The Ypres Salient - CWGC

The Messines-Wytschaete Ridge, occupied and strongly-held by the Germans since November 1914, remained a continuing threat to British occupation of the Salient. The good observation afforded to the Germans (whose forward lines formed a distinctive westward bulge) allowed British positions and activities to be relentlessly shelled. It was essential that this threat to the south and south-west of the city be eliminated before any significant offensive thrust could be attempted in an easterly or north-easterly direction from Ypres.

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