Magnum Opus was the famous Mine Battle June 7-14, 1917.

Following the course of the occupation by the Germans on Wijtschate in 1914, the winter was coming and both the gallied and the Germans had to protect themselves from the cold. So everything got stuck on the whole front and they started the Occupied strips. It became a war of war and began to dig underground, both in the Germans and in the Allies.

On the occupied Wijtschate, various deep and shallow mines were dug on several places, between 16 January 1916 and 7 June 1917, ten German and sixteen British minor subterranean explosions were made at Zwarteleen Hill 60, the most important Include the German actions at the Bluff / Grosse Bastion on January 22, 1916, and this of February 14, 1916.

For the rest, no significant major actions, so the Norton-Griffiths plan that was in November 1915 to shake the German front in Sint-Elooi, Hollandscheschuur, Petit Bois, Peckham, Maedelstede and Spanbroekmolen was promoted by Possibly to probably. The tunnels ran from Hill 60 to the north to Ploegsteert in the south.

Days were fiercely shot by the British artillery on the German statements until the final attack that was provided for Zero Hour (hours). On 7 June 1917 at 3:00 this weekend, hell broke out, the British let 24 deep mines explode, one mine was rendered harmless, another was exploded on 17 July 1955 by the lightning, there were no dead, three refused service and up to Currently still unexploded, 19 mines exploded with a total of 431,700kg explosives (ammonia). Tons of earth, concrete, statues, armaments Germans fly in.

The British are always talking about The Battle of Messines Ridge, it would be more logical to say "The battle of Wytschaete", seen in the middle of the conquered area. The Germans talked about Der Schlacht am Wytschaete-Bogen. The problem for the British was that at Wijtschate the 16th Irish Division was a regiment, a Roman Catholic regiment, and so the British did not want the Irish to be honored.

Info: Beneath Flanders Field by Peter Barton, Peter Doyle and Johan Vandewalle - The Battle in Michel Vansuyt's Wisdom Arch - Mine War in Flanders of Roger Lampaert

Geological map of Wijtschate
Map with the variuos foundation layers wise area

Photo: 2. Here you can see how powerful this explosion is

Photo: 3.External air displacement with tons of earth

Photo: 5.External development after the explosion

Divisions involved in the Mine Battle
British Army
X Corps:

- 23nd Division.

- 70th Infantry Brigade - 69th Infantry Brigade - the 68th Infantry Brigade in Reserve.

- 47th (2nd London) Division.

- 142nd Infantry Brigade - 140th Infantry Brigade - The 141st Infantry Brigade in Reserve.

- 41st (Southern and Home Counties) Division.

- 123nd Infantry Brigade - 124th Infantry Brigade - The 122nd Infantry Brigade in Second Wave.

IX Corps

- 19th (Western) Division

- 56th Infantry Brigade - 58th Infantry Brigade - The 57th Infantry Brigade in Second Wave.

- 16th (Irish) Division

- 49th Infantry Brigade - 47th Infantry Brigade - 48th Infantry Brigade in Reserve.

- 36th (Ulster) Division

- 109th Infantry Brigade - 107th Infantry Brigade - The 108th Infantry Brigade In Reserve.


- 25th (North Western) Division

- 7th Infantry Brigade - 74th Infantry Brigade - the 75th Infantry Brigade in Second Wave.

- New Zealand Division

- 2nd New Zealand Infantry Brigade - 3rd New Zealand Infantry Brigade - 1st New Zealand Infantry Brigade in Second Wave.

- 3rd Australian Division

- 10th Australian Infantry Brigade - 9th Infantry Brigade - The 11th Australian Infantry Brigade In Reserve.

German army
Group Wytschaete

- 204 Infantry Division (Württemberg)

- 120 Reserve Infantry Regiment - 414 Infantry Regiment - 413 Infantry Regiment

- 35 Infantry Division (Prussia)

- 61 Infantry Regiment - 141 Infantry Regiment - 176 Infantry Regiment

- 2 Infantry Division (East Prussia)

- 44 Infantry Regiment - 33 Infantry Regiment - 4 Infantry Regiment

- 3 (Bavarian) Infantry Division

- 23 Bavarian Infantry Regiment - 17 Bavarian Infantry Regiment - 18 Bavarian Infantry Regiment

- 4 (Bavarian) Infantry Division

- 9 Bavarian Infantry Regiment

Mixed German elements occupy the reserve positions

- 3 Bavarian Division and 2 Infantry Division reserve battalions.

- 2 Infantry Division and 35 Infantry Divison Reserve Battalions.

- 35 Infantry Division and 204 Infantry Division reserve battalions

- On June 7, 1917, Wijtschate was in British hands

About me
Mine explosion
Photo:1.This start of the explosion Photo:4.This is the power of the explosion German Minor engaged in the wagon filled with Earth from the shaft to lift and carry away through the narrow gauge Entrance mine shark Dora 2 in Wijtschate in winter 1916-17 Mineure for their küchenunterstand in Wytschaete Situation German statements on 6-6-1917 and after 7-6-1917 Mine crater Heinrich taken by German plane