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The Battle Of Ypres, April 1915

902 words - 4 pages

It came in the year 1915 when the "New Born" Canadian Army was moved from what was their somewhat silent sector on the Western Front to the apparent space in the line in front of the town of Ypres, Belgium. On the right of the Canadians would be two British Divisions, and on the left would be a French division comprised of Algerian colonialists.It would be here, at Ypres on April 22, 1915 that the German Army would introduce crude and chaotic torture in the form of a yellow cloud, known as chlorine gas. The Germans had decided that they needed a break in the line, and this was the place to do it. So after heavy artillery bombardment, and the smoke had settled, roughly 160 tons of an ominous yellow cloud began to creep its way into the Algerian trenches. The Algerians, not being equipped with gas masks from the French High Command began to die a slow and horrible death. As they inhaled the gas it went through their lungs, tore them apart, and causing the their fellow soldiers, their friends, to cough up blood, and gasp for air. As they we gasping for their last breath, their eyes burning, as if a hot stick of coal, right out of the fire pit, had been placed right in their eyes. Immediately following this horrific scene, the Algerians, or what was left of them, retreated, and the Germans fired, and moved up into the four mile gap left by the brave, yet tortured Algerian Force.Surprisingly, instead of a huge charge to break through the gap, and finish off the Canadians and the British, the Germans had only moved a mere 2 miles with a small contingent of men, and dug themselves in. Some say that this was because the Germans were not really sure how effective the weapon would be.Once night fell, and while the Canadians were still in complete and utter awe over the day's events, they began to fight to close the gap. This would include the taking of the strategic area known as Kitcheners Wood (an Oak Plantation), and beating the Germans out. Nevertheless there would be two disastrous counter-attacks made onto German positions, that although they would cause a severe amount of casualties, it did however provide the Canadian Force with ample time to finish closing the gap left by the tortured Algerian Force, that fought bravely and did all they could.All the more, the Canadians were far from done in Ypres. It would be on April 24, 1915 that the Battle for St. Julien would commence. It would be here that the Germans had planned to finish their enemies off, and gain control of the whole gap made by the previous gas attack.The Battle for...

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