The Other Western Front – An Irishman’s Diary about the Butte mining disaster of 1917

The Montana explosion was nearer the battlefields of first World War than anyone knew

The Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana, the US.

The Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana, the US.

The city of Butte, Montana, was a long way from the front lines of the first World War – five thousand miles and more on the map. But as a strange coincidence of anniversaries this week suggests, it was nearer the battlefields than anyone knew.

In Belgium last Wednesday, Ireland helped commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Messines, begun on June 7th , 1917, with a series of huge mine explosions that scar the landscape to this day.

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