The Ypres Salient - CWGC

These included a new formation - Army Group Fabeck, which comprised five regular divisions and one division of more recently joined volunteers. It was supported by very powerful artillery elements: 262 heavy guns and 484 smaller pieces. The intention was that this new force would be unleashed against the entire line between St Yves (near Ploegsteert in the south) to Gheluvelt - the main effort being directed against the British south-east of Ypres. The aim of the German offensive was to pierce the Allied line, secure the Messines Ridge, capture Kemmel and outflank the British defences to the north. British defenders were outnumbered by an estimated six to one in rifles and artillery and, more substantially, in heavy guns.

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