The Ypres Salient - CWGC

German gains from the 22-23 April fighting were considerable and represented an enormous slice of the northern and north-east sectors of Ypres' outer defences - markedly changing the configuration of the Salient and making it even more constricted and difficult to defend. The German attack launched at 4am on 24 April (forestalling Allied plans of a counter-attack) was directed against a newly formed and vulnerable northern projection of the line held by the Canadians to the north of St Julien. The gas attack, again in the form of a thick cloud, '...came on rapidly like a fog bank, 15 feet high' over the positions of the 15th and 8th Canadian Battalions who '...had no protection but handkerchiefs, towels and cotton bandoliers wetted with water or any liquid available in the trenches.' Many men were overcome, but the majority of defenders succeeded, initially at least, in keeping the enemy at bay. ('Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1915' (Volume I), Brigadier-General J E Edmonds and Captain G C Gwynne, London, Macmillan, 1927, p.217 and footnote).


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