Major and Mrs Holt's
Battlefield Guide Guide to Ypres

GPS Edition

Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps

Guide books to the battlefields of WW1 & WW2

This book makes a battlefield visit easy - everything is carefully explained

 

PASSCHENDAELE AND THE BATTLES OF YPRES

 

The four major battles of Ypres took place in 1914, 1915, 1917 and 1918.

 

1. On 18 October 1914, at the end of the 'Race to the Sea', the Germans launched their 4th and 6th Armies against the BEF at Ypres. Little advantage was gained by either side and eventually heavy rains brought the contest to an end on 11 November.

2. On 22 April 1915 the Germans, using poison gas in quantity for the first time in the war, attacked the north-eastern edge of the Ypres Salient. Despite initial panic amongst the French Colonial troops who bore the main brunt of the gas, stubborn resistance by the Canadians and by British county regiments prevented a breakthrough.

 

3. In 1917 the British offensive, generally known as 'Passchendaele', began on 7 June with the capture of the Messines Ridge. Not until 31 July was the assault continued towards Passchendaele itself which was eventually occupied some 16 weeks later after fighting which had taken place in almost continuous rain.

 

4. The fourth battle of Ypres was part of the final German offensive known as the 'Kaiser's Offensive' which had begun on 21 March 1918. By 9 April the Germans had crossed the River Lys and were heading north of Armentieres. British politicians called for help from the French and the Americans, and General Haig issued his 'Backs to the wall' message. By 29 April tiredness on both sides led to Ludendorff calling off the campaign.

 

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