WW100 – New Zealand's First World War Centenary Programme ran from 2014 to 2019

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Battlefield of Messines

Archives Online team at Archives New Zealand

A 'then and now' of Messines (Mesen) as it appeared on 6 June 1917 after two and a half weeks of shelling, and on Google maps today.

Aerial photography provided a new view on battlefield operations during the First World War.

The photo below shows the devastating effects of two and a half weeks of artillery bombardment on German strong points and trenches on the ridge and village of Messines, Belgium. It was taken on 6 June 1917.

Photo showing the battlefield of Messines

Aerial view of the battlefield. Courtesy of Archives New Zealand, WA 250/40.

On 7 June a major attack was launched on Messines. The New Zealand Division played a crucial and significant role in the successful operation.

Here is how the same location looks on Google maps today.

And here is a video of then and now put together by Archives New Zealand.

Date added: 28 August 2013 | Last updated: 07 July 2014