21st Division 1914-18...a divisional history

1917 Introduction

The year 1917 followed the costly battles of the Somme, which ended in on 14th November 1916. 21st division had played a part in many of the actions of these battles  and had finally expunged its poor reputation wrongly gained at Loos in September 1915. However it had yet to become one of the finest of the BEF but 1917 would help to solidify that reputation.

The battles of 1917 would see a move further north initially with  the battle of Arras, conducted by General Allenby's third army and then back to the BEF's old battle ground of Ypres. The  Battles of 3rd Ypres, more commonly but wrongly known as the battle of Passchendeale would capture the modern imagination, with the rain and mud ending those battles and ingraining the partially true myth that the western front was all mud and rain. The division would play significant parts in both of these battles and the subsiduary actions surrounding these and would end the year fighting  in the brilliantly started but poorly finished battle of Cambrai.

The First Battle of the Scarpe

First Phase of the Arras Offensive

The Third Battle of the Scarpe

Fourth Phase of the Arras Offensive

Flanking operations around Bullecourt

The Battle of Polygon Wood

Fourth phase of the Third Battle of Ypres

The Battle of Broodseinde

Fifth phase of the Third Battle of Ypres

The Second Battle of Passchendaele

Eighth phase of the Third Battle of Ypres

Cambrai