Fortress Wytschaete: geological controls on the German frontline in Flanders, 1914–1917

Journal article


Doyle, P, Verdegem, S and Schäfer, R (2020). Fortress Wytschaete: geological controls on the German frontline in Flanders, 1914–1917. Geology Today. 36 (2), pp. 64-74. https://doi.org/10.1111/gto.12305
AuthorsDoyle, P, Verdegem, S and Schäfer, R
Abstract

© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Geologists' Association & The Geological Society of London The Battle of Messines (Wytschaete Bogen) of June 1917 is hailed as a triumph of military geology, with the simultaneous explosion of some 19 mines leading to the Allied destruction of the German frontline positions. This story is well known and rightly celebrated; but less well understood and often overshadowed by this success is the story of the effectiveness of the German fortress positions. These were constructed in late 1914 in order to maintain the strategic aim of holding the Allies in the west while pressing the Russians through a series of offensives in east. In this, they were highly effective, even in the face of continuous Allied bombardment. This article seeks to redress this unbalance in our understanding, drawing on archaeological evidence and archival resources to present a clearer picture of the nature of the German positions.

Year2020
JournalGeology Today
Journal citation36 (2), pp. 64-74
PublisherWiley
ISSN0266-6979
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/gto.12305
Publication dates
Print01 Mar 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Dec 2020
Accepted author manuscript
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