April - May 1914

WW1 - Second Battle of Ypres

On the evening of 22nd April 1915 the Germans launched the first poison gas attack on the Western Front. The chlorine gas used had been trialled on the Eastern Front, by this really was the birth of chemical warfare.

The Facts

  • Date: 22 April – 25 May 1915
  • Location: Ypres, Belgium
Countries Involved
British Empire
German Empire
Countries Commanders
Horace Smith-Dorrien
Herbert Plumer
Arthur Currie
Henri Gabriel Putz
Théophile Figeys
Armand De Ceuninck
Albrecht of Württemberg
Number of Casualties
Over 87,000 Around 35,000

Battle result: Indecisive

Thousands became casualties in the attack and the Germans pushed the Allies back in Flanders. They did not achieve a breakthrough but captured all the high ground around the city of Ypres, totally dominating the landscape and the battlefield for the next two years. Gas would remain in use for the rest of the war, by 1916 often on a daily basis.

Belgian troops wearing gas masks

Belgian troops wearing gas masks

Ruins of Ypres

Ruins of Ypres

Francis Scrimger, VC

Francis Scrimger, VC - Worked with 2nd Canadian Field Ambulance

Learn more about this battle on the following Leger Battlefield tours

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