Chris_Baker Posted 5 December , 2002 Share Posted 5 December , 2002 I am sure that most of the users of this forum know that the BEF was sent into an attack at Ypres in mid October 1914, with the intention of a long-range outflanking movement that would, for example, capture Bruges. It ran into the enemy that had similar intentions, but coming the other way and in significantly greater force. French's action certainly put the 7th Division in a most difficult position, from which it only escaped with heavy casualties after a great deal of superb leadership and valiant soldiery, and compounded this by pushing I Corps into the same furnace. But one thing has always puzzled me. French must, surely, have known that there was a very large German force heading his way. The remnant of the Belgian Army had only just withdrawn from Antwerp and Ghent, covered by 7th Division, for goodness sake. Didn't anyone mention that they were withdrawing from being destroyed by large enemy forces with overwhelming amounts of artillery? French's instructions to Haig, when I Corps were pushed forward on 21st October 1914, said there was only one enemy army corps within range. Surely he knew different? Was this - truly dreadful, eyes and ears closed dreadful, intelligence on the part of GHQ? - communication failure, - wilful misinformation on the part of French, or - some combination of these things? Any insight or views would be valuable. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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