Ypres 1914-1918. (2007) This ordnance survey map was used by the British army during the First World War to indicate the battlefield around Ypres in West Flanders.Ypres was hemmed in on three sides by German troops for the duration of the First World War. The Germans failed to capture the town, despite ambitiously planned battles in which half a million soldiers lost their lives. The Germans first used lethal chlorine gas on the Western Front during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. Mustard gas was first deployed on a large scale during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917, earning it the nickname yperite. The town itself was utterly devastated in the process. After the war there were calls to leave Ypres as it was rather than rebuild it, as a macabre memorial. The town was, however, restored to its pre-war state, largely thanks to financing from the Wiedergutmachung, the ‘reparations’ exacted from Germany. Reconstruction took more than 40 years. To the left of the map, which covers an area less than 35 kilometres across, stands Steenvoorde, the place where the Iconoclastic Fury erupted in the Low Countries in 1566.
200 x 140 cm
GERT JAN KOCKEN
THE PAST IN THE PRESENT

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