With Remembrance Day close at hand, it is important to recall the important events of 1915 that were significant in changing the coarse of the war in Europe and-in some cases- the nature of modern warfare.And even though both sides were convinced that victory was still possible, by 1915 both sides had all but abandoned the previous notion that this would be a quick war not lasting more than a few months.
In this second year of the war, nothing suggested that the war was bound to be a lengthy one than the building of the trench systems. Trenches were being dug as early as mid-1914, but by the middle of 1915 they became deeper, wider and more complex and eventually, the primary defense system across the Western Front. The hard and bloody battles fought in these trenches are the images that most often come to mind when we think of World War One. It was in this year of trench warfare that John McCrae wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Fields” on May 3rd 1915.
Equal in significance to the trenches, was the use of chemical weapons-specifically chlorine gas. Although first used in 1914 by the Germans on the Western Front near Neuve Chapelle, the amount of gas was small and ineffective. This would change by the end of 1915 as the deployment of gas was in considerably larger quantities and used by most nations involved in the war.
The first time gas was used with devastating effects was by the Germans during the second battle of Ypres on April 22 1915 then again on April 24. Two thousand of the 18000 Canadian solders who died from this second attack are buried near by. John McCrae, who was stationed near here at the time as a medical officer, would have seen the causalities of this horrific event.
Today the monument of the Brooding Soldier stands in the small village of Saint Julien near Ypres where the devastating gas attacks took place.
The Western Front
Second Battle of Ypres-April 22-May 25.
Second Battle of Artois -May 9-June 18.
Second Battle of Champagne-September 25-November 6.
Battle of Loos-September 25-October 16.
Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive- May 2-June 27.
Capture of Warsaw-August 5.
Austro-German Invasion of Serbia-October 6.
First four Battles of the Isonzo-June 23-July 7.
Allied naval attack on the Dardanelles-March 18.
First Allied landing on Gallipoli-April 25.
British evacuate Gallipoli-December 10-January 9(1916).
New Statues of General Currie and Fighter Pilot Ace Billy Bishop unveiled.
See up coming posts two weeks from now!
Remember our fallen
Lest We Forget