First Ypres 1914 (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series): The Birth of Trench Warfare

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In the autumn of 1914 the original British Expeditionary Force faced a heavily reinforced German drive. Field Marshal Sir John French, the British Commander-in-Chief, had sent his men north in an attempt to take the fight into Flanders, so they could fight across open ground. History tells us that this was not to be the case. David Lomas chronicles the first of the trench-warfare battles, where lines that would remain almost static for the rest of the war were established. Although the Germans failed to reach the...

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Overview

In the autumn of 1914 the original British Expeditionary Force faced a heavily reinforced German drive. Field Marshal Sir John French, the British Commander-in-Chief, had sent his men north in an attempt to take the fight into Flanders, so they could fight across open ground. History tells us that this was not to be the case. David Lomas chronicles the first of the trench-warfare battles, where lines that would remain almost static for the rest of the war were established. Although the Germans failed to reach the channel ports, the death knell had rung for the BEF, which was virtually wiped out in this brave defense.

In the autumn of 1914 the original British Expeditionary Force faced a heavily reinforced German drive. Field Marshal Sir John French, the British Commander-in-Chief, had sent his men north in an attempt to take the fight into Flanders, so they could fight across open ground. History tells us that this was not to be the case. David Lomas chronicles the first of the trench-warfare battles, where lines that would remain almost static for the rest of the war were established. Although the Germans failed to reach the channel ports, the death knell had rung for the BEF, which was virtually wiped out in this brave defense.

In the autumn of 1914 the original British Expeditionary Force, aided by French troops under Foch, stood against a heavily reinforced German drive. Field Marshal Sir John French, the British Commander-in-Chief had sent his men north in an attempt to take the fight into open ground in Flanders, so his men could fight across open ground as they had been trained to do. History tells us that this was not to be the case. David Lomas' excellent book covers the first of the trench-warfare battles, where lines that would remain almost static for the rest of the war were established. Although the Germans would fail to reach the channel ports, the death knell had rung for the BEF. It was virtually wiped out in this brave defense, to be replaced later by Kitchener's mass of volunteers. However, in spite of its loss of 58,155 killed, wounded and missing it and its French allies did manage to inflict at least 134,315 casualties on the Germans and halt their offensive: on 17th November Falkenhayn decided to cut his losses and abandon his attack. With the battle's end went the last chance, for four years, for a war of movement. Static trench warfare now became the reality on the Western Front and the towns of La Bassee, Armentieres, Messines and Ypres would remain prominent in the fighting until the end of the war.

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Meet the Author

DAVID LOMAS is the pen name of Deborah Lake who currently lives and works in Northumberland.
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Table of Contents

The Road to Battle 6
Opposing Commanders 8
Opposing Armies 10
Opposing Plans 22
The Campaign 25
The Battle of First Ypres 40
The Battle for Ypres and the Salient 54
The Finale 70
The Battlefield Today 88
Wargaming First Ypres 89
Index 96
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