The Battle of the Lys, 1918: North: Objective Ypres

The Battle of the Lys, 1918: North: Objective Ypres

by Chris Baker

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Overview

The second of two Battelground Europe titles covering this highly significant battle of spring 1918.The German offensive in Flanders in April 1918 came close to catastrophe for the British Armies, but ultimately ended in strategic defeat for the Kaisers men. Following close on the heels of the devastating Operation Michael attack in March, which had been aimed against the British front on the Somme and Arras, this offensive, Operation Georgette, was aimed at strangling the vital railways and roads that supplied the British at Ypres and threatening the vital logistics links with the Channel Ports.Having assembled an overwhelming numerical advantage, the Germans attacked in thick fog on 9 April 1918. By days end, the Germans had succeeded in gaining a crossing of the River Lys and were well on their way to the railway junctions at Hazebrouck. Next day, they extended the attacked front northwards and advanced to the very gates of Ypres, forcing a British retirement from the bloodily won advances during the Third Battle of Ypres. Messines Ridge, captured so spectacularly by the British in June 1917, was soon in German hands and fighting inched towards Mont Kemmel, which dominated the Ypres front. Once this fell, the way was open for the capture of the main supply roads into Ypres.To find sufficient reserves to counter the German attack, the British took the heart-breaking decision to abandon the ground won so dearly in the Passchendaele offensive in the summer and autumn of 1917. Gradually, fresher British and French reserves arrived and held their ground. With disappointing results, mounting casualties and a diminishing return for their efforts, the Germans paused to regroup. Late in the month they unleashed a rapid, unstoppable attack that captured Kemmel from the French forces that had been rushed north to reinforce the threatened line and which had been holding the summit: one of the finest military feats of the Great War.Behind the scenes, however, the Germans were already calling off a continuation of the offensive and so, by a seeming miracle, the bastion that was Ypres remained in British hands.What the British call The Battle of the Lys 1918 is a fascinating yet curiously neglected period of military history. Chris Baker examines this major battle from the strategic down to the platoon level, highlighting the key events, characters and acts of enormous bravery on both sides, both in historical narrative and in a series of tours of the area.This volume concentrates on the northern half of the battlefield; nearly all of the actions described in this volume took place in Belgium.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526717023
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date: 04/30/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 216
File size: 34 MB
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About the Author

Since 2003 the author has been photographing the Deep Sky, initially from his home in the UK but since 2012 from his observatory atop a mountain in Spain. Here the air is clear, the surroundings dark and the skies mostly clear. This enables Chris to photograph deep into space, capturing the beauty of such things as star forming regions and distant galaxies. Chris has established a reputation as a leading astro photographer receiving awards, with his photographs and articles being published in numerous magazines. In 2015 Chris made his images available as limited edition wall art, known as ‘Galaxy on Glass’. This successful art business has attracted customers from all over the World, allowing others to enjoy these sensational images in their own homes and offices. For more information visit www.cosmologychris.co.uk or www.facebook.com/galaxyonglass

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