Ypres 1914 - Langemarck (Battleground) Paperback – 12 May 2014
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About the Author
Nigel Cave is the long standing editor of the WW1 Battleground Europe series and the author of numerous Great War books currently in print with P&S. Nigel is arguably one of the most respected WWI historians alive today. As well as being a consultant on many P&S titles, he has also presented a series of DVDs with Ed Skelding on Walking the Western Front, also with P&S.
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Top Customer Reviews
Langemarck is a most important location in the Ypres salient, for it played a vital parts in the fighting of 1914 and 1917. Now a thriving and much larger village than it was before the war came to it in 1914, it is home to one of the most-visited spots on the area, the enormous German military cemetery. The coach- and car-loads that go there in the whistlestop tour of the Flanders battlefields miss much that is of interest around Langemarck. For anyone travelling to the area who wishes to see and understand more, “Ypres 1914: Langemarck” is your guide.
Nigel Cave had been the “Battleground Europe” series editor since its commencement and the author of some of its best works; Jack Sheldon is without doubt the best non-German historian of the German Army on the Western Front. In combination they make for a formidable pairing and this work is testament to their research, knowledge and authorship. The book covers the German advance into Flanders and the fighting when up against the British Expeditionary Force in the Ypres area, of course concentrating on the detail of the Langemarck actions.Read more ›
The village became of symbolic importance after October 20, 1914, as the Germans gave their all to break through the Allied line.
Try as they might, staunch British, French and Belgian forces defended the village almost to the last to prevent a breakthrough.
The fighting around the small village near Ypres is the subject of the first of three Battleground Europe guides on the First Battle of Ypres by distinguished authors Jack Sheldon and Nigel Cave.
The battles represented 'the final, desperate, attempt' by the German Army to win the war in 1914.
Failure to do so would mean trench lines ran from the North Sea to the Swiss border.
But the German commander Erich von Falkenhayn needed to take 'a gamble of breathtaking proportions' to carry this out, the authors write.
They raised an entire army from third rate reservists and untrained volunteers to throw into battle.
The Allied defence was very much an international effort. There are stories of the well British units shooting down row after row of advancing Germans, but in reality the French and, to a lesser extent, the Belgians carried defended much larger sections of the front.
For three days the British and French defended Langemarck, while the Belgians fought tenaciously to the north of the village.
The line was stretched and buckled but never broke. As German regiments faded from the order of battle - bled white from the attacks - so too did hopes of a war-winning campaign in 1914.
The book also includes four tours of the battlefield which, though there has been some removal of hedgerows, remains largely as it was 100 years ago.