24/4/1915 Ypres: Germany renews the offensive

The gas attacks of the 22nd seem to have stunned the Germans as much as the Allies. Despite ripping a hole in the Allied line they have failed to exploit the advantage gained. Today, though, they renew the offensive, attacking towards the village of Saint Julien. The Canadians bear the brunt of the German attack, though British and Irish troops are also engaged.

The Germans use gas again against the defenders of St. Julien, but the novelty of this terrible weapon has worn off. It no longer strikes quite such terror into the Allies, particularly now they have improvised counter measures. Urine soaked rags held over the face provide a reasonably effective if unsavoury defence against the effects of chlorine gas.
The Allies are able to block the Germans from advancing to Ypres itself. In truth, the German forces are not particularly strong. They lack the reserves to exploit the successes of the 22nd. For all that Falkenhayn threw men with great profligacy at Ypres last year, this battle is just a diversion. Despite his belief that the war can only be won in the West, the German supreme commander has acceded to the request of his eastern commanders to send Germany’s reserves to the East. For Falkenhayn this battle is just an opportunity to test out poison gas and to trick the Allies into thinking that Germany is still focussed on the Western Front.

image sources:

British troops prepared for gas attack (Trenches on the Web; this picture may be from later than the 24th of April)

The German attack (Webmatters: First World War, Carte de Route)

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