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Jul092017

Tempête sur Dixmude 1914

The Battle of the Yser was a World War I battle which took place in October 1914 between the towns on Nieuwpoort and Diksmuide along a 35-kilometre (22 mi) long stretch of the Yser river and Yperlee canal in Belgium. The front line was held by a large Belgian force which halted the German advance in a costly defensive battle. The Allied victory at the Yser stopped the German advance into the last corner of unoccupied Belgium but still left the German army in control of 95 percent of Belgian territory.

Victory at the Yser allowed Belgium to retain control of a sliver of territory, while making King Albert a Belgian national hero, sustaining national pride and providing a venue for commemorations of heroic sacrifice for the next century.

October 20th: The Germans attack the outskirts of the town, driving back the Belgian defenders. Only the intervention of French reinforcements prevents a complete German overrun. 

October 23th: Despite a vigorous French and Belgian counter attack to retake the outskirts of the city, the Germans soon have Dixmude nearly surrounded. 

October 25th: Feeling the town is impossible to take, the Germans attempt to find a gap along the Yser, but find the opposite bank well garrisoned.

October 29th: The stalemate continues and Dixmude is reinforced to the point of being unassailable without some heavy bombardements. Yet, despite the best efforts of the German heavy artillery, French counter battery fire proves suprisely effective. A visit from the King of Belgium bolsters the troops.

November 2nd: To break the stalemate, the Germans attempt to attack from the north, having crossed the Yser at another crossing, but do not manage to make any headway. The Belgians flood the Yser in response, preventing any further attack on their flank.

November 5th: The German continue the siege of Dixmude, but are unable to break the stalement, despite the withdrawal of the French heavy artilley.

November 8th: The besieged attempt a counter attack to break out of Dixmude, but German fire is too strong and they are easily pushed back. Despite this setback, the German find themselves still unable to attack the town and the stalemate persists. (Minor Allied Victory)

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