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Traces of war in the Polygoonbos

The Battle of the Polygoon Forest took place in Zonnebeke from September 26 to 27, 1917. Australian and New Zealand soldiers eliminated the German bunkers and fortifications one by one.

The Germans had conquered the Polygoonbos since the spring of 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres. In the middle of the forest they built a command bunker that the British called the 'Scott Post'. The bunker has been preserved to this day, but most other defensive strongholds and barbed wire barriers have disappeared from the scene.

During the Battle of the Polygon Forest, the Australians and New Zealanders managed to chase the Germans out of the forest. The Allied fallen were then provisionally buried at the British cemetery Polygon Wood Cemetery, near an artificial hill. It was built before the First World War when the Polygoonbos was still a military training area.

New Zealand shelters

In the middle of the Polygon Forest, the New Zealand engineers built two shelters in early 1918, the concrete roofs of which were cast on curved corrugated sheets.

Commonwealth cemetery

During the German spring offensive, the German army retook the Polygon Forest in April 1918, and in September it was the Allies' turn again. It is therefore not surprising that there were thousands of victims. They are buried in the Buttes New British Cemetery.

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