Battle of Ypres

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The Battle of Ypres took place during the First World War, in the general area of the Belgian city of Ypres, where the German and the Allied armies (Belgian, French, British Expeditionary Force and Canadian Expeditionary Force) clashed. There were hundreds of thousands of casualties. The term "Battle of Ypres" could mean all the fighting that occurred in that area. But the "Battle of Ypres" could refer more specifically to any one of five battles which have been separately identified and named (and which themselves can be subdivided into smaller named battles).

The five battles were:

  • First Battle of Ypres (19 October – 22 November 1914). During the "Race to the Sea". More than 100,000 casualties.
  • Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 15 May 1915). First mass use of poison gas by the German army; included first victories of a former colonial nation (Canada) over a European power (Germany) on European soil. Around 100,000 casualties.
  • Battle of Passchendaele (31 July – 10 November 1917) also known as the Third Battle of Ypres. 400,000 to 800,000 casualties.
  • Battle of the Lys (1918) (9–29 April 1918) also known as the Battle of Estaires or the Fourth Battle of Ypres. Around 200,000 casualties.
  • Fifth Battle of Ypres (28 September – 2 October 1918) an informal name given to a series of battles in northern France and southern Belgium, also known as Advance of Flanders and Battle of the Peaks of Flanders. Around 10,000 Allied casualties; German casualties unknown.