Summary of the Prelude to the Second Battle of Ypres
January 1915 to 17.00 hours 22nd April 1915
In March 1915 the Commander of the German 4th Army in Flanders was considering making an attack in the Ypres sector to remove the bulge in the German Front Line formed by the Ypres Salient. This salient, or bulge in the line, was known to the German Army as the “Ypres Sack”.
Three options were under consideration for an attack:
- Option 1 South of Ypres: Take Mount Kemmel
- Option 2 North-east of Ypres: Take the Pilckem Ridge
- Option 3 North of Ypres: Capture the Yser Canal
From December 1914 a new weapon of war had been under development by the chemist Dr Fritz Haber. This was the idea that a cloud of chlorine gas could be blown on a gentle wind from the German Front Line across the enemy's trenches, forcing him to leave his positions.
The Prelude to the Battle section looks at the events leading up to the first gas cloud attack on the Western Front, launched by the German 4th Army as a trial weapon followed by an infantry attack.
Contents Page for the Prelude Section
For a list of all the pages in the sequence of events by time go to:
Start the Prelude sequence of pages:
The main sources of reference used for the Battle Study are listed here. Each source of reference is linked to the fuller details of the books and documents provided in the Bibliography list at: