The Ypres Salient - CWGC

Much of the later writing about the Battle of Nonne Bosschen laid great play on the role of the ‘Prussian Guard’ in the breakthrough attack of 11 November; certainly Guard units German prisoners, October 1914.were allotted an attack frontage of just over two miles between the centre of Shrewsbury Forest and the northern edge of Polygon Wood, but it is by no means certain that the Guard units were singled out for particular glory. The British Official Historian makes the point succinctly: 'It has sometimes been represented that the Prussian Guard, of which only one composite division was present, was alone entrusted with the honour of breaking through the British, a task which had hitherto proved too formidable for the infantry of the line. No doubt this legend met with credence from the fact that, whilst the attacks of all other units and formations completely failed, two Prussian Guard regiments did cross the British defences at a weak place and penetrate, for a short time, a thousand yards into I Corps position; and another Guard regiment took a short length of the Royal Fusiliers' front trenches. Yet...the Guard was not singled out for a special and solitary effort.' ('Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1914 '(Volume II), compiled by Brigadier-General Sir James E Edmonds, London, Macmillan, 1925; p.420).

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