First Battle of Ypres

Shell Exploding iin Ypres

The Battle of Ypres was a month long series of battles where each side attacked counterattacked and when it was over both sides were close to where they started but 100,000 men had become casualties of war.


The Battle of Ypres was a month long battle in the Flanders part of Belgium that occurred at the end of the “Race to the Sea” . After the First Battle of Marne the German army and the Allies both raced toward the sea trying to turn the flank of others army. Neither side succeeded .

The Battle of Ypres is in fact a number of separate battles that took place between October 19th and November 22 1914. First there was the Battle of Langemarck. That battle last from October 21-24th and consisted of a series of attacks and retreats by both the British and French forces and by the Germans all around the town of Langemarck, and by the end of the three days little had changed. On October 29th a newly organized German reserve corp attacked at the boundary between the French 4th and6th armies. The goal was Yipres. They managed to get within 2 miles of the town before being repulsed by British and fresh French troops. Both sides once again ended the battle pretty much where they began.

The third part of the battle was the battle of Nomme Bosschen. It began on November 1 with a French attack on the German flanks. The attack was successful but casualties were high. The Germans then attacked French and British lines and managed to get within a mile of Yipres to the east. Despite the advance the German were also not able to sustain the losses and were soon forced back. Fighting continued until November 13th until the two exhausted armies could fight no longer, at least for the moment.

These series of battles were the last attempt at battle of movement on the Western Front. Both armies were unable to replace the men lost and the ammunition expanded quickly enough to keep fighting. During this battle the British were over 58,000, the French lost over 86,000 men and the Germans lost around 80,000 men. Two things were clear at the end of the battle it was going to a long war, and the level of casualties that took place during this battle were not sustainable by either side.