Thursday, August 03, 2017

Passchendaele 360


"I died in hell – they called it Passchendaele."
 - Siegfried Sassoon

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Passchendaele, the First World War campaign that lasted from from July to November 1917.

The opening assault of the battle took place in heavy rain. In this heavy downpour the low lying land was churned up by the men, horses, equipment and heavy shelling and the land became a sea of thick mud. Through this clinging mud the men had to attack German concrete machine gun emplacements. Many of those who weren't killed by the German guns drowned in that clinging mud.

It is impossible to imagine Sassoon's 'hell' or the reality faced by the Allied soldiers. You can however experience a small part of the horror and hell of Passchendaele by viewing the Royal British Legion's 360 degree videos of Passchendaele. Passchendaele in 360 includes a series of 360 degree videos which try to convey something of the reality of the battle for those young soldiers far from home.

The videos combine first-hand audio accounts, diary excerpts, and archive film and photos. You can watch the videos on a desktop computer but for the full virtual reality effect they should be viewed with Google Cardboard or any other type of VR set.
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