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5th Battle of Ypres
Part of the Western Front of World War I
Date 28 September – 2 October 1918
Location Ypres, Belgium to Ghent, Belgium
Result Decisive Allied victory
Belligerents
 Belgium
 France
 United Kingdom
 United States
 German Empire
Commanders
Belgium King Albert I
France Jean Degoutte
United Kingdom Herbert Plumer
German Empire

The Fifth Battle of Ypres (also known as the Advance in Flanders and the Battle of the Peaks of Flanders (French: Bataille des Crêtes de Flandres)) is the unofficial name used to identify a series of battles in northern France and southern Belgium from late September through October 1918.

Contents

Background

After the German Spring Offensive of 1918 was stopped, German morale waned and the increasing numbers of American soldiers arriving on the Western Front gave western allies a growing advantage over the German forces. To take advantage of this, Marshal Ferdinand Foch developed a strategy (the Grand Offensive) that called for numerous strikes at the German lines over a wide front. One such effort sought to use Belgian, British and French forces around the Ypres Salient as the northern pincer in an attack aimed at the Belgium city of Liège.

Battles

Attacking on September 28, the Army Group of Flanders (G.A.F.) (comprising 12 Belgian divisions, 10 British divisions (from the BEF's 2nd Army) and 6 French Divisions (from the French 6th Army)) under the command of King Albert I of Belgium quickly penetrated the German defensive lines, advancing up to 6 miles (9.7 km) on the first day. Continuing the same advance on the next day, it wasn't until October 2 (by which time the supply situation was so bad that troops had to be air dropped food) that the offensive had outrun its supply line and was forced to stop. During the battle, the heights (including Mount Kemmel) that had long dominated the southern flank of the Ypres Salient were recaptured (they had been lost during the Battle of the Lys).

During this battle, the British had sustained 4,695 casualties, while the Belgians had sustained approximately 4,500. However, they had advanced the front line by up to 18 miles (with an average advance over the entire front of 6 miles) and captured approximately 10,000 German soldiers, 300 guns and 600 machineguns.

Aftermath

The offensive was continued with the Battle of Courtai.

References

  • Ypres and the Great War - Summary of Events
  • The History Channel - The Battle of Flanders
  • Marix Evans, Martin (2003). Over the Top, Great Battles of the First World War. Arcturus Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84193-111-X.
  • Marix Evans, Martin (2003). 1918: The Year of Victories. Arcturus Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84193-114-4.
  • Gilbert, Martin (1994). The First World War: A Complete History. Henry Holt and Company, Inc. ISBN 0-8050-1540-X

External links

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