War, is hell

War, is hell

The Battle of Passchendaele or the Third Battle of Ypres started on July 31 1917. Over the next months, thousands would die during this useless battle. Useless, because the conquered area was very small. This battle inspired many poets to write. Silent Poet was also inspired by this battle.

About Silent Poet

Silent Poet is someone who looks in the goodness of people. At the same time, he acknowledges the horrors humankind is capable of.

This poet writes for a good reason:

To let out the anguish in my soul. I’m haunted by human nature and one day seek to unlock the secret of what makes us what we are.

Instagram

Silent Poet publishes his work on Instagram.

War, is hell

War, is hell

By Silent Poet

In the depths of Hades,
He saw the messanger,
A runner,
Running from the hail,
Bellowed by those metal tubes,
Red with heat of killing living souls,
I rose from the trench
As a dead man from the watery graves,
The attack had failed,
The Indians, The Canadians,
The Belgians, The British,
This great mass of humanity,
Chopped up in meat grinder,
Oh the futility of the action,
Like feeding a dead man,
But the battle was alive now,
And like other before her,
This beast of the Flanders,
Consumed her share of blood and flesh.

The Third Battle of Ypres
View more images of The Third Battle of Ypres at Wikimedia Commons

Backgrounds

On July 31 1917 the Battle of Passchendaele started. This battle is also known as the Third Battle of Ypres. This was an attempt by the Allies to force the Germans to abandon the conquered territory.

This offensive lasted over four months and ended without the hoped victory and thousands of dead soldiers.

Ypres is a city in the western part of Flanders (Belgium). This was a strategic point, that both Allies and Germans wanted to control. Passchendaele is about 8 km. from Ypres. The railway junction at Roulers was considered of strategic importance. This railroad supplied the German 4th Army.

Not everyone was in favour of this campaign. Several British politicians, including PM David Lloyd George, strongly advised against this offensive.

After a hundred years, there is still dispute about the number of casualties. On Allied side, the amounts vary between 200,000 and 448,614. On German side, the amounts vary between 217,000 and 410,000.

Others

As said, Silent Poet is not the only one who wrote about this battle. Amongst those to write about this battle are Hedd Wyn and “our” Harm Jagerman.

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