Also known as the First Battle of Flanders, the First Battle of Ypres took place from October 20 to November 22, 1914, in and around Ypres, Belgium. It was one of the first military engagements of World War I, being fought between the Imperial German Army and the Allied forces for the possession of this Belgian town as the Germans tried to breach the enemy lines at this point during vicious counterattacks.

In accordance with the Schlieffen Plan, the Germans had attacked Belgium in early August 1914, as they pushed westward across this country into northern France, where they were stopped by the Allies at the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914 and then forced to retreat. As the Front stabilized in long lines of trenches, the German 4th Army, under Albert Herzog von W├╝rttemberg, counterattacked on October 20 at Ypres, in their attempt to reach the Channel coast and seize the French ports there. This infantry assault had been preceded by intense artillery fire. However, after a month of fierce fighting, the Imperial German Army could not break through the Allied lines, defended by the French, Belgian, and British armies, resulting in an Allied victory, but at the cost of 90,000 casualties.

Map of First Battle of Ypres

first_ypres_map

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