YPRES 1914: LANGEMARCK Battleground Early Battles

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When, in October 1914, the newly created German Fourth Army attacked west to seize crossings over the Yser, prior to sweeping south in an attempt to surround the BEF, two things prevented it. To the north, it was the efforts of the Belgian army, reinforced by French troops, coupled with controlled flooding of the polders but, further south, the truly heroic defence of Langemarck, for three days by the BEF and then by the French army, was of decisive importance. The village stood as a bulwark against any further advance to the river or the town of Ypres. Here the German regiments bled to death in the face of resolute Allied defence and any remaining hope of forcing a decision in the west turned to dust.

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