The date is August 1914. The British Expeditionary Force is in France and You're in the Royal Field Artillery. You're riding alongside one of the battery's gun limbers on its way to the assigned position on the east side of Mons, Belgium. This begins your journey into the Hell they called World War One. To purchase this historical memoir go to https://createspace.com/3649268

Saturday, April 20, 2013

First Ypres - different perspective

First Ypres 1914 Graveyard of the Old Contemptibles by David Lomas

I thought this book was well written and the author breaks down the First Battle of Ypres into four individual, yet related battles: Battle of La Bassee (Oct 12-Nov 2); Battle of Armentieres (Oct 13- Nov2nd); Battle of Messines (Oct 12th - Nov 2nd) and Battle of Ypres (Oct 19th - Nov 22nd) 

This made sense, because battles were fought north and south of Ypres. The northern battles were Germany's attempt to break through the allies line and take Ypres. After being pushed back after each attack, the Germans launched an all out winner take all effort against Ypres. 

Lomas described the landscape around Ypres as shallow saucer. The rim of the saucer is a ridge that runs from Messines towards the north east to Langemarck and Bixchoote. the town of Ypres is in the center, so the army that held the high ground could control the area with their artillery. The high elevations on the ridge looked out over the Flanders plain which allowed artillery to select and take out targets with great accuracy. In essence, the Battle of Ypres was a series of battles fought to control the ridge, and the ridge made up the infamous Ypres salient. 

A good read with a different perspective. 

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