Thesis The Battle of Ypres was marred by the Germans devastating use of chlorine gas and the resulting countless losses that ensued from trench warfare, which continued throughout the Great War leading to the desire of technological advances in weapons of mass warfare.
The Second Battle of Ypres April 22, 1915 - May 25, 1915 The First Battle of Ypres (Oct. 14, 1914 - Nov. 15, 1914)
Reason for Battle The Major German motive for the attack was for diverting allied forces from the Eastern front and for testing their chlorine gas on the Western front. Another motive for this battle was the special vantage Ypres provided.
Who Was Involved ? Allied Powers ● Led by Field Marshall Sir John French ● France ● Britain ● Belgium ● Canada Central Powers ● Led by General Albrecht ● Germany
Synopsis The British, Canadian, and French armies marched up to Ypres to station themselves against the incoming German army. When the two powers met, there was a bloodbath which ultimately resulted in a stalemate.
Chlorine Gas ● Chlorine is an industrially used gas that is highly toxic and when cooled it becomes a liquid that may be transported and stored. ● The gas is said to be yellowish-green and has a smell similar to bleach ● Denser than air it tends to settle rapidly in areas low to the ground ● It can severely damage respiratory organs ● Symptoms: Airway irritation, difficulty breathing, wheezing, sore throat, etc.
The Use of Chlorine Gas ● 168 tons of chlorine gas were released by Germans on French Algerians ● Effectiveness of the gas surprised even the Germans, the allied troops fled in panic back towards Ypres ● Gas covered four miles of trenches affecting 10,000 troops ● Half of troops affected died within 10 minutes, 2,000 were captured as prisoners of war
Result ● 850,000 combined deaths on both sides of the war were accounted at Ypres ● The Battle of Ypres foreshadowed how fighting on the Western front would be fought through trenches. ● Although the allies won, the battle of Ypres did not create movement among the trenches ● Britain remained stationed at Ypres for the rest of the war. ● Poisonous gas would continue to be advanced and more deadly
Significance in WW1 The tension between the Allies and the Central powers accumulated in the 1st year of WW1. Even though this battle was a stalemate, it caused about 9% of all the deaths in the war. It also marked the entrance of Canada into the war.