Ypres Salient map highlighting the area for the gas cloud attack.A favourable wind begins to blow

22 April 1915

At about 4pm the wind became strong enough for the German gas attack to go ahead. It was blowing from the north at a strength of about two metres per second.

General Hügel, Commander of the XXVI. Reserve Corps on the Ypres battlefront in Flanders.

However, two of the German corps commanders were unhappy. General von Kathen, commander of XXIII. Reserve Corps, was unhappy that the attack would now have to take place in broad daylight. General von Hügel believed that his XXVI. Reserve Corps could only succeed in reaching its objective if he had adequate flank protection from XXIII. Reserve Corps during the attack.

The Chief of Staff of the German 4th Army, Major-General Ilse, nevertheless issued the order to proceed with the attack. The order stated that the army commander expected that the XXIII. Reserve Corps and XXVI. Reserve Corps would reach the high ground of Pilckem.

At 4.25pm Oberst Peterson's gas pioneers were given the order to prepare the cylinders for the release the gas at 5.00pm [British time].

End of “Prelude to the Battle” Section.

The story continues with

The Battle of Gravenstafel Ridge Phase One: 5pm - midnight