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Ypres 1914: Messines (ePub)

WWI Ypres 1914

By Nigel Cave, Jack Sheldon
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Battleground Books: WWI
File Size: 88.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 214
ISBN: 9781473879799
Published: 2nd December 2015

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These three Battleground Europe books on Ypres 1914 mark the centenary of the final major battle of the 1914 campaign on the Western Front. Although fought over a relatively small area and short time span, the fighting was even more than usually chaotic and the stakes were extremely high. Authors Nigel Cave and Jack Sheldon combine their respective expertise to tell the story of the men – British, French, Indian and German - who fought over the unremarkable undulating ground that was to become firmly placed in British national conscience ever afterwards.

At the end of October 1914 an increasingly desperate Falkenhayn, aware that his offensive in Flanders had stalled, decided to make one final effort to break through the Allied lines south of Ypres. Pulling together a large strike force, the so-called Army Group Fabeck, he launched a violent offensive designed to capture the Messines Ridge and to use this dominating terrain as a springboard for a further advance. Inadequately resourced, assembled in a rush, this thrust was soon in trouble. Confused fighting in the wooded areas to the south of the Menin Road slowed the advance and initial attempts to gain a foothold on the ridge failed. A supreme effort by the men of the 26th Infantry Division ultimately brought about the capture of the town of Messines and similar heroics by the Bavarian 6th Reserve Division led to the fall of Wytschaete, but it was all in vain. Yet again a valiant Allied defence had buckled, but not broken.

One of the excellent and informative 'Battleground' series of books. As with others in the series, this is a well written and highly illustrated guide which acts as both a history and a guide to the battlefields. An interesting small addition to this series is the use of a small graphic image denoting either a battered peaked cap (to denote the Allied perspective of the text) or a pickelhaube (to denote the German perspective).

Excellent work.

The Great War Magazine - May 2016

About Nigel Cave

Nigel Cave is the editor of the WW1 books in the Battleground Europe series.

He is a member of the Durand Group and has been involved in its underground investigations from its origins. He also has worked for some years with Veterans Affairs Canada.


 Jack Sheldon

About Jack Sheldon

Educated at Inverness Royal Academy, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Universities of Lancaster and Westminster, Jack Sheldon completed a thirty-five year career as a member of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.

In 1982 he graduated from the German General Staff course at the Führungsakademie, Hamburg and went on to fill international staff appointments and to command an infantry training battalion. His final post before retirement in 2003 was as Military Attaché Berlin.

He now lives in France and has rapidly established himself as an expert in German First World War history. He was an honorary researcher for the Thiepval Visitor Centre Project, is a member of the British Commission for Military History and is the author of the highly acclaimed The German Army on the Somme 1914 – 1916, The German Army at Passchendaele and a number of Battleground Europe titles.

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