Historical map of the counties of Flanders and Artois (1477)
Flanders Fields is the generic name of the World War I battlefields in the medieval County of Flanders. At the time of World War I, the county no longer existed but corresponded approximately to the Belgian provinces East Flanders and West Flanders and the French Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. The name is particularly associated with battles that took place in the Ypres Salient, including the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Passchendaele. For most of the war, the front line ran continuously from south of Zeebrugge, Belgium, to the Swiss border with France (Alsace and Vosges regions). Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote a poem, inspired by his service during the 2nd Battle of Ypres. The fields were left unmaintained for years before they were made into a proper memorial. Today Flanders Fields is home to thousands of poppies.