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Battle of Passchendaele (World War One)

02 Dec 2015

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:

Where can I find information about the Battle of Passchendaele?

LEVEL: Intermediate / Secondary

The Third Battle of Ypres was a major British and allied offensive (attack) on the Western Front during World War One. The battle lasted several months, from July to November 1917 and New Zealand troops become involved part way through. They were heavily involved in the attack on the Belgian village of Passchendaele, an action which became officially known as the First Battle of Passchendaele. Sometimes the whole of the Third Battle of Ypres is referred to as Passchendaele. The 100th anniversary of the battle is in 2017, and we expect more information to be made available online over the next year or two. 

A good place to get an overview of the whole battle is the BBC History website, which is an excellent place to find information on historical events from around the world. Although the article is now archived it does contain good information.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand is great website for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable. To navigate to the information, search for 'world war one' in the white search box at the top of the page. A result should come up called 'First World War'. We then need to go to section 5 'Western Front, 1916 to 1917', scroll down to the bottom of the page to read about Passchendaele in context.

An excellent place to get more detailed information about New Zealand involvement in the battle is NZHistory. If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website also belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable. To find the Passchendaele article choose 'New Zealand at war' from the three links under the main introduction. Next, choose 'First World War' from the options and then 'Passchendale: fighting for Belgium' in the Western Front section.

HOT TIP: A great way to identify reliable New Zealand government or educational sites is to look at their web address – they have either .govt or .ac at the end of the address. 

If you still need more information, you can try searching World History in Context or Britannica School (select 'Secondary' from the home page'), electronic resources that can you can access through the EPIC databases. They include useful information on World War One, including the Third Battle of Ypres / Passchendaele. To find the best information we suggest using the keywords 'Passchendaele' or possibly 'Ypres'.

HOT TIP: To get to the EPIC databases you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online.

Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library. 

Another place to find out about Passchendaele is in the Western Front area of Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails, which has been put together by the government. Mainly intended as a battlefield guide the app version of this site contains primary source material as well as background information. If you don't have a smart device like a mobile or a tablet there are PDFs of the information contained in the app that can be downloaded. To find these scroll right down the Western Front page until you see 'Explore the highlights' or 'Print the guides'.  

HOT TIP: The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

Have a look at our Hot Topic about World War One for further information about the war.

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