The Zenith of Siege Warfare
Date of publication: August 2010
At 0310 hours on 7 June 1917, the pre-dawn gloom on the Western Front was shattered by the ‘pillars of fire’ – the rapid detonation of 19 huge mines, secreted in tunnels under the German lines and containing 450 tonnes of explosives. Admitted by the Germans to be a ‘masterstroke’, the devastating blasts caused 10,000 soldiers to later be posted simply as ‘missing’. Launching a pre-planned attack into the carnage, supported by tanks and a devastating artillery barrage, the British took the strategic objective of Messines Ridge within hours. A rare example of innovation and success in the First World War, this book is a fresh and timely examination of a fascinating campaign.
Origins of the campaign
The battle of Messines
The battlefield today