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The Battle of Flanders (The Battle of the Yser and the First Battle of Ypres)

Belgian soldiers preparing a Hotchkiss machine gun position in a field. A line of troops is visible in the background. Like other attackers throughout the war, the Germans suffered heavy losses attacking positions defended by machine guns.
Text:
1914... Armée Belge - Installation d'une mitrailleuse nouveau modele
Belgian Army - Getting a new model quick firer ready
10me Série
Logo: BLD

Belgian soldiers preparing a Hotchkiss machine gun position in a field. A line of troops is visible in the background. Like other attackers throughout the war, the Germans suffered heavy losses attacking positions defended by machine guns.

Image text

1914... Armée Belge - Installation d'une mitrailleuse nouveau modele



Belgian Army - Getting a new model quick firer ready



10me Série



Logo: BLD

Other views: Larger

By the time Antwerp fell on October 9, 1914, most of what remained of the Belgian Army had left the city, and was moving along the coast to join the Allies with the British relief force. They were joined by British and French Marines.

The Belgians formed a line on the Yser Canal, from Dixmude to the North Sea, barely a dozen miles from the French border. Thinking the Germans were spent, French Commander Joffre argued for the Belgians to join an Anglo-French offensive, even as the Germans prepared a major offensive against the Belgians. On October 18, the German attack began, attempting to break to seize the Channel ports of Dunkirk, Calais, and Boulogne. Having been in nearly continuous battle since early August, the Belgian Army was hard pressed to hold its position, but did so against repeated attacks. On October 28, the Belgians opened the floodgates of the Yser River, inundating the low farmland from Dixmude to the Channel in front of their part of the line. The Belgians held, then and through the end of the war.

The German Fourth and Sixth Armies were in the line from the River Lys to the Channel. Defeated in the Battle of Yser, the Germans turned inland to Ypres, where they and the British had been fighting since mid October/the end of September when the British had moved up from the Aisne.

In fighting from September 29 to October 1, the British broke and fell back until bolstered by French reserves.

From October 12 to 20, the Germans attacked. From October 20 to 27, the Allies counterattacked, suffering terrible losses. The Germans countered on October 29, continuing through November 11.

Losses were terrible on both sides. Joffre estimated German losses at 150,000 for Ypres alone. British losses (including Indian troops) from October 14 to November 30 were 58,155.

1914-10-19

1914-11-22

The Battle of Flanders (The Battle of the Yser and the First Battle of Ypres) is part of Race to the Sea.