The Ypres Salient - CWGC

Created Field Marshal on 28 December 1916, Sir Douglas Haig had been Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) since December 1915, when he had succeeded Sir John French. Intimately acquainted with the Ypres Salient during his days as Commander of I Corps, his decisive leadership, tactical skill and cool resolution during the difficult fighting associated with the First Battle of Ypres, October-November 1914, had proved vital in the successful British defence. The political considerations of fighting an 'alliance war' had resulted in Haig initiating offensives in co-operation with the French on ground not of his choosing. Flanders, an area traditionally associated with British military campaigns in Europe, had always remained for him a key area where telling thrusts (linked with a coastal advance and amphibious landing) might be made against German defences in order to effect decisive breakthrough.

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