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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

November 14th, 1914 - The First Battle of Ypres

Conflict: Word War I

Combatants: Allies vs. Germans

Location: Belgium

Outcome: Allied victory

With the Race to the Sea over, the Field Marshal Sir John French's British Expeditionary Force (BEF) took up defensive positions south of Ypres and the French, commanded by Marshal Ferdinand Foch, covered the lines east to the Swiss border. On mid-October of 1914, the General Erich von Falkenhayn's Germans launched an offensive at Ypres seeking to break the Allied line. By November 11th, after a series of battles around Ypres, the Germans achieved few gains and all sides suffered heavy casualties. The British suffered nearly 60,000 casualties, France 50,000, and Germany over 120,000.

German Soldiers during the Battle of Ypres, 1914 by an unknown photographer

Points of Interest:

  • Four years later, in November of 1918, Ferdinand Foch dictated armistice terms to the Germans.

  • Falkenhayn was relieved of command in the winter of 1918 and retired to his castle.

  • French was later made the Command in Chief of the UK Home forces and, in 1918, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

F.M. Sir John French, Commander in Chief, in France by H. D. Girdwood

Ferdinand Foch by an unknown photographer

Erich von Falkenhayn by Albert Meyer

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