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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

'The Crater' on Zonnebeke Rd, just west of Verlorenhoek.


grantmal
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Can anyone please enlighten how, when and why this crater, directly in front of the German line straddling the Ypres-Zonnebeke Rd, was created? 

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This May 1918 aerial shows a 'loop' road around the north side; 6 months earlier, in October 1917 the 13th Australian Field Ambulance used 'The Crater' as their car loading post - can anyone confirm if this bypass/loop road was in use then? Thanks!

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Edited by grantmal
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It was a tank trap (road blown up by a mine to prevent British tanks from using that road).

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Thanks for that rapid reply - it answers many [also unstated] questions.

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Similar tank traps were quite common in Flanders from 1917 onwards. The Menin Road between Hooge and Gheluvelt had 2 similar craters: one was created in July 1917 (IIRC) when part of the Hooge Tunnel was blown up by the Germans and a second one was created in September 1917, both times to prevent (with quite some success) British tanks to use the Menin Road. The tanks had to go around the crater into wet terrain and were then taken under fire (artillery and MG) when they were slowly moving or even completely stuck with the results we all know. Of course, the tank trap wasn't the only anti-tank measure. The Germans usually had anti-tank guns deployed along these roads as well. These guns were under strict orders only to be used in case of British tank attacks (so that there position wouldn't be discovered).

Jan

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Thanks everyone for bringing this crater to my attention. I am working on a Paper about the roads at Passchendaele rebuilt by the Canadians Oct 18 to Nov 14 1917.

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Thanks, Jan. Very enlightening.

Brad, there is some info here on the roads approaching Zonnebeke, if you haven't seen it already.

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Thanks Grant. This bend in the road is the location of Kink Dump which figures prominently the in the War Diaries and Records of the Canadian Engineers as a source of RE materials for the road and track building along the Canadian/Australian Corps boundary (the main line RR tracks).  The Canadian Engineers finished the Zonnebeke plank road to the intersection of the Ypres Roulers Rlwy.

I just added some Canadian Maps to the thread you cited. 

 

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