Assessing the situation, Plumer also recommended falling back. During the course of the battle, the Germans debuted the use of poison gas on the Western Front. With the German defeat at the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914 and the unraveling of the Schlieffen Plan, both sides commenced a series of flanking maneuvers in northern France and Flanders. This attack began at 5:00 pm, and the right advanced to the thin line of the 1st Canadian Brigade; the left, briefly assisted by a French battalion, came up abreast and extended to the canal. British and Canadian units advanced throughout the morning, effecting a link with the French on the left. This approach clashed with General Paul von Hindenburg who wished to deliver a decisive blow in the East. Ypres was the principal town within an important salient, or bulge, in the British lines on the Western Front during World War I.The Ypres salient was the site of three major battles—First Ypres (October–November 1914), Second Ypres (April–May 1915; marked by the Germans’ first use of poison gas as a weapon), and Third Ypres (also called Passchendaele; July–November 1917)—with total Allied and German … The Second Battle of Ypres was Canada’s first major engagement in the First World War set in Flanders in the Ypres Salient – a section of the front line surrounding the town of Ypres, Belgium. The second battle of Ypres was fought between April 22 and May 25 in 1915. Opposite the Allies was the German Fourth Army under Albrecht, duke of Württemberg. Published in Punch 8 December 1915, the poem is still recited on Remembrance Day and Memorial Day. Posted on May 8, 2015. As the gas was denser than air it quickly filled low-lying areas, such as trenches, forcing the surviving French defenders into the open where they were susceptible to German fire. However, the Canadian left, now strengthened by the Canadian 1st Battalion, had stabilized. Kennedy Hickman is a historian, museum director, and curator who specializes in military and naval history. By nightfall the XXIII Corps had crossed the Yser canal and the XXVI had advanced some 2 miles (3 km), capturing the high ground at Pilckem (later called Mauser) Ridge and approaching the town of St. Julien (now St. Juliaan), some 2.5 miles (4 km) northeast of Ypres. He has appeared on The History Channel as a featured expert. The Second Battle of Ypres consisted of four separate engagements: The Battle of Gravenstafel: Thursday 22 April – Friday 23 April 1915 The Battle of Saint Julien: Saturday 24 April – 4 May 1915. Although the Belgian and Canadian hinges held firm, the gates to Ypres had been thrown open. The first of these began on 22 nd April 1915 as a surprise attack by the German 4th Army on the French sector of the Allied Front Line. The Germans wished to gain an advantage over the Allied Forces at the Eastern front where defeating the Russians … For the first time, a former colonial force (the 1st Canadian Division) defeated a European power (the German Empire) on … The 1st Battle of Ypres took place between 15th October and 22nd November, 1914. The Second Battle of Ypres, 22 April to 25 May 1915 War artist Richard Jack portrays the Canadian stand during the Second Battle of Ypres, which he did not witness. As such, he recommended withdrawing two miles to a new line in front of Ypres where his men could consolidate and re-form. This latter attack had been ordered by French Gen. Ferdinand Foch at about 8:00 pm on April 22 to regain the ground lost to the gas attack. The third battle of Ypres, popularly known as Passchendaele, began on July 31, 1917, and continued until November. The battle marked the Germans’ first use of poison gas as a weapon. The Germans’ intent was to cloak the transportation of divisions to Russia for a new drive in Galicia and to shorten their line in the West by reducing the Allies’ salient at Ypres. Following the defeat of a small counter-offensive led by General Ferdinand Foch, French directed Plumer to begin the planned retreat. The Second Battle of Ypres April and May 1915 saw 121 Lancastrians killed, making them the worst two months of the War for the town. The greatest handicap was lack of artillery support: the Canadian frontage was 300 yards (roughly 275 metres) per gun. Formations in the salient were cautioned to expect an attack, but the intended use of gas was not communicated to the troops. During the course of the battle, the Germans debuted the use of poison gas on the Western Front. Illustration for John McCrae's “In Flanders Fields” from a limited-edition book (1921) containing the poem. It targeted a 4-mile stretch of the Allied line on the north side of the salient, held by French and Algerian troops. Assaulting the Allied lines, they were met by fierce resistance from the British survivors, including many from the 1st Battalion of the Dorset Regiment, and were turned back. Meeting heavy resistance, they released a gas cloud on May 10. e Second Battle of Ypres is today remembered as marking the rst use of gas on the Western Front. Thus far, the counterattack had been a remarkable success, but German machine guns placed near the southwest corner of the wood still commanded the southern approaches. The Second Battle of Ypres, as it is known in British military history, encompassed four battles in the northern sector of the Ypres Salient. Cassar deals with the entire 2nd Ypres. In a brutal battle, they succeeded in reclaiming the area from the Germans but sustained high casualties in the process. Second Battle of Ypres, (April 22–May 25, 1915), second of three costly battles in World War I at Ypres (now Ieper), in western Flanders. This new technology provided an initial advantage, but the Germans were ultimately stopped after heavy fighting. In six days of bloody fighting, the Germans were only able to advance around 2,000 yards. It was a weapon that, when used in the second battle of Ypres, destroyed any romantic notions of conflict. Though the Germans had failed to break through the Allied lines, they reduced the Ypres Salient to around three miles which allowed for the shelling of the city. Though the Canadian troops attempted to improvise protective measures such as covering their mouths and noses with water or urine-soaked handkerchiefs, they were ultimately forced to fall back though they exacted a high price from the Germans. In addition, the French incurred around 10,000. Fear of the new weapon. The shock of the gas and its effects resulted in a breach of the Allied line. The Second Battle Of Ypres 1093 Words | 5 Pages. It was the first mass use by Germany of poison gas on the Western Front. As fighting spread down the salient as far as Hill 60, Smith-Dorrien came to believe that only a major counter-offensive would be able to push the Germans back to their original positions. Unprepared for such an attack, the French troops began retreating as their comrades were blinded or collapsed from asphyxiation and damage to lung tissue. It is historically significant because it was the first time a colony defeated Europe in a battle fought on their soil. Several types of gas soon became widely used by both sides, and though it never proved a decisive, battle-winning weapon, poison gas became one of the most-feared and best-remembered horrors of the war. From April 22 to 25, 1915, the 1st Canadian Division fought with great determination and courage to hold back a German offensive in the salient. 11 - May Flowers, 1915 - Old World In Ruins, Eastern Front. Sweeping over the trench, the Canadians pressed on through the wood, recovering the four guns of the 2nd London Heavy Battery, but, instead of advancing northwestward toward the east side of Pilckem as planned, they lost direction and emerged to dig in along a hedge northeast of the wood. The position of the front line at nightfall on April 23 was little different from that of the morning. Most of these deaths were associated with the Second Battle of Ypres (22 nd April to 25 th May) and 90 of the deaths were from the 1 st /5 th Battalion of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Lance Sergeant Elmer Cotton described the effects of chlorine gas in 1915: It produces a flooding of the lungs – it is an equivalent death to drowning only … The Second Battle of Ypres was the first mass use by Germany of poison gas on the Western Front. 22, 1915, when the Germans, using poison gas for the first time in the war, launched another massive assault on the salient at Ypres. The first gas attack came on 22 April. The Second Battle of Ypres is historically significant for being the only major offensive initiated by the German military at the Western Front. The Second Battle of Ypres was a battle of the First World War. The Battle of Ypres 1915 Cost 6000 Canadian Casualties, The Battle of Passchendaele - World War I, M.S., Information and Library Science, Drexel University, B.A., History and Political Science, Pennsylvania State University. And ditches made it difficult to keep order in the fighting at Ypres! 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