I especially want to thank Archernova, nap_sack, and EMT_Hank for writing the most recent excellent reviews. You guys rock! If you haven't already - rate review subscribe, it helps the show grow, and I love to get your feedback. Go to facebook, twitter, or Instagram for cool images, videos, and the weekly Livestream. We are a couple of episodes into the new Netflix docuseries, the greatest events of WWII in color, so watch and join us for the discussion. Also, starting December 8 only on Instagram, I'll be setting up polls to pick the battles we cover each month in 2020, so check that out if you want to have a say in what we cover next year! Alright, that is enough of that; let's get stuck in!


 

Years of artillery fire in both directions had cratered the Ypres salient into a lunar landscape. And remember these craters rapidly filled with water from below and rain from above. The rain at Passchendaele went on and off for the entirety of the offensive. August historically a dry month, in 1917, full of rain and damp, moist weather. Everything and everyone was wet all the time; even on rain-free days, the men couldn't dry-out because they were sitting in muddy holes. Robert Sherriff of the East Surrey Reg wrote, "The living conditions in our camp were sordid beyond belief. The cookhouse was flooded, and most of the food was uneatable. There was nothing but sodden biscuits and cold stew. The cooks tried to supply bacon for breakfast, but the men complained that it smelled like dead men...At dawn, on the morning of the attack, the battalion assembled in the mud outside the huts. I lined up my platoon and went through the necessary inspection. Some of the men looked terribly ill: grey, worn faces in the dawn, unshaved and dirty because there was no clean water. I saw the characteristic shrugging of their shoulders that I knew so well. They hadn't had their clothes off for weeks, and their shirts were full of lice."


 

Music - We_Lucky_Few by Hainbach

This weeks sources - Passchendaele by Nick Lloyd, Passchendaele by Steele and Hart, The First World War by John Keegan

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