When, in October 1914, the newly created German Fourth Army attacked west to seize crossings over the Yser, prior to sweeping south in an attempt to surround the BEF, two things prevented it. To the north, it was the efforts of the Belgian army, reinforced by French troops, coupled with controlled flooding of the polders but, further south, the truly heroic defense of Langemarck, for three days by the BEF and then by the French army, was of decisive importance. The village stood as a bulwark against any further advance to the river or the town of Ypres. Here the German regiments bled to death in the face of resolute Allied defense and any remaining hope of forcing a decision in the west turned to dust.
About the Author
In 1982 he graduated from the German General Staff course at the Führungsakademie, Hamburg and went on to fill international staff appointments and to command an infantry training battalion. His final post before retirement in 2003 was as Military Attaché Berlin.
He now lives in France and has rapidly established himself as an expert in German First World War history. He was an honorary researcher for the Thiepval Visitor Centre Project, is a member of the British Commission for Military History and is the author of the highly acclaimed The German Army on the Somme 1914 – 1916, The German Army at Passchendaele and a number of Battleground Europe titles.
Nigel Cave is the editor of the WW1 books in the Battleground Europe series.
He is a member of the Durand Group and has been involved in its underground investigations from its origins. He also has worked for some years with Veterans Affairs Canada.