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Ypres 1918


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During the 1918 spring offensive the Germans (again) tried to conquer Ypres.

But why? Their mail goal was reaching the Canal, did they need Ypres to get that done?

I quote a Times-article from a 'special correspondent' (may 15, 1918):

'There is no doubt the enemey would very much like to take Ypres, or the remains of Ypres, if he could, not so much on account of the strategical value of the ground as because it is Ypres. The name would look well in German communiquees. After all that has happened there, it would be convenient to be able to say to people in Germany: -"At last the army has done what for three and a half years it has tried to do with success.'

Is this the true reason they wanted Ypres so badly?

Any thoughts appreciated.


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Hi Roel

Not so sure Ypres it's self was so important to the Germans, looking at their plans for April 1918, it looks like they planned to attack either side of Ypres, with Poperinghe and Hazebrouck being their main goals before striking at the Cannal ports.


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In april 1918 the main goal of the German's was :

First take The Kemmelberg (Kemmel Hill)

than Mont Rouge and Mont Noir

and after this : Mont des Cats : (very important strategic position) -- then they could easily reach the canal. Ypres was not a goal...

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Ypres was the last Belgian the significant city that had not been taken by the Germans. I think this gave it importance from the allied point of view. As Frie has pointed out the Kemmelberg was topgraphically important.

Old Tom

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