View of the village of Courcelles

This photograph of Courcelles, near Bapaume, shows shattered buildings on either side of the village street. This photograph is likely to have been taken in the autumn of 1918, after the Allies had recaptured much of this area. The Germans in retreat had devastated many villages and towns, to hinder the troops and demoralise the French civilians. In the areas directly affected by the Western Front, somewhere between 60% and 80% of buildings were destroyed during the conflict. Industry had been destroyed and the land itself was torn up and deeply contaminated. Photographs from the Haig "Official Photographs"
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