The Ypres Salient - CWGC

Technically a 'salient' was a forward projection or extension of the trench line into enemy territory, thus making it vulnerable to attack from the sides or 'flanks'. Salients were uncomfortable positions to occupy as enemy fire could de directed from all angles, sometimes directly into the defensive line ('enfilade fire') and, disconcertingly, from the rear. The fighting of October and November 1914 around Ypres resulted in the formation of a salient of unprecedented size and scale.

Ypres became defined by its 'Salient'. To British Army soldiers 'The Salient' was 'Ypres' and countless thousands were to experience its unique and disturbing atmosphere: loss of direction or 'disorientation' in the line was a common experience as the bewildering changes in the routing of trench lines was exacerbated - especially at night - by the almost constant discharge of shells, signal rockets and observation flares.


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