The Battle of Passchendaele epitomises everything that was most terrible about the Western Front in WWI. This was the war of attrition at its most spectacular and ferocious. The intervening century, the most violent in human history, hasn’t diluted the power of the images we have from this battle. We commemorate the event, we pin poppies to our chests. But it is almost impossible to understand. Paul Ham tells the story of ordinary men in the grip of an extraordinary global power struggle. He lays down a powerful challenge to the idea of war as an inevitable expression of human will, and examines the culpability of governments and military commanders in a catastrophe that destroyed the best part of a generation.