The Second Battle of Ypres was a First World War battle fought for control of the strategic Flemish town of Ypres in western Belgium in the spring of 1915, following the First Battle of Ypres the previous autumn. It marked the first time that Germany used poison gas on a large scale on the Western Front. Additionally, the battle was the first time that a former colonial force (the 1st Canadian Division) defeated a major European power (the German Empire) on European soil, in the Battle of St. Julien-Kitcheners' Wood.
The first commission completed for the Canadian Was Memorials Fund (CWMF), The Second Battle of Ypres is also one of the biggest. It commemorates the first major action of Canadian troops at the front
"Current History" (New York Times) map showing reported positions during the Second Battle of Ypres, as at about 30 April 1915. On 1 May the British withdrew to shorten their lines, with the final front line running through Hooge, FrenzenbergThe map is largely correct. By the end of the battle German forces had in fact captured St Julien and Zonnebeke. NYT caption : "The German rush across the Yser-Ypres Canal was checked at Lizerne and opposite Boesinghe. The shaded area on the map marks the scene of the battle. Within this area are Steenstraate, Het Sast, Pilkem, St. Julien, and Langemarck, all of which the Germans claimed to have captured."
Ypres, the British soldiers "Wipers," was the scene of much of the bloodiest fighting of the war. Three great battles were fought for its possession.
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