Defending the Ypres Front 1914-1918, Trenches, Shelters & Bunkers of the German Army

Originally published in Dutch for the Memorial Museum Passchendale in 2016. This English-language edition provides a unique view of the long and bloody conflict in the Ypres Sector of the German positions, making great use of primary sources. – Most Highly Recommended


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NAME: Defending the Ypres Front 1914-1918, Trenches, Shelters & Bunkers of 
the German Army
FILE: R2731
AUTHOR: Jan Vancoillie, Kristof Blieck
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES: 294
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, First World War,
The Great War, Western Front, tactics, strategy, attrition, Germany , Austria, Russia, 
France, Great Britain, Commonwealth, United States, trench warfare, Ypres sector, 
Western Front, fortifications, mining, bombardment, frontal assault

ISBN: 978-1-52670-746-2

IMAGE: B2731.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/yd7z76ox
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:  Originally published in Dutch for the Memorial Museum 
Passchendale in 2016.  This English-language edition provides a unique view of 
the long and bloody conflict in the Ypres Sector of the German positions, making 
great use of primary sources. - Most Highly Recommended

The Germans decided in 1915 to undertake offensive actions on their Eastern Front, requiring those 
troops on the Western Front, running through Belgium and France, to fight an essentially defensive war 
of attrition. The only way to achieve this requirement was for the German troops to dig in but the sub 
soil of the Ypres Front was not suitable for trenches, making construction of a trench line difficult and 
maintenance equally challenging. The British and French did of course face the same challenges 
because they had to construct opposing trenches along the German front. Much has been written from 
the British and French perspectives but very little has been published in English from the German side.

The conditions meant that it was extremely difficult to construct mined defences where the troops were 
provided with deep shelters that could withstand heavy artillery barrages. Once trenches were established 
it was also extremely difficult to conduct mining and counter mining, so that conflict became an exchange 
of fire and frontal assault, depending on the guns and the infantry, until the arrival in numbers of armoured 
vehicles. Casualties were therefore expected to be very heavy and contrasted with the Somme where the 
chalk could be easily worked to establish a network of trenches, fire points and deep bunkers, offering 
protection and relative comfort for the troops on both sides. For the Allies, it meant that mining companies 
could dig towards the enemy positions and establish large pockets of explosive to seriously damage German 
positions before an infantry attack.

The situation on the Ypres Front has been extensively researched by the authors and they have made 
considerable use of primary sources for what must be the definitive work on the subject. The English-
language edition has added to their work to include a tours section that takes the visitor to accessible 
remaining structures in the Salient area, with a glossary of German terms and their English equivalents.

There is extensive illustration of the highest quality. The publisher has used full colour printing throughout.
 Naturally many images were lit and shot in black and white, but photographs taken later include full
 colour images. By using colour printing throughout, this has enable the production team to use all 
photographs as embedded images in the body of text without having to place full colour images in isolated 
colour plate sections. The printing process also has the added advantage that monochrome images are 
produced with a tint and in a clarity that traditional printing is not usually able to match. To complete the 
visual presentation, the publisher has employed a hard back binding where the cover is colour printed, 
avoiding a loose paper jacket.